Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons is a game that I decided to go out on a limb and play. I watched the trailer and got a quick sense of what it was about; two brothers who’ve just gone through a very tough time coping with the loss of their mother. Little did they know they had more sorrow in store for them. Their father falls ill and is in dire need of an antidote that will cure him. Which leads the brothers to venture off on this journey across this beautiful world to help their ailing father.
The game has been created in a beautiful, storytelling way. Everything in the game speaks for itself. The world, the brothers, the music, everything leaves you with emotions and wanting to know more about these two brothers and the fantasy world they live in. The first couple of scenes you’re introduced to the unnamed brothers. You see a quick cut scene with the younger brother witnessing his mother’s death and how it affects him dearly. While the boys are playing in the field the father begins to fall ill and relies on the two brothers to take him to the house to rest. That’s where you’re introduced to the controls. To control the older brother you rely on the left stick and trigger, and for the younger brother you rely on the right. In the beginning it was pretty confusing trying to get the controls right but you get the hang of it in hour in the game. It’s also great that the controls have only been limited to four buttons to keep things simple and for you to focus on the story it tells.
The brothers’ interactions with the world are done in a great way. Every time you need to interact with the world you just pick a brother and press the left or right trigger. Each brother interacts with the environment in a different way. The older brother is always to the point, while the younger brother is more care-free, relaxed, and enjoys interacting with whatever he encounters on his way. For example, the older brother interacted with an older woman and asked her for directions, while the younger brother tickled the older woman and made her smile. Little actions like that added lots of depth to the game.
Throughout the whole game, both brothers depend on each other very heavily to get through the enchanted world to get that antidote. They help each other through obstacles such as fighting and outsmarting ogres, parceling through enchanted lands, and my favorite: outsmarting an invisible ice giant that freezes anything and anyone he lays eyes on.
One important thing that I truly loved about the game is that it always one-upped itself. The further you got in the game the more the plot twisted and turned. It kept you always interested and wanting to finish the game. The silence and the actions in this game spoke a thousand words. The way they moved, walked, and jumped helped immensely convey what they felt at that particular moment. The language they speak was complete gibberish (although I did hear some Arabic), and you’re left trying to understand what’s going on with their actions and decisions.
Brothers is locked and loaded with everything. It’s even loaded with an extra dose of emotions. Near the ending of the game I was in tears and by the end of it, I was an emotional wreck. Its really all about the tone of the game that was set from the first scene to the very end. You can feel the sense of resilience the two brothers had by their actions, the music, and the environment. But most importantly the theme of life and death was very present throughout the whole game. Which makes it very surreal and an experience that will stay with me for a good while. Its one of those games that will leave you changed and thinking about it for a good time. I truly do recommend this game but keep a box of tissues close by. You’ll need it.
[+Solid game] [+Fun to play] [+Compelling characters] [+Not a very long game] [-Controls are a bit wonky but okay]