The lights are on
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.
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.
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
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.
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
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!
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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