Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons is nothing short of fantastic. The player controls both characters, where the player goes on an epic journey across all kinds different landscapes just to find a certain important object, which can save a certain someone. I don't want to give too much away b/c this game is absolutely epic, personal, and moving.
Brothers: ATOTS is basically a cross b/t a platformer, puzzle-game, and adventure game (like say a very-linear Tomb Raider game made before TR 2013) - but, there is absolutely no combat here what-so-ever. Brothers feels like it is something straight out of a classic fairy-tale or fable, drenched with tons of personality in its art direction & art design. It's nothing short of wonderful, with its excellent story-book look and feel. This couldn't have been done any better.
Most things here are not said to the player via dialogue or any sort of narration, they are shown to the player. There is no English dialogue - everything here is spoken in a language that sounds like its right out of The Sims' own Sim-language of gibberish. You come to conclusions, based on what you see on screen and how things are laid out and presented to you. Everything is meticulously placed, from the environments to characters - and a lot can be inferred given just how an area is laid out, how a character is placed, and whatnot. This kind of subtlety does remind me of how sometimes Dark Souls tells stories for namely those who are really playing attention, without even cracking one word of dialogue at times - except, this game never cracks one word of dialogue.
When played with a X360 controller (which is how I played this game), the player controls one brother w/ the left stick + interact w/ object w/ one of the left triggers, while the other brothers is controlled w/ the right stick + one of the right triggers. Nothing else I can think of feels like this, gameplay-wise. This feels extremely unique, in which you are basically playing a Co-Op style game...basically all by your lonesome self. It's genius and absolutely brilliant. You will need to control each brother at the right time sometimes; simultaneously sometimes (which can be confusing at first, and then joyous and awesome once you get the feel down correctly and execute a set-piece correctly); or do things in a certain manner to advance further in the game and story. All of the set pieces here are fantastic and extremely well put together. From every story set-piece to every gameplay set-piece, everything is put together in such a manner in which it's integrated extremely well with each other. Each brother has their own advantages and disadvantages - one brother is much taller + stronger, while the other brother is smaller + skinnier. This can help lead players on how to figure out what to do in certain situations + encounters. Maybe the big brother needs to give the little brother a boost, so they can reach a ledge. Maybe the younger brother can squeeze through bars that his bigger brother can't get between. Thankfully, the puzzles aren't hard, obscure, or ridiculous - but the player likely will have a bunch of "Aha!" moments, once the players realize how to make the brothers work together in the correct context and manner. Everything (difficulty-wise) is, as Goldilocks would say, "just right."
While it likely won't take players likely very long to finish, Brothers is an absolutely unforgettable journey that must be experienced. Players will be moved by this fantastic experience, once it reaches its jaw-dropping conclusion. Taking my time, it took me somewhere around 4-5 hours to finish. It is a delightful experience, every single solitary step of the way. This game should be experienced by every gamer and should not be missed. This story-book, fairytale-like, and fable-like experience here is brought to life absolutely beautifully.
Posted: February 19th, 2014