Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons is a downloadable title brought to us by fairly unknown Swedish game developer Starbreeze Studios, who may be best known for their critically acclaimed The Chronicles of Riddick: Escape From Butcher Bay years ago. This game also has come out around the same time as their other recent release, Pay Day 2. The game is about two brothers who go on a journey to retrieve special water that will help their ailing father. Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons is an adventure game that completely caught me by surprise. I had only heard of the game when it was coming out for Xbox 360 last month, so when I got the Playstation 3 version, I really did not know what to expect at all.
The question is, did this game surprise me in a good or a bad way? Keep reading to find out as we look at the best and worst qualities of the indie Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons.
Coming into this game, I honestly did not know what to expect. I really knew nothing more about it than its title and that it was an indie game. When I was first introduced to the gameplay, I was a little surprised at how simple it was, but at the same time was very intrigued by it’s unusual style. The basic gameplay structure of the game is that you control both of the brothers at the same time. The left analog stick controls movement of the older brother while the right analog stick controls movement of the younger brother. By pressing L2 for the older brother or R2 for the younger brother, you can do a variety of different things, depending on where you are in the game. You must work together to advance through different obstacles as you continue through the game. In some ways, the game reminded me a lot of one of my favorite games, ICO, which also required a lot of teamwork and puzzle solving. It may take a little getting used to on which button controls which brother, and honestly I had to stop and restart running as a result sometimes, but it wasn’t much of a problem.
As mentioned in the last section, you control the two brothers as you continue through the game. This gameplay allows for some very unique puzzles. The puzzles start off relatively simple but grow more complex as you get further in the game, but without being too difficult to where you get frustrated. The difficulty level was just about right on all of these. An example of an early puzzle, that showed up throughout the game, involved the older brother standing below a partially broken off ladder. He would prepare a stance for the younger brother to jump on his hands and leap for the ladder. The younger brother would then have to do something, such drop a rope, to help the elder brother join you. An example of a more complex puzzle found the brothers tethered together by rope, which allowed one to swing to ledges while the other held on to another ledge. This allowed for some unique mountain climbing segments that were a ton of fun. There were also some very fun puzzles involving a giant that you come across.
Beautiful Art Style
Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons really surprised me with its graphic style from just a downloadable title. The game has beautiful backgrounds that have an almost pastel look to them. The camera is almost always zoomed out, so you have the opportunity to see a lot on the screen at one time and that allows you to see the detail on everything on screen. At times, the game felt like something out of a storybook, and the art style complemented this immensely. There is one later area of the game in the snow that looks gorgeous. The footsteps in the snow and everything around it just really stands out as you play. With other great looking indie games in recent years, such as Journey, it’s great to see another game continue that trend.