Guide two brothers on an epic fairy tale journey from visionary Swedish film director, Josef Fares and top-tier developer Starbreeze Studios. Control both brothers at once as you experience co-op play in single player mode, like never before.
User reviews: Overwhelmingly Positive (11,036 reviews)
Release Date: Sep 3, 2013

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Recommended By Curators

"My top game of 2013 and probably of all time. A truly unique game in which you control a pair of brothers on a quest to save their father. Powerful."
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May 30

This weekend only - 60% off the multi-award-winning game of 2013

Winner of dozens of awards in 2013 including the DICE Award for Best Downloadable Game and BAFTA Award for Innovation, Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons is a must for any discerning gamer.

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“"Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons is an exquisitely told story set in a world overflowing with personality. It’s an immersive, emotional gem that’s not to be missed."”
4.5/5 – Adventure Gamers

Steam Big Picture

About This Game

Guide two brothers on an epic fairy tale journey from visionary Swedish film director, Josef Fares and top-tier developer Starbreeze Studios.

Control both brothers at once as you experience co-op play in single player mode, like never before.

Solve puzzles, explore the varied locations and fight boss battles, controlling one brother with each thumbstick.

A man, clinging to life. His two sons, desperate to cure their ailing father, are left with but one option. They must set out upon a journey to find and bring back the "Water of Life" as they come to rely on one another to survive. One must be strong where the other is weak, brave where the other is fearful, they must be... Brothers.

This is one journey you will never forget.

System Requirements

    • OS: Windows XP SP3
    • Processor: 2.4 GHz Dual Core Processor
    • Memory: 2 GB RAM
    • Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce 8600 /ATI Radeon HD 2600
    • DirectX: Version 9.0
    • Hard Drive: 2 GB available space
    • Additional Notes: Initial installation requires one-time internet connection for Steam authentication; software installations required (included with the game) include Steam Client, DirectX 9, Microsoft .NET 4 Framework, Visual C++ Redistributable 2010, and AMD CPU Drivers (XP Only/AMD Only)
Helpful customer reviews
309 of 357 people (87%) found this review helpful
3.6 hrs on record
Personal Rating: "Classic - Must buy"
Traditional Rating: 9/10
Genre: Puzzle/Platformer

Brothers - A Tale of Two Sons is essentially a tale about what it means to grow up and face our fears around our own deaths when we realize in late childhood that no one person, animal or even plant or tree lives forever. The acknowledgement that one day we will all pass from this mortal world is just one of the many transitions from childhood to adulthood we must accept. Brothers - A Tale of Two Sons is the first game I have played to use such a weighty thematic element such as death and to use to so beautifully.

So its no surprise then that Brothers - A Tale of Two Sons journey begins with a death, arguably one of the most tragic lessons life can bestow upon a young child when a young and naive Nayee, one of the two brothers of the title, witnesses the death of his mother and is unable to help or save her from her fate. Because of this - Nayee's father sees the child as weak and bestows most of his tokenism and love on his eldest and favorite son - Nayaa. When the boys father becomes gravely ill and finds himself on death's doorstep both boys are encouraged by the Elder-tribesman and sage of the village to undertake a journey to The Tree of Life which is said to contain a powerful sap that restores life.

Where Nayee is fearful, weak and young, Nayaa is brave, strong and on the cusp of becoming a man. Their journey will test their brotherly love for one another as they race to save a father from deaths icy grasp. It's also through this journey that Nayee will begin his own transition into adulthood, eventually determining and defining his own inner wells of courage and strength that enable him to make peace with the loss of his mother even when the cost of these lessons comes at the cost of another life. Since the central theme of the game deals with ones mortality and how this affects us and those around us, almost every single turn during Nayee and Nayaa's journey the two brothers will be confronted with death in all its shapes and forms and while the symbolism may be a tad bit heavy-handed it conveys the central message beautifully.

Instead of placing the gamer solely in Nayee' shoes, Brothers - A Tale of Two Sons lets the player control both brothers. This is done through each analogue stick on the controller with the left and right trigger buttons becoming each brothers action key. At first it can be a bit tricky navigating some of the games environments but it's not long before one snaps into a routine simply just pointing each analogue stick in the direction one wants each brother to go. Having the player fill the shoes of both brothers (although this is arguably Nayee's tale) , Nayaa no longer exists simply as character in the game but as an actual extension of the player. Along the way there will be some environmental puzzles to navigate but nothing too taxing that the solution doesn't immediately jump out at you when you examine it. If Brothers - A Tale of Two Sons has a weakness then it would have to be this puzzle element which rarely requires any thought from its player. I can understand, however, why they probably did this since the journey the brothers face is one where the luxury of time is not a given. The fact that one can race through all the areas quite quickly does add a sense of urgency to the tale but many will probably bemoan the asking price ($14.99 and the roughly three hours play you get out of it) and miss the meaning behind it all completely. The game makes use of the Unreal 3 engine and as would be expected from an engine that gave life to some of the most amazing and beautiful games from last gen, it looks quite incredible. Its also matched with a very low-fi soundtrack that suits the melancholy perfectly.

Brothers - A Tale of Two Sons is also like a love letter to ICO, that PS2 critical darling and gem of a game that went on to become a Playstation cult favorite and which is still regarded by many (myself included) to be one of the finest games ever created. Like Brothers - A Tale of Two Sons, ICO was also short in length and featured two protagonists in similar constricting circumstances that drew the gamer into its world causing them to feel a range of emotions for a set of pixels. It did feature combat (although to be honest the combat always felt out of place, like it had been tacked on because the publisher was most likely a little unsure how such an artistic, existential game could ever co-exist in a market dominated by first person shooters). The fact it went to on to become a smash-hit I can only thank the gods of small mercies for because without ICO there would be no Brothers - A Tale of Two Sons, no Gone Home, no The Walking Dead Season 1.

Personally at the end of it all I really loved Brothers - A Tale of Two Sons and the message it conveys is a powerful and deeply felt one. While it may not reach the heights that ICO achieved it should leave every single gamer who experiences its tale deeply emotionally satisfied and possibly moved. This is the sort of game you should honestly spend full price on and not wait for a sale because these experiences only come along every once in a while and should be applauded and what better way to applaud something really special by giving it its proper value so we can hopefully see more.

Highly, highly recommended!
Posted: May 7
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114 of 156 people (73%) found this review helpful
3.9 hrs on record

While Starbreeze has enjoyed acclaim from it's previous releases, the studio hasn't exactly built it's reputation on creating whimsical worlds with moving narratives. Both Chronicles of Riddick and The Darkness gave their players dark and gritty worlds to explore and some unique gameplay twists to hook players. With such a pedigree Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons stands out as being wholly against type. It's the video game equivalent of Martin Scorsese’s Hugo, stepping away from subject matter reserved for mature audiences to deliver a memorable experience that can be enjoyed by audiences both young and old. While seemingly stepping out of the comfort zone established by their track record, Brothers stands out as one of 2013's best, and most surprising, releases.

While the setting and tone of Brothers is a departure from Starbreeze's previous titles, they have maintained their fine tradition of offering refreshing gameplay mechanics. Each brother's ability to move is mapped to a joystick and each trigger acts as an interaction button for the corresponding brother. While some games have you changing between multiple characters to solve puzzles, Brothers allows you to control both characters simultaneously reducing the tedium of having to switch between characters or deliver commands to AI companions. Initially, this control setup may seem a bit clumsy but after taking a few moments to acclimate yourself to the setup it becomes natural. The brothers will face numerous challenges and all of them can be overcome with a bit of teamwork. Having the older, stronger brother boost his young sibling up to high ledges so that he can drop a rope is a small example in a long list of ways in which the boys can join forces to overcome the obstacles in their way. Starbreeze deserves high praise for finding so many unique ways to test players and make the most of the brother's teamwork. This is a major reason that A Tale of Two Sons succeeds. Throughout the three hour game, players will shift the brother's weight to steer a glider, use a rope that tethers the boys together to swing to far away ledges, distract a pesky dog with one brother so that the other brother can pass through an area safely and so on. In spite of how many different challenges players will face, it's not difficult to figure out what to do next. Unfortunately, this reprieve from frustration is complicated by a nasty side effect: Brothers is way too easy. Most players will feel completely untested by the puzzles and proceed almost entirely unopposed.

While it's ease means most players may not recall any of the specific challenges that make up Brother's campaign after completing it, they will almost undoubtedly remember the game's tone and narrative. The plot is simple, the boy's father falls ill and after taking him to the town doctor they are told to go in search of a cure. This is a terrible blow to the brothers since they have already lost their mother after she drowned; the younger brother in particular is scarred by her loss as he witnessed her struggle before she succumbed to the depths. Their willingness to undertake such a perilous journey is indicative how important it is to them not to loose anyone else with grief and loss becoming a central theme. While the plot is simple, it benefits from the fact that it's telling forgoes the use of dialogue. The characters speak in a made up unsubtitled language allowing players to hone in on the their inflections and gestures. This emphasis on feeling rather than exposition allows the events to soak in without being burdened by anything superfluous or disruptive to the experience. Further enriching the experience is the fact that dozens of objects and people can be interacted with that are wholly non-essential to progressing in the game and each brother interacts with these people or objects differently. The younger brother comes off as quite ornery and mischievous while his big brother is a well behaved and serious. Discovering these traits instead of having them force fed to players is far more rewarding.

Rounding out Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons as more of an experience than simply a game is it's stunning art direction and score. The fantasy world in A Tale of Two Sons is rendered in bright colors and it's texture work has an almost hand-painted quality. The home of the title characters is on the coast, near a sleepy village. This humble setting gradually gives way to more wondrous settings with picturesque mountain ranges, crystal clear bodies of water and vertigo inducing cliff sides. The studio relishes the game's aesthetics by placing benches around the world that the boys can sit on, allowing the camera to zoom in and create a post card worthy view of the game world. The colorful Disney-esque landscapes do eventually give way to some areas that have darker motifs adding a bit of gravity to the boys' trek as well as giving the world a story of it's own. While the environments are fantastic but the boys can appear a bit bland with their cartoon character skin textures and average NPC villager outerwear.

The soundtrack is haunting and nuanced, giving the proceedings a bit of dramatic flair without being too intrusive or overbearing. The somber flutes, strings and chanting that make up the bulk of what tickles player's ear drums has a unique sonic signature that adds a layer of personality to a game that, due to it's fantasy setting, has some derivative subject matter.

Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons may very well be this generation's Ico. It's seems that the Playstation 2's companion based cult classic was an inspiration for Starbreeze's game. Emphasizing emotion over raw exposition and dialogue, A Tale of Two Sons carves a space in players memories to reside long term. The plethora of puzzles prevents players from feeling burdened by tedious and stale routines and some darker moments later in the game remind players of the seriousness of their quest lest they get lost in the game's stunning, fantasy world. Were it more challenging, Brothers could have provided an almost flawless experience. While the gameplay may not give you a sense of accomplishment, the narrative payoff is significant enough to make A Tale of Two Sons a mandatory buy for any serious gamer.
Posted: May 21
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42 of 48 people (88%) found this review helpful
4.2 hrs on record
I heard a lot of good things about Brothers - A Tale of Two Sons and I'm so happy that is all true.

The story, at least in the beginning, don't seems nothing spectacular but the journey is beautiful and brilliant. Everyone in the game speaks some weird language, but as you get to know both of the brothers you will have a great time playing and interacting with everything and everyone in your way.

The gameplay is very different of any other game, but is pretty nice once you get used to it. The control itself is pretty simple, one button to do any action that is needed, but happily there is a lot of situations to explore this system and all of them is brilliant. You control both of the brothers at the same time and in some parts you will face challenges to do two different things using both of them to progress in the story.

The visual and the art direction is awesome beautiful. I can't describe how mesmerising is to see (and play) many parts of the game.

The music is also incredible, it brings you into the heart of the game. Sometimes you will feel like the brothers are feeling, sometimes it will push you up like if you were invincible. It will bring joy making you smile, but it will also brings you down. It connects you in the universe in a very strong way.

Unfortunately there is some negative points: the story is pretty short, about 3 hours of gameplay and that's it. Even the achievements are pretty easy to get after you complete the game and won't make you play more. The game does support keyboard (using the arrows, W,A,S,D, right control and spacebar), although I imagine the experience will not be that nice because the controls are unusual. I didn't test play using the keyboard, but that must be the reason Steam has an alert that says it requires a controller to play.

After all that, I'm glad to say that Brothers - A Tale of Two Sons is a very unique game and will give you an awesome experience. You must play it, or better yet, you must experience it. Now.

[Update on 07/01/2014]
- Thanks to DrSpoonbender for commenting and let me know about the keyboard support :)
Posted: June 28
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37 of 44 people (84%) found this review helpful
3.7 hrs on record
Right from the beginning this game grabs you hard by the feels, and doesn't let go... Not even when it's over. The story is fantastic, the game play is interesting, the achievements are all easily obtainable with only minor exploring. I have played games that took days to finish, that did not have the depth this game has, I recommend this to anybody.
Posted: June 15
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15 of 16 people (94%) found this review helpful
3.9 hrs on record
In Brothers – A Tale of two sons you need to work together so you can help your ill father. Making a game that push the emotional side may not be an easy task since everyone have their own personality, so while many can relate and feel empathy, to others the theme may just not click with them, at all. However, it’s best to play this game with an open mind, let yourself immerse in this small Story and see how important it is to work together for a good cause. While no game should ever be judged by its length, Brothers will not take you more than 3 to 5 hours to complete, yet, this is just the right amount of time to experience the adventure, to discover the world and to struggle in a place full of dangers -during day or night-, for a good cause, your father.

The way you control both brothers is not something many are used to and to some it was either annoying or hard to get around to some but I think it was a very creative idea. You see, a family is a very strong bond and should be something that you should cherish. It’s common to have a little fight with your little/older brother or sister in real life and that does not mean you don’t love him/her, it just mean that sometimes you need to adapt to a different way of thinking, a different taste in something, etc. The very same happens with the control scheme in this game, you need to train your brain to master both characters with each analog stick from your controller. It may not be easy at first but once you get used to, it gets a lot easier. And while you’re still adapting to this and you end up getting each brother to a different direction, well, that may also happen in real life. Just remember to cherish the moments with him because you never know what may happen.

There are some puzzles in the game but neither proved to be a hard challenge. The game focus more on storytelling than gameplay mechanics and while you adventure further and further, take a moment to sit down, stop for a bit and just enjoy the scenery, which by the way, is breathtaking; just don’t take too long, someone is waiting for you at home! Having an emotional focused game is always a risk but I believe Brothers managed to do it quite well in this short adventure with a strong ending and perhaps one or two surprises, just pay attention from the very start to make sure you don’t miss any interesting bits from the story right from the start.
Posted: September 20
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822 of 922 people (89%) found this review helpful
4.0 hrs on record
Prepare for an emotional rollercoaster with some great puzzle-platforming.

The game manages to deliver so much emotion even though the characters speak a completely made up language akin to The Sims.

Clocking in at about 3 hours it is indeed short but you will not feel cheated as the game packs a lasting impact that few story driven experiences manages to pull off.

Pure genious story telling.
Posted: November 5, 2013
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