Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons

Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons is a new downloadable xbox arcade game developed by Starbreeze Studio's and published by 505 games. The "engine" of this game (WHAT EVER THAT MEANS!) is by Unreal Engine 3. It's an adventure game and was released August 7 2013. Steam gets Brothers August 28 and Playstation gets it September 3. Blah blah blah, technical stuff.

The plot of A Tale of Two Sons (I can't think of a short name for this, Brothers seems to Philadelphia-1995-Joey Lawrence) follows two brothers whose mother recently drowned and now your dad is ill and, regardless of being a child/teenager in a town with other adults and even a doctor, you get to go on a quest to save him. On the journey you're faced with waterfalls, pretty butterflies, trees, ogres, wolves, spiders, cults, birds and hanging bodies. It's totally fun and light hearted... except for the hanging bodies I guess.

Playing the game is confusing and hard to begin with. You're controlling BOTH the brothers with one controller. Oh? You think thats easy? Shut up! If you're a normal human with an ok functioning brain then this wont be super easy. At least, not at first it wont be. If you're like me and the game will only marginally get easier the more you play it. The whole controlling-two-characters-with-one-controller thingy is actually really cool and interesting. It forces the player to pay attention to everything. You cant just favour one brother because then the other one will probably die. Although it was a total pain in the arse and made me realise I'm not as coordinated as I thought, I still really liked it. I'm not saying that more games should try this format, that would be ridiculous and stupid, but for this game it works.

The graphics, or visuals if ya nasty, (Janet Jackson reference, BOOM) were sweet. Butterflies and sunshine and graceful water flowing peacefully down the side of a terrifying mountain. Everything wasn't detailed so much that your parents might worry that your brain won't be able to distinguish reality from gameplay and therefore go on a killing spree but not so fake that you thought you were playing on a Play Station 1. It was that sweet spot in between that so few games achieve. There was a few glitches here and there. At one point the oldest brother climbed a ledge and appeared about 40 feet above the younger brother, funny but annoying. Occasionally the animations wouldn't match up with the cut scenes. I've jumped one way and am clearly about to die but it was enough to trigger the cut scene and a long I move. I'm not saying thats a totally bad thing because no one likes replaying the same thing but I kind of feel like the progression was just being handed to me rather than me earning it.

The hardest part of this game for me, mentally, was the heights. Especially at one part when the brothers are tied together swinging their way up the side of a wall. I'm seriously freaked out by heights. I cried my way through all three Uncharted games and promised myself that I would never play heights again. The hardest part to actually control was definitely the boat. Oh lord that boat. I hate you. Good luck to everyone else, I have no tips for controlling it.

My favourite thing about this game? The two characters one controller deal. It added that special something to an other wise obvious game. I also really liked how the brother were different, they had little personality differences that made them feel human almost.

What I hated? NOTHING GETS ANSWERED! What happens to the ogres? Why was my dad even dying? Why does the scientist have to wait for me to come along and help him before he can continue his day? HE'S A SCIENTIST! Surely he's smart enough to over come a simple hurdle. Why did that bitch want to kill me even though I saved her? Why is this invisible giant destroying this town? Understandable none of my questions will get fully answered because I'm guessing the game developers want the player to use that old school thing known as "imagination"*. I used my imagination and I'm still a little annoyed that my questions are unanswered. I'm also assuming that because the game is only a downloadable and not 4 discs of installation and thats why they didn't develop all the characters or give back stories and stuff. I'm cool with that.

This game has a similar feel to Journey in the respect that theres little to no voices and no actual back story. But even though these game lack some qualities usually needed that doesn't make them bad games. It makes them fun and interesting for reasons that I'm not sure of. Maybe it is imagination that makes these games what they are? Maybe it's the graphics? Or the fact that there isn't someone screaming at you to kill that other solider/monster/zombie etc.

Let me know what you think, I'm interested in what other thought of this game.

Heres a little video of some people playing the game just incase you just want to see it and not actually play it:

*For anyone born after 1994 you will find your imagination by simply putting down every apple product you own and using your mind to entertain yourselves. Give it a try, I dare you.

(Pictures are from Play stations website)