It’s such a rare treat to play an indie game with a beautiful story and setting.
One that makes you smile and sometimes curse the skies, Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons does exactly this.
The game is strange to say the least, you control two brothers each using one analogue stick and a trigger button, the eldest on the left and the younger on the right.
You control both at the same time and I’ll be honest, it took me a while to get used to this, once your brain accomplishes a task that’s akin to patting your head and rubbing your stomach you are ready to explore this fantastic world.
The Brothers who are never named are just getting over the tragic death of their mother when their father falls ill, an old healer in the village tells the boys about the sap from a tree across the land with which their father could be healed and off the boys trot to find this cure.
You will be hard pressed to understand the boys as the language is gibberish, the body movements, pointing and general stance of people tells you everything you need to know, the almost simlish language doesn’t really matter, it is less of a barrier and just something you step over.
When first attempting the top down puzzler it can be confusing, the puzzles themselves are easy to solve but with moving at the same time it can become slightly troublesome at first.
The beginning area of your home town seems to be filled with mean people who don’t understand your plight, this also serves as a mini tutorial teaching you how puzzles and the control of the brothers work. It also sets up some standard rules such as the younger brother being unable to swim which creates some bigger challenges.
The two brothers can interact with many items and people, the eldest usually very straight forward opening his scroll and asking folks where the tree is, the younger is more playful sometimes playing pranks on people, sticking his tongue out or generally being a brat.
When it comes to movement each brother is quite equal except the elder has more strength.
The game was created by Swedish film maker Josef Fares and you can tell.
It plays often like a scripted film, things happen and there is a larger story to tell, watching interviews with Josef he speaks about being influenced by story driven games like Heavy Rain and this really comes across. The plat forming and action are OK in this game but it is the story that kept me gripped for hours.
The world is amazingly realised and at times I forgot I was playing an indie title, in a world full of mythical creatures, where you wander through a giants battlefield and over the victims of said battle you can become lost, especially when the score comes in.
The score is beautiful, a wandering vocalised style score that is soothing yet disconcerting. There is a point where you are flying on a glider that just equals pure bliss and reminded me of why I play games in the first place, if I could somehow obtain the score to this I would, sombre, beautiful and uplifting. Which presents all the emotion you really need in a game.
My only gripe would be the time it took to complete, I really raced through it but this is not a game you can easily put down which is a compliment. I reckon I got through the entire game in around 6 hours, my timer had it at 8 but I had something to eat in-between.
You accomplish a lot in a short period of time and it is a game to easily lose yourself in but you may be disappointed with the short period of time it took.
With a great ending and an amazing overall feeling the game comes highly recommended from myself, I doubt you will find a better indie game this summer especially on XBLA.
I give the game 8/10 nerds
If it had been longer it could have easily garnered a 9 but the short time forbids me to go that far. I loved every minute of it and implore you to go and enjoy the minutes too.
The game is out now on XBLA and will be available on Steam and PSN later this year.
We received a copy from Dan at www.headstream.com Thank you!!!