Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons is a downloadable title available for Xbox 360, Playstation 3, as well as their next generation counterparts. The story follows the quest of two brothers looking for a tree that will cure their sick father. Along the way, they encounter wild animals, trolls, giants, cultists, and many other strange things, some good and some not.
1. Brothers is a truly unique game in how it handles both protagonists. The older brother is controlled through the left thumb stick and left trigger. The younger brother is controlled through the right thumb stick. This can really play tricks with your mind if you’re right-handed like me and the brothers somehow end up on opposite sides of the screen from your controller. I had to stop more than once to get them switched around. Nevertheless, this setup made for some rather interesting puzzles that challenge parts of the brain one does not usually use.
2. This is a platform game and, as previously mentioned, it has a lot of puzzles that require the brothers to work together. However, each brother has his own skill-set. For example, the older brother can pull levers while the younger brother does not have the strength. Meanwhile, the younger brother has the ability to slip into places that are too small for the older brother. The collaboration of the brothers is a lot of fun and it is nice to not be totally alone in those dark and dangerous places. The brothers are also different in their personalities. Whereas the older brother is more mature and strong, the younger brother is compassionate and a bit of a goof.
3. The supplementals of Brothers work quite nicely. The graphics are not high detail like a Call of Duty title or Mass Effect. Rather, they are more like out of a storybook like Fable‘s graphics. This fits the fantasy genre quite well. Likewise, the music enhances the experience and draws on emotion with a sound that has a sort of wooden flute as the lead instrument. There is also no spoken dialogue, but the game makes it pretty easy to know what is going on based on tone of voice (they do speak but it’s no language I know) and symbols.
4. Level design is not lazy in the slightest in Brothers. The player goes everywhere from a village, caves, mountains, the air, a giant fortress, among other places. With the exception of the first section, I was never bored with the setting. Rather, I was drawn into it and wanted to keep playing. Add terrors and monsters to the equation and you have a diverse and dark game-play experience.
1. Minor glitches still hurt this game. The only ones I came across involved the older brother (never the younger brother surprisingly) getting stuck in areas and not being able to move. I would have to reload a checkpoint to be able to get out of it. Since the game saves fairly frequently, this was a minor concern. Nevertheless, it was a bit of a nuisance.
2. I am still not sure how I feel about the ending. I will not give it away here, but the story takes a rather bold move that may upset certain audiences. I give it credit for boldness, but I’m truly not sure if it was the right move.
I have never played a game quite like Brothers. The control scheme is innovative even though it can be trying at times. The story is dark and sometimes even brutal. The game is very short, but for someone who does not have too much time to spend on video games nowadays, I like a decently short game. If you’re one for a variation on platformer games, then this is certainly a game you should check out.