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 (12,719 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."
Read the full review here.

Reviews

“"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

    Minimum:
    • 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
303 of 358 people (85%) found this review helpful
6.2 hrs on record
Posted: November 12
NOTE: This is a shortened review without screenshots.For my full review, please visit RealGamerReviews

People that have played Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons usually fall into two groups. The first group of people looked at the glowing reviews that this game received, tried it, then found it stupendously overhyped and underwhelming. Then, there’s the other group, who found the game to be perfect. I am glad to say that I belong to the latter party.The late great film critic Roger Ebert once said that videogames can never be art, a controversial statement at best and blatantly offensive and wrong at worst. With that said, we’re going to have to forgive Mr. Ebert, because a)He was great at what he did, and b) He never got the chance to experience Brothers: A Tale of two Sons.

Story:
You play as two brothers who are sent off on a journey to find a cure for their father’s ailment. You, as the player, are tasked to guide the two brothers through multiple trials and tribulations throughout a variety of beautiful and mystifying locations. Along the way, you will encounter numerous characters, many of which are heavily inspired from classic fairytales and fantasy mythology. There is so much more to talk about here, but once again, this is something you really need to experience yourself. You really will get more out of this game if you go in mostly blind.

It’s worth noting that the game is completely dialogue-free. No, I don’t mean that the game merely lacks voice acting. I mean that there is essentially no actual dialogue – voice or text, in the game at all. Sort of. The characters technically do talk, but in a fantasy language without translation. Instead, the story and interactions are told through beautifully-animated gestures and changes in tone and inflections. Despite this, there is never any ambiguity about what’s happening on-screen, and somehow, the game manages to weave a heartfelt story that, at times, can truly invoke a heavy feeling in the chest.

Gameplay:
Brothers is a story-driven adventure/puzzle game with a novel control scheme. Each brother is mapped to a single stick on the controller. The left and right stick/shoulder buttons control the older and younger brother, respectively. It’s a unique control scheme for sure, in the sense that this game looks like a co-op game for two players, but is actually a single player game, intended to be played on the same controller. The challenge in the game is largely dependent on the player’s ability to co-ordinate both characters at once. The ambidextrous be warned – this game will probably offer you very little challenge.

It’s worth pointing out at this point that contrary to what the text in the orange box says on the store page on Steam, a controller is not required to play the game. The game will work fine using a keyboard, and you’ll be more than able to progress to the end of the game without a controller. With that said, a controller is strongly recommended for this game.

For the combat-oriented players – sorry, but this game is completely combat-free. Instead, the game largely involves puzzles comprised of environmental interactions and exploration. Each brother has their own perks. The older, taller and stronger brother is able to reach heights, boost the younger brother, push levers and swim, whilst the younger brother can fit into smaller spaces. Unfortunately, delving into more of the interactions between the two brothers would spoil the game for you.

The game is never overly challenging or frustrating. OOT Water Temple this is not. Puzzles are, for the most part, fairly straightforward, but are often challenging enough to invoke a sense of satisfaction when you do overcome them. Death can and likely will occur, but checkpoints are frequent, sparing you from repeating the same segments repeatedly.
One of my only gripes, gameplay-wise, was the repetition of some of the puzzles. Using the big brother to boost the little brother up to a ledge got very old very quickly. With that said, even the puzzles that are solved the same way are often presented in a different setting, with a different outcome, which helps to keep them fresh.

My only other "criticism" is that this game is short and lacks any compelling reason to go back to it after you’re finished. This is, unfortunately, a consequence of any game that is primarily narrative-driven. The game does support achievements, but these involve optional, easily-missed activities in the game, and are neither challenging or particularly satisfying to obtain.

Presentation:
This game is beautiful. Not the realistic kind of beautiful that we’d expect from AAA games such as … The Watch Dogs E3 trailer, but appropriately beautiful. You would not want to play this game and have it look like anything other than what it looks like. The world that Brothers takes place in is strikingly magnificent. The town you begin your journey in is vibrant and colourful, whilst later settings are often appropriately darker and harsher. The shadowing and lighting in this game also look tremendous.

The most impressive aspect of the graphics however, is the incredible work that was done to illustrate the enormous scale of the game. No matter where you are, there is always a lot going on in the background, making you feel incredibly small and insignificant in the grand scheme of things – something that will be very familiar to those that have played the God of War series, or the critically acclaimed Shadow of the Colossus. Moving to new locations was often breathtaking, although each individual is area is so gorgeous on its own that it's hard to move on.

This, of course, was no accident. The game was clearly deliberately designed to immerse you in the environment, and allows you to interact with almost everything, despite the fact that this is completely optional and you are not awarded with anything other than the short animation that accompanies your action. In other words, the game doesn’t force you, or even encourage you (from a gameplay perspective) to sit on a bench in town and really take in the gorgeous scenery, but you, the player, will want to anyway.

The music and sounds also complement the game perfectly, and contribute immensely to the emotional impact of the game. I’ve honestly listened to the music numerous times since finishing the game, and all the emotions I experienced from the game just come rushing back. I honestly can’t fault a single thing about the audio in this game, as I feel that it perfectly complements both the emotions and the atmosphere that are conveyed.

Overall thoughts:
In case it wasn’t obvious, I loved Brothers. There is very little about the game that I can fault. With that said, I’ll admit it’s not for everybody. The game is very narrative-driven and requires a heavy emotional investment – something that not every gamer is prepared to, capable, or willing to do. It’s worth noting that this game could very well have been another To The Moon, or Gone Home – games which I personally loved, and are very story/emotionally-driven, but lack any real gameplay, closely flirting with the definition of what a “Game” truly is. No one played either of those two games and said “Wow, that was fun”, because plain and simple, the gameplay in those two games are complete garbage. Brothers, however, manages to capture the same kind of narrative and emotion (and arguably exceeds them both) without compromising on the gameplay. There is no doubt in anyone’s mind that this is, in fact, a game. That is the true magic of Brothers.
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80 of 97 people (82%) found this review helpful
4.3 hrs on record
Posted: October 21
A very beautiful game which has a lovely emotional story and all controlled in a very unique way that tests how ambidextrous you are. A must buy.
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58 of 69 people (84%) found this review helpful
2.4 hrs on record
Posted: October 25
This game shows, says, and impacts you more in its 3 hour duration than nearly any other game can do in 100 or more.
Video game story-telling reaches its pinacle in this game. The gameplay, pacing, enviornment, and gibberish-spewing characters all coalesse into a game that makes you feel happiness, frivolity, intensity, melancholly, dismay, suspense, terror, and most overbearingly, that motley mix of pride and deep sadness at the game's end.

Beautiful visuals: artistic and technical. Plays solid. Gameplay's very innovative and welcomed.
2 Brothers out of 2.
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38 of 49 people (78%) found this review helpful
5.6 hrs on record
Posted: November 5
A Masterpiece.
I never expected to enjoy this game so much.
Amazing gfx, deeply immersive, a surreal fantasy world, and so many emotions even without a single written dialogue.
Thank you for the amazing experience..!
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23 of 28 people (82%) found this review helpful
3.9 hrs on record
Posted: September 20
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.
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23 of 28 people (82%) found this review helpful
7.6 hrs on record
Posted: July 23
I have to confess that I bought this game by mistake in the last summer sale. I thought I did a stupid purchase. (Back then i said: OMG im an idiot, why did you pay for this trashy game?....)

It's really great when you discover something good in your stupidity.

Brothers a Tale of Two Sons is a really good game, simple, short and emotional.

Its really easy but besides of that, the game is fantastic.

I strongly recommend you to buy this game on sale or perhaps in a bundle.
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18 of 20 people (90%) found this review helpful
3.1 hrs on record
Posted: December 21
Wonderful game. Stunning graphics. Emotional story. Too lazy to write a full review just buy it and cry
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27 of 36 people (75%) found this review helpful
4.3 hrs on record
Posted: July 4
As the tale begins .. "A man, clinging to life. His two sons, desperate to cure their ailing father, are left with but one option..."

.. that's right, to go on an epic bro-tastic quest to save him!

Starbreeze studios have created a fantasy world in Brothers that oozes with vibrance, life & atmosphere that really makes the world come alive. This is complemented by excellently detailed character animations & enviromental/weather effects that give additional impact to every scene (and they look really good!). Camera selection/direction is fluid & enhances each specific scene, drawing attention to a beautiful vista or the next path to take. There are also park benches throughout the game, where the bros can sit to view the gorgeous panoramic scenery. This was a really nice touch!

Each controller stick & trigger controls each brother independantly (Left for big bro, Right for lil bro). Dubbed as 'Single player Co-op', this mode of play makes for some interesting gameplay mechanics & puzzle solving challenges (not to mention the challenge of actually coordinating your brain to control two players at once!). Its not that easy trust me lol! The rest of the game in general is very forgiving & overall isn't too puzzling &/or difficult to complete.

Exploring, you can find some fun Easter Eggs, some relating to achievements, but others that are just there to make you smile and have a fun moment :)

For me, the real stand out feature in Brothers was the story, which is a bit strange to say really, as there is actually no understandable dialog in the entire game! Everyone speaks a gibberish language you cannot understand. This actually works in the game's favor due to the quality animation & scene direction; you just understand what is going on naturally & the details of it all become irrelevant. Interestingly, the emotions become more relevant as you watch the brother's story unfold.

It's impressive storytelling, exploring (among other things) family, sacrifice & loss, helping others & overcoming fears, along with some heartwarming & heartbreaking moments too. All moving you forward to the unforgettable conclusion (which might just stick with you for a while).

Overall, Brothers has smooth & relaxing gameplay, devoid of any of those frustrating gamer moments. Impressive graphics, quality sound effects & a musical score that drives the emotional impact throughout extremely well. It's a short, but memorable 4-5 hour experience with immersive storytelling & plenty of adventurous 'Indiana Jones & Tomb Raider-esque' action sequences to enjoy.

Great bro-tastic experience! Great adventure game!
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22 of 28 people (79%) found this review helpful
3.2 hrs on record
Posted: August 30
Absolutely stunning. Wish more games were like this. Jaw-dropping world, intuitive, fun gameplay and puzzles, and a heartstring-tugging story told without words. Recommended!
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13 of 13 people (100%) found this review helpful
4.3 hrs on record
Posted: December 27
Not a bad game overall the game play is smooth and the controls take a little bit to get used to, but once you get used to the feel it's not to bad, it is very short-lived finished in 4 hours.

I like the way they have a story without the characters speaking a real language, sometimes pictures are louder than words.

Is it worth the money on discount yes on its normal retail price maybe not due to short gameplay
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58 of 96 people (60%) found this review helpful
6.5 hrs on record
Posted: November 20
This Game makes me Cry even though i can't understand a single Language in this game. 10/10 would develop again
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58 of 96 people (60%) found this review helpful
4.1 hrs on record
Posted: September 7
After all the praise this game has received, my expectations were quite high. However, after playing through, I'm a bit disappointed. The gameplay was repetitive and most of the puzzles were obvious. The story was ok, I guess, but a bit cliched, and it didn't fully succeed in making me care very much about the characters.
On the upside: The game is at times very pretty, the scenery varied. Some of the humorous and/or fascinating details scattered throughout the game made me smile. It's also fairly easy, making it a relaxing experience - perfect for Sunday afternoons. And, considering the short length of the game, it never gets outright boring, although it comes close at times.
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16 of 20 people (80%) found this review helpful
3.2 hrs on record
Posted: December 5
I really recommend this game.
Its an amazing adventure, the story is great, full of life and death, and really gives you the feels at the end.
The controls of this game are amazing since its a game where you control 2 brothers with only one gamepad (yes, i recommend a gamepad for this game).

Visually stuning, has great story, nice gameplay and soundtrack, funny achievments and 3 hours of feels and enjoyment.
For the price you can get this, is 200% worth.
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18 of 24 people (75%) found this review helpful
3.4 hrs on record
Posted: November 14
Rarely does a game come a long which can take you through emotional highs and lows. Rarer still is a game which blends those emotional experiences so seemlessly with the gameplay mechanics instead of shoving it down your throat in lengthy cutscenes. Brothers is a shining example of a successful blend of story and mechanics. The game's puzzles are well designed and feel satisfying to solve, almost always making use of the 'one player coop' asymmetry between the characters in unique and celver ways to progress through the game. Brother's Environments are extremely varied from grand mountain vistas to muted yet intricate caves. It feels like a world teeming with interesting fables and legend, yet the game insists on leaving lore and backstory to your imagination. This means the pacing feels pretty impecible throughout.

Now, the game's characters don't speak a word of English. Pretty much all of the communication between characters is done via body language. This perhaps sounds a little pretentious - but it works SO much better this way. Never did I feel like I didn't understand what a character was trying to communicate. Admittedly it was jarring at first, but after a half hour you'll start to see why this method of communication works in harmony with the game.

I won't spoil what makes up this game's 'emotional' qualities. - and I know you want to punch me in the face for saying "emotional qualities". Just know that Brothers isn't just a sad game. Quite the opposite, it makes you feel a range of emotions. This game is funny, charming, thoughtful and touching. For me personally it's had a greater emotional impact in its 4 hour length than any film, book or indeed game I've ever played. All that whilst not saying a single word of English. Do yourself a favour, lock yourself away for a few hours, play this game from start to finish and immerse yourself in the story.

As a final note - I would recommend playing this game with a gamepad. Wait! Don't through your pitchforks yet! The game still plays on a keyboard - though this game feels like it's built for a controller in mind. I would argue that keyboard control would detract from experience, and I'm pretty damn ardent about mah keyboard n' mouse.
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16 of 21 people (76%) found this review helpful
4.1 hrs on record
Posted: October 12
The only word to describe this game is: beautiful. The art direction, soundtrack, color patterns, interaction with the world, controls... everything is beautiful. Especially interactions and the responses of the items or people (wouldn't like to call them NPC's in such a game) depending on the brother you're interacting at that time makes this game astonishingly brilliant. Being directly involved in some major happenings (like at the giant tree, near the end of the game) makes it more than a simple platformer and enhances the game's influence on your emotions as you are doing those specific actions. Preference of using the player's involvement rather than showing those kinds of events as cutscenes turns this simple story to a bond between the game and the gamer.

Only negative points are:
Mostly holding LT and RT buttons might become tiring for fingers after a while.
Controller direction settings are set for XBOX gamepads, which are different than most of the gamepads on the market in terms of locations of digital and analog movement buttons, therefore while you're controlling a brother with analog, you'll control the other with digital and this kinda diminishes the revolutionary control system.
Game is too short and would love to play more of this.
Puzzles could have been harder (?).


At the end, it is a great experience to participate in the tale of two brothers.
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17 of 23 people (74%) found this review helpful
2.6 hrs on record
Posted: October 24
Brothers left me speechless. Let first say to anyone looking for a short review, "Buy this game. It is 100% worth any money you will spend on it." I would also like to take a humble moment to confess that this game made me cry. Yes, I cried.

Now that the confession is out of the way, this game is a work of art. The story telling in this game is so fulfilling that the fact that story includes no dialogue only adds to the art form.

The player is greeted in the beginning with horrifying story of a boy not able to save his mother from drowning and having to deal with emotional stress as a young child. The story continues by giving the two brothers the task of curing their sick father. The story itself is an adventure in emotion and storytelling. The brothers venture off into an unknown world coming across all sorts of different people and creatures, both needing help and helping the brothers along the way. A wonderful part of the story is the side stories that you stumble upon that have nothing to do with main plot. It’s a rich element of character to an already impressive story.

For the second part of this review, let’s talk about the controls. The game is designed to use an Xbox style of controller utilizing the analog sticks to individually control each brother. Interaction with the environment is as simple as pressing the triggers, one for each brother. It is a lesson in coordination that for this guy was occasionally challenging. If the brothers swapped sides on the screen from the layout of the control sticks, it confused my thumbs. But I would not give up the uniqueness of these controls.

This may have been a short game (approx. 4-5 hours) but the story and cinematography outshined anything. A truly unique game and must play.
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17 of 23 people (74%) found this review helpful
3.2 hrs on record
Posted: November 1
+ Musical score, while limited, did a fantastic job setting the tone
+ Absolutely fantastic environments
+ Creative creature and level design
+ Rich, incredible atmosphere
+ Without discernable dialogue, tells a great story; will leave you with emotional trauma
+ Unique gameplay for a platformer
+ Controls and movement were smooth and simple

- "Puzzles" were far, far too easy
- Ending dragged on a bit
- Game was very short (less than 3 hours on my first playthrough)
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10 of 11 people (91%) found this review helpful
4.2 hrs on record
Posted: August 3
Absolutely amazing.

Brothers is a short game (3 hours or so, maybe 4-5 if you're going for all the achievements) but the experience is very rich that is packed with detail and incredibly polished. The unique controls (one 'half' of a controller for each brother) make it unlike anything else out there, and the ease of the controls make it very accessible to almost all audiences.

A great game if you want to feel something epic and substantial in a short period of time (like a lazy afternoon on a weekend). Whether you think the $15 price tag is worth it for 3 hours of content is up to you, but it's definitely worth picking up on a sale.
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10 of 11 people (91%) found this review helpful
3.1 hrs on record
Posted: December 26
Breathtakingly beautiful backgrounds, simple-enough puzzles that are still satisfying to solve, and a truly touching story that not only uses no words to tell it but makes the controls an integral part, adding extra gravitas at just the right moments.

And yes, I did shed a few tears.

Video games can be art when they're made to be and when it's done right. This game is definitive proof, and worth every penny despite the fairly short ~3 hour playtime.
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12 of 16 people (75%) found this review helpful
3.9 hrs on record
Posted: November 23
A very short & bittersweet game that is full of heart and touching moments despite the fact that the language is intentionally made-up gibberish but the beauty of it all is that you can still understand what's going on without knowing what's being said. It is also one of the saddest games I've ever played.
During the 3 or so hours that it will take you to complete the game you'll trek across picturesque landscapes filled with wonder and danger as you solve simple yet clever puzzles by controlling both brothers (use of a gamepad is strongly recommended). You'll also encounter a lonely and sad troll-like being who helps you navigate the environment and whom in turn you help by rescuing his captured mate. At another point you can stop a heartbroken man from commiting suicide and help him to come to terms with the death of his loved ones. It's no wonder that the game won Best Xbox Game at the VGX 2013 awards :)

9/10
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