My review of the innovative adventure story from 2013.
A Paladin’s Steam Review: Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons. One of my Favorite Tales of All Time.
- Genre: Short Adventure Puzzler.
- Developed & Published by: Starbreeze Studios AB & 505 Games
- Platform: Windows and Xbox 360.
- Business Model: Base Game.
- Copy Purchased by Myself
Overall Gameplay & Story Thoughts
Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons is an adventure title with a unique control scheme. Two boys set out to find a cure for their ailing father and take an adventure across a sweeping landscape to obtain it. Through villages, over frozen lakes, underneath mountains, saving people and creatures alike, Brothers is a game that achieves a cinematic edge to it while making sure the player is involved as much as possible. It’s a small, heartfelt yet epic tale that never oversteps what it sets out to do. The brothers don’t speak English (none of the characters do) so the entire story is told through the gameplay and what’s happening onscreen. And while English is never spoken, you can understand the events going on well enough through their actions and how they talk.
I thought I was much too cynical to get shook up emotionally by a game ever again with such a “simple” story. I was wrong, very very wrong. I smiled, I laughed, I was surprised, I was shocked and I even teared up at one point. I just didn’t expect that to ever happen. It’s pretty darn rare to get shaken up emotionally and I think the main reason is how connected you are to the characters through the controls.
I still stand by what I said. There are only a handful of games that have affected me as Brothers did and I enjoyed it all the more for it.
The game has the story and mechanics mix almost perfectly. You control both brothers with the two joysticks on your controller. Which at first wouldn’t seem like a big deal, but it forms the basis of the rest of the game and the puzzles. It’s a bit janky to control the brothers and can sometimes be a little more difficult than you would imagine. But you eventually get used to it and the game would be worse off without it. Controlling them requires a controller, there isn’t any way around that. What surprised me most was that you interact with many of the events in this story that I expect to be thrown into a cutscene. Which makes the emotional impact of some scenes all the harder.
PC Settings & Console Notes
Settings are limited due its console roots but overall the game looks rather good, even if it’s not going to blow your socks off. There isn’t any Steam Cloud (not that it’s really necessary) and all the settings are managed in the launcher. All two of them (resolution & v-sync + keybindings). However, the game didn’t have any framerate or crashing issues on my end. PCGamingWiki Article
This is a game worth the single playthrough you’ll get from it. You’ll get around 3 hours from the playthrough and it’ll leave one hell of an impression. There are few games that leave such a mark in my mind and Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons is one of them. The unique control scheme and the game’s insistence that the player be involved as much as possible is well done. I have few complaints with Brothers. This was my GOTY for 2013 and it was earned.
Thanks for reading!