Pros & Cons
+ An intuitive control style which allows the user to control two people simultaneously.
+ A charming, quaint affair that lasts with you well over completion.
+ Linear paths can lead to short game-play but the puzzles help to make up for this.
- Encountered one or two glitches that resulted in complete chapter re-starts.
- Until a player has mastered the curve the control style can leave you frustrated.
- The exclusion of subtitles or a language you understand could alienate some players but helps build to a greater adventure.
Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons is a 3D puzzle, platform adventure from Starbreeze Studios (The Darkness, Syndicate, Pay Day 2). Brothers, although small in size, packs one hell of a punch in the "feels" department and can last with you well after completion.
The main focus of the story revolves around your father who is struck down with an illness which then results in his two sons tasked with finding a cure from what can be construed as a "tree of life". This tree is not located in the backyard obviously and it sees the two set out on an adventure they will never forget; as well as allowing the player to escape to a whole new world full of trolls, giants, towns people and more.
Brothers’ story isn't the usual cliché- the developers use it to tell a gut-wrenching story that really captures your imagination. To set it apart from the norm, it even includes a dialect very similar to that of Nordic times, which is a language you have to adapt to, as there are no subtitles.
Along with a robust story, the game itself adapts a very intuitive and engaging control style. Players take the role of two brothers, one side of the controller controls the bigger and stronger brother and the other side controls the more agile little brother – not as complicated as it sounds as it simply means one stick for one, one stick for another and left and right triggers the same.
It’s a mechanic I haven’t personally used before and found it to be a pleasant surprise, although I could foresee a player getting crossed wires and making silly mistakes. *Pro tip- keep one brother on the left side and the other on the right at all times, get used to that format and you’ll be fine.
Throughout your adventure you will also come up against some very original puzzles to solve, the original focus on the control system works perfectly in these scenarios which left me stumped trying to work out what to do next. From rowing boats co-operatively, pushing double levers and opening cages for cute griffins, there is a lot to see and do.
Brothers isn't without some teething problems however, graphics on one or two occasions drop out which resulted in having to re-start a whole chapter all over again, it was more time consuming than frustrating but once passed it was all but forgotten about, after all it is a charming indie-title for a reason so you can’t stay mad at the two little guys forever.
Brothers, although with some minor issues, is highly recommended if you are in the mood for a couple hours out, getting your brain moving or generally wishing to experience something unique. A perfect pick up and play, a part time affair or even sitting down in one go it has something for everyone to enjoy – for such a small downloadable title it has so much to offer! A story with heart, a promising control layout I wouldn't mind using again and the time spent will remain with you well after completion.
Brothers: a tale of two sons is out now for Xbox 360, PC and PS3.