Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons is a story based on two brothers who have lives of tragedy & adventure.
Part of the story lies in what they don’t tell you. The characters don’t have dialogue, all they have is, how do I put it…well basically garble. This make things a little difficult at times when it comes to the puzzle & problem solving gameplay. Also there’s no text to go with what they discussing or pointing at. I noticed that the game’s cutscenes are very minimal so not much help is given there. This makes me think, is less more? Despite similar gameplay to other titles, there would usually be a narrator who would give you hints.
You play as the two brothers exploring and searching an enchanting- yet dangerous at times- world to find a cure for your sick father. The two brothers each have their own mannerisms as the older brother acts quite maturely when interacting with other characters, where the younger brother doesn’t. There’s a character interaction in the game where you can take a broom from a woman sweeping, if you did this with the older brother he would continue sweeping, but when you do the same as the younger brother he starts trying to balance the broom on the palm of his hand. Throughout the game you encounter optional interactions with characters and items, with the interactions the Brothers personalities can be found. This helps to see the connection the brothers have seeing as they don’t express it via talking due to the language used in the game. Surprisingly I didn’t find it too difficult to understand what the brother were talking about, The way in which the brothers react to situations is extremely easy to understand. For example, when they walk near a puddle of blood they both start tip-toeing around the edge and looking at each other with disgusted looks.
You certainly need guidance too, as navigating the pair through the medieval type/Nordic-inspired world is a challenge on both a cerebral and technical level. The challenge starts from the first moment of the game as you control both brothers at the same time. Each brother is assigned to a analogue stick and to start with it does test you, as I often found one of the brothers running in the wrong direction as I was too busy concentrating on the other brother. But after an hour or so the controls do become easier to do.
The puzzles themselves aren’t all that difficult to solve, but the challenge comes from actually performing the required solutions. They start off simple enough, relying on the individual strengths of each sibling; the younger brother can squeeze through tight gaps or iron railings to open doors & gates for his brother, while the old brother’s brute strength lets him pull large switches and activate bridges. Soon, though, you’re forced to think a little differently; often this means splitting the brothers up to do certain task to achieve the outcome.
For instance, you might have to use one brother to pull a set of chains while the other clings on for dear life and hops off at just the right moments to avoid obstacles. An inspired climbing section sees you swinging the brothers from each other via a piece of rope onto different hand grips. This makes them sit on opposite sides of the screen compared to their corresponding analogue sticks, making it very tricky to try to swing them back again. It’s a challenge that messes with your head as you perform all manner of confusing finger & control skills to see the pair safely to their destination.
The brothers are certainly put through a lot in what is a relatively short experience. But it’s the close scrapes, the wonderfully characters they meet along the way, and the sheer enormity of their undertaking as they scale mountains and take on beasts that further strengthen there relationship between them, and indeed yours with them. And remember that it’s all accomplished without a word of true spoken dialogue, and a hint of drawn-out exposition in sight, a testament to the tight direction and grand cinematic feel that envelop each and every frame.
That’s the true aim of A Tale of Two Sons. Sure, the puzzles are suitably challenging and mighty clever in places, and the imposing environments are beautifully realised, this is all to link the bond the two brothers have since losing their mother at sea and possibly their father unless they can get the required items to help their father. From the moment you set off on the adventure with the Brothers you do get drawn into the story. I think the developer Starbreeze Studios have done a fantastic job on translating the emotion and mannerisms into the characters and the adventure.
With this being released on the Xbox 360 back in August 2013, For the Xbox One version they have included bonus content, Director’s Walkthrough Commentary, Art and Sound Gallery
The graphics & visuals are really stunning, as the game is powered by the Unreal engine which is used by a lot of other developers and is a powerful game engine. The music has the lord of the rings, Enya feel to it, I like it as its adds depth to the game and adventure, just a shame the story is short, but there are plenty of optional interactions you can do to get achievements throughout the world.
For me its a fantastic game and I would highly recommend it to anyone who like adventure and puzzle solving games.
Over all it’s worth the price and if you want a game that breaks up your normal gaming pattern, then I would highly recommend this game. head over to the store and buy this game as it’s only £14.99 bargain price!
I really does draw you into the game play