GAME: Brothers a tale of two Sons
Developer: Starbreeze Studios
Release date: 7th August 2013
No spoilers Included in this review
Story: 8 / 10
The story is of two Brothers, surprise, and they have great sorrow in their lives. During the opening sequence we observe the youngest sitting by a graveside covered in roses. Typically the scene breaks to reflection, and the reason why he is there is explained:
His mother is drowning, and he is helplessly sitting in a boat, presumably unable to help. The scene changes back to the graveyard and his mother’s ghost appears to comfort her sobbing son.
In another twist of the knife the scene changes and the prologue begins to tell the rest of the story, the two brothers must take their sick father to the local healer and their adventure truly lies out before them.
They must journey to a place with a Tree, presumably to gain the necessary medication or healing properties it possesses.
You can tell at that point that this will be no easy feat and that you will face various challenges along the way but the ultimate goal is worthy of the journey, because quite simply put, they need to save their one and only remaining Parent from what looks like a certain death.
The adventure begins……
Control feel: 7 / 10
This is the only area that you will hear any complaint from this writer. It’s fidgety.
As explained above there are two main characters, you control BOTH of the brothers at all times. How this works is simple. You control the eldest brother with the left analogue stick and the youngest with the right stick. To interact you need to use the right and left trigger buttons.
Now this is confusing first and I am not going to lie, frustrating is not the word. But after the prologue you complete loads of interactions with the brothers, and although I had a tendency to use one brother more than the other, this levelled itself out and leads to a better understanding of using a combination of both. Then the puzzles start to appear and choices need to be made. The decision to use one or the other is purely laid out in the task faced. You will need to figure out who to use and when to change.
The plus side of the Control is that you cannot wander away without the confines of the screen stopping you. So if you want to explore then feel free however the point is that you mostly need to stick together and this limitation on control is actually necessary and not a negative point.
The frustration is gradually phased away and to be honest forms a part of the difficulty in some of the puzzles that you face together.
The controlling nature of the gameplay also lets the free roaming camera a part to play in the game and you will need to use your RB and LB buttons to control it on occasions and although not early in the game this becomes necessary at times later on
Graphics: 9.5 / 10
Wow! Well that’s how I sum this section up. The level of detail in this game is second to none!
That’s right this game is simply beautiful in its presentation and it knows it. During the game you have opportunities to sit on a bench and just check out the whole scene!
This game is as smooth as any I have played. The graphical content and attention to detail is simply irresistible. I found myself openly talking about how the areas in the game were all being used. Regardless of whether or not you could access a part of the area, or whether you needed to, or not. Every area finished to a high degree of detail.
The character Graphics and interactions are the same, they are truly magnificent. In one scene if as the older brother you take a brush from a villager and start to sweep the area beside her, the dust that starts as a small wave encapsulates you and the villager, but when you try to interact with the younger one they sweeps are steady and don’t create such a cloud. As an example this is only one way the graphics truly stand out. Try interacting with the wells dotted around the landscape; it will make you want to do the same when you get to the next one I can assure you it does make you laugh!
This attention to detail very rarely comes around and deserves very high praise indeed
Sound: 9 / 10
The Strangest thing happened when I first watched the intro sequence from this game. I really felt attached to the character through the emotion of the sound, so first impressions, Excellent. I usually turn down the music on most games so I was expecting the same here why? Well I like to hear the character interactions especially in puzzle games as most clues to the solution can be done through listening to the interactions.
The puzzling thing about Brothers (a tale of two sons), is that the characters talk gibberish! Yip its true I cannot talk gibberish! I stopped the play after a save icon, returned to the options menu, and I checked the language settings. Nope there was no mistake it was in gibberish!
This was a huge setback for the games progress for me and I replayed the prologue again as I stated before I like narrative and the most crucial learning curb for this game is simple. Listen to the atmosphere in the score and not your characters.
Can you play through this without the need for narrative? Yes is definitely the answer as the music and interactions between the brothers and the environmental changes tell you all you need to know to progress
Gameplay: 9 / 10
The Gameplay in this title is straight to the point and relies as previously stated on your listening skills, however the look and feel of the characters and how they interact with the environment.
There are no Difficulty settings in this game as it is a true old school Puzzler. It seems that the designers on Brothers went to great lengths to make your senses take over, and when reaching various locations you instantly want to explore the boundaries set out, and interact with as much as possible. The fact that you enter these areas with both characters seems strange at first but becomes natural throughout the game.
If you spend too long exploring the eldest brother then beckons the youngest forward. The characters are always together except when you wander off (see control).
I do not play games for achievements and just as well, arcade games such as this are often slated for just running up Gamerscore for the sake of it. Take Walking Dead from Tell-tale games, a game I loved as well. In that game you get 500 Gamerscore to go for but you simply run through the story and they appear ‘achievement unlocked’. Well I played Brothers for over an hour before it struck me I hadn’t heard the pluck and checked to see if I was so engrossed in this game that I had just ignored them. But I hadn’t, the explanation was simple you have to actually earn the achievements. For me this is a really good thing to see as it doesn’t reward you for the sake of gameplay, they truly are achievements.
The overall impression of this game is that I wanted to play it continually and not just because of the Fantastic scenery, the amazing in-game score, or even the humorous interactions that each brother have through the game. I wanted to play it because it was satisfying to conquer the puzzles that weave together the purpose of the game.
It is not just another side scrolling point and click adventure but everything you ever wanted in an adventure.
You really want to buy this and experience the joy it brought to me. Remember this however, the talking is gibberish, but the experience is un-miscible.