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 (15,613 reviews)
Release Date: Sep 3, 2013

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Notice: Brothers - A Tale of Two Sons requires a controller to play

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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
496 of 573 people (87%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
6.2 hrs on record
Posted: November 12, 2014
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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105 of 118 people (89%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
3.1 hrs on record
Posted: December 21, 2014
Wonderful game. Stunning graphics. Emotional story. Too lazy to write a full review just buy it and cry
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86 of 103 people (83%) found this review helpful
5.6 hrs on record
Posted: November 5, 2014
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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34 of 36 people (94%) found this review helpful
3.1 hrs on record
Posted: December 26, 2014
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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37 of 41 people (90%) found this review helpful
4.3 hrs on record
Posted: December 27, 2014
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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35 of 38 people (92%) found this review helpful
3.4 hrs on record
Posted: January 25
All aboard the feels train! Next stop Feelippines.

What did i learn from this game?:

Family is everything
Goats are awesome
Bros before hoes
I can't hold all these feels
My hands don't cooperate and one of them think that the other one is ♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥

Overall:

Amazing storytelling and visuals. I would like to find out more about the lore of this game which i bet is awesome

Ezio would be proud!


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27 of 32 people (84%) found this review helpful
3.2 hrs on record
Posted: December 5, 2014
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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22 of 24 people (92%) found this review helpful
2 people found this review funny
2.9 hrs on record
Posted: January 8
Amazing game, tells a great story with an amazing soundtrack to match.

Note to self, if a blood cult is sacrificing someone, leave em to it, they know their stuff.
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24 of 31 people (77%) found this review helpful
3.4 hrs on record
Posted: November 14, 2014
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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13 of 16 people (81%) found this review helpful
2.5 hrs on record
Posted: December 26, 2014
wow. this game is amazing. I bought this game with 1.50 dollar at 2014 holiday sales. for my opinion it does worth more than 10 dollars. 9.5/10
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13 of 17 people (76%) found this review helpful
3.9 hrs on record
Posted: November 23, 2014
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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8 of 8 people (100%) found this review helpful
4.2 hrs on record
Posted: January 31
I played this game with my friend (because I have one).
We struggle together till the end and speechless with the ending.
Although I have expected the outcome while progressing though, damn all this fantasy/fiction books that I have read.

I can say this game is really indeed beautiful, worth every penny spend.
Indeed it contain numerous bugs but the bug doesn't bother the game progress and I make fun of it.

Try it on guys, this is one of a kind and a masterpiece.
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8 of 8 people (100%) found this review helpful
3.2 hrs on record
Posted: February 10
You control two brothers simultaneously, both with the thumbsticks of a gamepad. So this game REQUIRES a controller! You are sent on an adventure to get medicine, on your journey you meet people, animals and even trolls! You solve light puzzles by using both of the characters.

The game has no real dialogue, only nonsensical mumbling. Though even without real words the game delivers real emotions. The visual art and music are beautiful. I just wish the game would had been maybe few hours longer.

Short but sweet game.

[Score: 85]
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9 of 10 people (90%) found this review helpful
4.6 hrs on record
Posted: December 27, 2014
Personal Rating: Left me speechless, went right to the heart.
Classic Rating: ★★★★★

I'm not giving it 10/10 only because there is a bug which prevents you to advance (second chapter) and the only way to bypass it is restarting the chapter from the beginning.

Pros: Astounding story and soundtrack, easy but nice gameplay, beautiful artworks and graphics.
Cons: None, really (apart from that bug).

It's been a joy playing "Brothers - A Tale of Two Sons", we need more of these games.
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62 of 109 people (57%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
6.5 hrs on record
Posted: November 20, 2014
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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7 of 7 people (100%) found this review helpful
3.9 hrs on record
Posted: March 14
I was blown away by this game:
  • The controls were good ... it's difficult to wire your brain to control both characters at the same time, but this control scheme was simple, elegant and just made sense.
  • Relatively linear and easy, but it just allows more time to enjoy the game. The entire thing is like a gorgeous painting.
  • At core, the puzzles are all simple, but the variety and variations kept things fresh and enjoyable.
  • Scenes and panoramas ... just incredible. My favorite parts was when the camera would show you an area that you had just traipsed through 5-10 minutes before.
  • Level design. Incredible variety. Pastures, mountains, battlefields. The part where the ogre(?) is helping you climb a mountain is very clever. The battlefield ... awesome and a bit twisted. There are zip lines (for lack of a better term), boats, hang-gliding, goat-riding ... I forgot about the goat-riding!
  • Short but sweet. Just a ton of goodness compacted into a game that's decent length. I wouldn't want it shorter, and there's just no need to stretch it out. Well, I wouldn't complain if the developers cut the last level ... some of it was just unnecessary.

What I didn't like:
  • I didn't like controlling the boat.
  • I really, really didn't like the last level. I get that the developers want to drive in some emotion, but the stuff they have your character do after collecting the medicine was just effed up.

All in all, a great game. Even the stuff I didn't like was very minor in the whole scheme of things and doesn't take away from the sheer amazement you get. Incredible game. I really can't see the developers topping this gem.

In some ways, I might even consider this to be the best indie game ever. My current No.1 is Cave Story, which is a completely different game, so maybe we'll just call it a tie.

9/10
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9 of 11 people (82%) found this review helpful
3.2 hrs on record
Posted: December 27, 2014
Absolutely amazing
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6 of 6 people (100%) found this review helpful
3.2 hrs on record
Posted: January 2
A truly unique epic platforming experience. I enjoyed every second of this game, unable to stop playing until I had fully completed every part of it. At first I thought I'd never get used to the control layout but once you start playing, it becomes so fluent. While nothing is in English (or any language known to man for that matter), the emotions and actions of each character conveys what they're saying perfectly, not at any point was I confused as too what was going on. I can't recommend this game enough and while I got it at a bargain during the sale for only £1.09, this game is worth so much more. Starbreeze Studios, you have my blessing to create further masterpieces as Brothers - A Tale of Two Sons is simply wonderful.
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7 of 8 people (88%) found this review helpful
2.7 hrs on record
Posted: December 2, 2014
Extremely clever control system. Gorgeous environments & creatures. Highly recommend.
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8 of 10 people (80%) found this review helpful
4.5 hrs on record
Posted: November 7, 2014
HOLY CRAP THIS GAME!!!! I loved the crap out of this game, and while it is short (it took me about 3 hours to beat the game), I think this is one of my favourite games ever. At least in my top four. 9.8/10 (really crazy good for me).

The basic plot: two brothers have to go to a far away land to get a cure for a rare illness their father has. The story adds onto this and has several twists and turns but this is the basis of it.

Whats interesting about this game is that there is no actual interpretable dialog. what i mean by that is they make sounds, but its gibberish, and you have to look for context clues and hear the emotion in their voices to understand whats going on.

This game is basically a puzzle game with two buttons, analog stick for movement and action buttons to act upon the world (im pretty sure you can only play this game with a controller). the controls are smoothe and the difficulty is good, i failed a few times but no part was frusterating. The graphics are amazing and the art and world they create will stick with me for months (seriously breathtaking).. If you love art, BUY THIS GAME. if you have emotions, BUY THIS GAME!!!!! basically the only reason i wouldn't say to buy this game is if you just are not that sympathetic. because this game relies on the fact that you WANT the dad to be cured and want these kids to succeed, if you dont give a rats ♥♥♥ about the dad or the kids you wont be motivated to play the game and probably wont have that much fun.

Like i said before, probably one of my favourite games ever, I would recommend this game to basically anyone. It was short but incredibly sweet, I loved the crap out of this game :)
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