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Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons

Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons

Release: 03/09/2013
Publisher: 505 Games
Developer: Starbreeze
Genre: Adventure, Indie
PEGI: T
Comments: (1)
 
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Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons – Review

Immediately upon starting Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons, you are thrown right into the life of nave and gentle young Naie, who has been plagued with guilt since witnessing his mothers drowning while helplessly standing by. He is looked after by his older brother Naia and his kind father.

When their father falls ill, the brothers band together to traverse the world outside their small village and search for a cure located at the mystical Tree of Life. Along the way they face many challenges, but with the power of their friendship and love they manage to overcome most every obstacle. This indie puzzle game exploring ideas of guilt, love, and family is so jaw-dropping and beautifully done in so many ways its hard to know where to start. 

A Successful Collaboration 

The first collaboration between developer Starbreeze Studios and publisher 505 Games, Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons is a knock-out. The two teams worked together to create a puzzle game that introduces new gameplay ideas while telling a strong story set in a picturesque world.

This is the first game of its kind to not just include two controllable characters, but to create a sense of co-op play with yourself

Starbreeze Studios previous games have been much more action-filled, an edgier genre than that of Brothers, but perhaps this is a welcome departure. It seems that in creating an emotionally-driven game, they have had great success. 

A Filmmakers Touch 

Brothers offers a cinematic quality to its gameplay brought to life by the developers very intelligent decision to reach out to Swedish filmmaker Josef Fares, a talented award-winning creator. His movie-like touch helps to create a quality of story that carries through the game despite a lack of dialogue throughout. As the brothers travel through the world they encounter small tales that deal with heavy and often dark material. Never falling back on clich plotting, each step in the story of the brothers feels natural and thought-out.

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One particular scene finds the brothers saving the life of a suicidal man who has lost his family in a house fire but is brought some solace from a delicate music box left behind that the brothers return to him. Moments like this are handled in such a beautiful way that Fares influence is clear. 

A Successful Co-Op System 

Not the first game to suggest the idea of controlling two different characters to create new hurdles in puzzle-solving, Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons is the first to do it right. While traveling through many trials, the brothers each bring their own strengths and abilities to the table, making neither brother less instrumental nor crucial than the other. This is the first game of its kind to not just include two controllable characters, but to create a sense of co-op play with yourself. As you control both brothers at the same time, manoeuvring can be difficult, frustrating, and challenging, all in the best possible ways.

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Like most multi-character games, the playable parties cannot be moved too far away from each other, but unlike other games Brothers insists that you keep them moving together at the same time. This style of movement and the puzzle-solving used in Brothers challenges your brain in new and unexpected ways. 

The puzzles in Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons are difficult, fun, and tough but in no way impossible. The trickiest part of it all seems to be just learning how each brother moves, what strength they have, and how they can be most helpful to the other. The camera is mostly isometric but also moves on its own in a 360-degree pattern that can even slightly disorient you while playing but will help you to see aspects of the area around you that you may have missed initially. Lastly, accomplishments scattered through the game are fun Easter eggs not easily picked up along the way and will provide great challenges for achievement hunters.  

A Game That Can Not Be Missed 

Every now and then a game comes along with the ability to make the player feel something. And that something isnt rage, excitement, or even confidence; its true emotion. Not every game released aims to elicit an emotional reaction from its audience, but the ones that do can leave the player with a haunting feeling that lasts long after the final screen fades to black. Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons is a game that has an emotional impact on the player, and even better, it still offers legitimate gameplay to back up its strong storytelling, making it an all-around success.  

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This indie puzzle game exploring ideas of guilt, love, and family is so jaw-dropping and beautifully done in so many ways its hard to know where to start

With so many action-packed games exploding on to console and pc, filled with flashy graphics and awe-inspiring fighting sequences, it can be hard to decide where to even look. And in with so much fantastic new content coming to gamers everywhere, a gem of a game like Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons can accidentally slip through the cracks. Dont let it.  I cannot recommend this game enough. Taking a break from the typical game structure and experiencing the beautiful rewarding gameplay offered in Brothers will be like a breath of fresh air to any game lover.

Positives

  • Unique co-op single player system
  • Beautiful scenic design
  • Strong cinematic storytelling
  • Fun and challenging puzzles

Negatives

  • could be longer
 

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