Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons - User Reviews - www.GameInformer.com
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Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons

Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons is a downloadable game developed by Starbreeze Studios, and published by 505 Games. It is currently available on Xbox 360, PS3, and Windows PC. Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons is a strange game. I can honestly say that I've never played anything like it, and I mean that in a good way.  

Plot

Without divulging too many details, Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons is a coming of age story, forged by adventure and familial responsibility. In Brothers, your family is your driving force, your strength, your inspiration, and your motivation. Brothers perfectly executed this by creating an emotion packed story and effortlessly combining it with unique gameplay. Brothers packs a powerful, emotional punch and by the end of the game... well, I'll let you see for yourself.

Graphics

Just about everyone has compared the graphics of Brothers to the graphics in Fable. I suppose you could say that I'm about to do the same. The graphics, are lighthearted, colorful, at times whimsical, and when necessary, very dark. You could say that the graphics in Brothers are reminiscent to those of the PS2/GameCube/Xbox era. In one scene you even run into an inventor who just so happens to look a lot like Dr. Muto (a 6th generation video game character). All in all, the graphics are somewhat cartoonish; however the games maturity is never lost on you due to its appearance.

Sound

Sound is where I initially had an issue, not because of the background music (that part is great), but because of the dialogue. If you've ever played a Sims game, then you know how hilarious or frustrating it can be to deal with characters who speak a made up language. Brothers puts you in a similar situation. In Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons, no one speaks English, or any language known to man for that matter. This initially irritated me because due the lack of an identifiable language, you can never really be sure of what's being said. However, in Brothers, you're never totally lost when it comes to the dialogue because of the way that gestures have been effectively implemented. From watching the gestures of the characters you can pick up on all that you need to know, and by the end of the first chapter I was completely over the games absence of an official language.

Controls

Ah, the controls! Ever heard someone say that they disliked the PlayStation 3 because it had an uncomfortable controller? Well I have, and I never took that statement seriously. I mean why should I? I have tiny woman hands that fit perfectly on the PlayStation 3 controller - that is until I played this game! This game has the potential to make you hate your Dualshock! Brothers is a game that requires you to use both joysticks simultaneously in order to control both brothers. While it's a unique concept, it becomes rather tedious and extremely tiring, very quickly. Learning to use both joysticks, and at times a combination of other buttons, requires some brain training. I often found myself forgetting which joystick controlled which brother. As a result I also found myself moving them in opposite directions when I thought I was moving them in unison. One of the best ways to avoid this issue is to pay attention to which brother belongs to which joystick. From there, make a continuous effort to keep each brother on his respective side of the controller. Even still, I found myself having difficulty when I was required to use other buttons simultaneously. Eventually I was repeating levels, my hands were cramping, and I ended up rage quitting for a brief period. The button and joystick design of the PlayStations 3's dualshock controller didn't exactly make things any easier and because of that, I cannot say with certainty that the control design was actually faulty on Starbreeze Studios end. Perhaps, playing with an Xbox 360 or 3rd party controller would help.

Gameplay

Despite the somewhat difficult controls, the overall gameplay of Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons is actually quite fun. Through a combination of beautiful scenery, soothing music, and mildly complex puzzles, Brothers manages to strike a perfect balance between relaxing and perplexing. Some puzzle games are beyond difficult, leaving you to face impenetrable conundrums that Professor Layton himself would have difficulty solving. Brothers, however avoids putting off players in such a manner. Instead, while you may find yourself scratching your head at a few puzzles, none of them will be so ridiculously, excruciatingly hard that you'll lose interest. No, instead of being a pain in your backside, the puzzles in Brothers feel more like satisfying brainteasers designed to pleasurably stimulate your mind, all the while still inducing - for the most part - a state of relaxation. Throughout this all, Starbreeze Studios magnificently uses the gameplay to tell the story of not only your two main protagonists but also that of the people and creatures that you meet along the way. Overall, while the gameplay does have its hiccups (*cough* Controls! *cough, cough*) it's still nothing shy of an amazingly inimitable experience!

Conclusion

Brothers is a remarkable game! It's distinctive, intriguing, moving; and most importantly, it's entertaining! Brothers soundly combines a fully immersive storyline that is guaranteed to pull at your heart strings, with fun and addictive gameplay, making it a must download game! And with a 14.99 (or when I played it, free via PSN) price point and a 90/100 metacritic score, you really can't go wrong. It is a game that I highly recommend and by the end of it you'll be glad you listened!

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