Starbreeze Studios and 505 Games bring us a unique downloadable game for the PSN and XBOX 360. Brothers: A Tale Of Two Sons tells the story of two brothers on a journey to save their father from a fatal illness. Is the journey worth the $14.99 price of admission? Or should this journey not be taken?
The story kicks off with the younger brother paying respects to his mother's grave, from there you get a flashback on how she lost her life. Once the flashback is over the older brother enters to the scene informing the younger brother that the father has fallen ill. The story has a unique way of storytelling. Without any real dialogue to move the story it relies on actions, facial expressions and emotion to tell what the characters are feeling. Fans of games like ICO and Shadow of The Colossus will be use to this type of storytelling. I thought it was very clever to do characterization of the older brother and younger brother through interactions with people they meet on the road. As you progress and visit different towns you will find out more about what type of person each brother is. The younger brother is more care free and also a prankster. He will play tricks on the townspeople like pinching them, pouring water on them and more. The older brother is more laid back and more focused on the mission except when it comes one girl. Overall the story is moving when it hits the right beats. Characters are likable and the characters you meet are interesting.
The gameplay is unique to stay the least. Players will have to control both brothers at the same time using the left analog stick for the older brother and the right analog stick for the younger brother. The controls will take some getting use to since you have to keep your eyes on both brothers to see what direction they are going. The shoulder buttons of L2 and R2 controls each brother's interaction and is used to engaged townspeople and solve puzzles. L1 and R1 are use to control the camera. The gameplay is as simple as it gets and the puzzles are not that challenging. The biggest challenge you will find in this game is controlling each brother at the same time. You can however control one brother and then have him wait and then control the other brother to make sure he catches up. I find that easier at times, but it's more better and less tedious if you control both at the same time.
While the gameplay is simple and easy and runs smoothly there are some glitches with the control movement sometimes. Characters sometimes don't respond as accurate as it should and movement can feel awkward at times. In chapter 2 there is a puzzle that involves you taking a key from a giant who has his back turned. Unfortunately the glitch will have the giant facing towards you making the puzzle unplayable. In order to fix this glitch you will have restart the entire chapter. Even though the game is short and the chapters only go up to eight this glitch is annoying and should be patched. Other then those complaints the game is fun to play and you will enjoy it in the short time it takes to beat it.
The graphics are good, not the best graphics in the downloadable game land but good enough. The graphics really shine in the woods where the brothers encounter a group of wolves. This segment of the game shows the lightning effect as the brothers have to use torches in a foggy, dark environment. Other highlights is the land of ice in the mountains. The snow and water look absolutely beautiful I wish there was more of the mountain top in this game.
The game does contain some voice acting and even though you won't understand what's being said it's pretty good. The music shines very well capturing the emotional and epic journey the brothers face. The opening song sets the tone for the entire game and this is an ost I would recommended you check out.
Replay Value -
The game will take you about 4 to 5 hours to beat. It doesn't offer much replay value, unless you want to check out all the interactions you can do with the environment.
Final Grade 8.5/B+:
Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons will be a sleeper hit among gamers. It has a great story, unique gameplay, beautiful music and graphics. It has all the elements for a great experience for a couple hours. The downside will be the game is short, the glitch in chapter 2 will be frustrating for some and the controls take a while to get use too. Overall this is a solid game that you need to have in your collection.