Brothers – A Tale of Two Sons is an adventure puzzle game developed by Starbreeze Studios and film director, Josef Fares. Published by 505 Games, Brothers was originally released on PC, PS3 and Xbox 360 in 2013. It has since been released on PS4, Xbox One, iOS, Android and even Windows Phone. A version for the Nintendo Switch was also released yesterday (28th May)!
Despite this game being very short in length, taking around 3 hours for a full story play through, it didn’t feel as though it was lacking in any department. Sometimes, small games can feel as though they have been cut short far too soon, but I felt the length of this worked perfectly.
You play as Naie and Naia, two brothers each controlled by half of a single player’s controller. The story follows the pair as they set out on a grande adventure to acquire the Water of Life from an ancient tree in a far away land to help their sick father recover.
The game is filled with many environments the brothers need to trek through including the neighbouring town, mountainous regions and underground caves. Here, they will come across both enemies to fend off and allies who aid them on their way. The art style suited the game well with fantastical themes and mythical creatures combined to create a wonderful fairytale esque land to explore.
I really appreciated the game’s boldness to include strong themes that other games may shy away from, particularly with the lingering theme of death displayed from the very beginning. The storytelling was well displayed considering the lack of narrative, and sensical speech for that matter, and the goal of the game was clear throughout. I was also impressed by the way the brother’s relationship was portrayed through the gameplay, each having specific tasks only one of them could perform; a perfect example being swimming.
As for the gameplay – simple yet effective. I played the game on PC using the keyboard despite Steam telling me I needed to use a controller. WASD and Space-bar controlled big brother and the Arrow Keys and Right Ctrl controlled little brother. This was actually quite challenging and a little awkward to get my head around, but once I got used to it, I felt like I’d mastered an art. I tried out the controller once I’d finished the game and found it was much easier the use, but slightly boring – although maybe that was due to my hardcore peripheral choice in the first place.
Other than the unique controls, Brothers didn’t have much in the way of enrapturing gameplay. There were a few basic puzzles and obstacles to overcome which were greatly enhanced due to the way the game is controlled. A few of these were repeated, but they were well placed within the environments, involving the player in the world.
Overall, Brothers – A Tale of Two Sons is an overwhelmingly strong game that I believe everyone should play. The interesting take on the game’s controls are what makes it unique. Combined with the beautiful art of storytelling and enchanting environments, Brothers – A Tale of Two Sons is an outstanding little game perfectly compact within just a few hours. As it’s available on a huge variety of platforms, there shouldn’t be any excuse to go buy this – especially as this now also applies to all the Switch lovers out there!
Have you played Brothers – A Tale of Two Sons? Let me know in the comments!