Nov 1, 2013This is a game you play for the uniqueness of the experience. It might have frustrating controls, but its a nice breath of fresh air to see a company put out something different than the usual combat heavy games. I liked the focus on simple but satisfying puzzles, and beautiful scenery and music that marks the game throughout. This game really surprised me with the outcome of its story.This is a game you play for the uniqueness of the experience. It might have frustrating controls, but its a nice breath of fresh air to see a company put out something different than the usual combat heavy games. I liked the focus on simple but satisfying puzzles, and beautiful scenery and music that marks the game throughout. This game really surprised me with the outcome of its story. I thought it was going to be a rather straightforward story, but I was really taken aback when it was all over. The game hit me hard when I wasn't expecting it. It would be cool to see a sequel in the future with better controls and a more polished experience. In the end, while the controls weren't the best, it was something new and its an experience that will stick with me longer than most action heavy games.… Expand
Mar 10, 2014This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. Brothers is one of those games that gives the player a detailed visual feast but that leaves an essentially empty experience after finishing. Many reviewers have compared Brothers to the 2012 hit Journey, which is one of the reasons I was interested in playing this. However, barring use of a made-up language for the characters and some uncannily similar music scoring in the early parts of the game; I have to disagree and say that this is absolutely nothing like Journey in terms of story content, design, character, game play or even emotional response.
Based in a Brothers Grimm type of fairy story world; two brothers travel together encountering various creatures and people to find a magical cure for their father's illness. They sometimes help others, or at least interfere with others' lives, through side-quests but the gameplay is going to be a familiar linear experience for anyone used to platformers. There is no free-roaming exploration and for all the details fitted into some environments there is no opportunity to interact with anything that isn't specific to the story line trophies or puzzle-solving.
The puzzles themselves are pitched at a fairly basic level, with the main complexity coming from the control system for the two brothers and timing their individual button and stick movements. It's perfectly possible to get through the game with persistence rather than mastering the controls though.
Visually this is a rich, detailed and involving environment. It's not without some clunkiness in shaders, landscape and character design, but mostly it is a truly absorbing world going from homely villages to the wild mountains and far away ice lands. It really does feel like a gradually shifting and changing world. Which is why I've scored this as a five, because it's masterful in world building. I do think there is more than a little inspiration taken from other games though; Final Fantasy IX (The Ilfa tree, anyone?), Lord of the Rings (Mines of Moria) and Harry Potter-style gryphons, giants and castles.
The problems, for me, centre around how the story and characters are handled. It becomes especially disturbing from about the mid-point of the game, until then you have some fairly mild and stereotypical imagery. The turn towards pointless violence and meaningless cruelty is, presumably, meant to be a "modern" take on classic fairy stories. What it actually displays is a stunningly poor understanding of what fairy tales meant to people within their specific contexts. They often included a historically strong example of the morality of the time. In-game this story lacks any morality or commentary whatsoever, it's just violence and cruelty for the sake of moving the story along; until you get to the very end, where the apparent meaning is so undermining of the events that happened I thought the game was one nasty joke.
The choice of a made-up language, and exaggerated body language as cues, means that you have to guess what is going on at points. Everyone's interpretation will be different because there is almost zero discoverable backstory or explanation to the story, characters and their motivations.
***Spoilers start here****
There are so many tropes in this that if you were to make a drinking game out if you wouldn't be able to stand upright after twenty minutes. There's the mother who is dead through drowning before the story starts and the younger son who sees ghost mom and feels guilty he couldn't save her. The ill father who needs a magical McGuffin from the end of the world to get better. Older brother is the sensible, physically strong protector. Younger brother is the physically and mentally immature one. They care about each other. And that's all you find out.
The female characters consist of ghost mom, a troll that wears a dress, make-up, jewellery and who needs rescuing for no reason that is ever explained, despite being twice the size and strength of the two brothers put together. The big villain of the piece? Another "girl" who needs rescuing who turns out to be a were-spider. I called her as a villain a whole thirty minutes before it even reached the boss battle. She cheesily flirts with the older brother, ignores or shouts at the younger brother, shows sudden intelligence, agility, strength and a lack of empathy. Wow, she's the baddie. Who could've guessed?
Older brother dies of his wounds from the were-spider, so here comes over-long and intrusive scene as the music swells and you have nothing but a purely manipulative focus on his grief and sobbing as the younger brother tries to revive the elder and then buries him. In the end; all of this game seems to happen so the younger brother can overcome survivor guilt and, wait for it, face his fear of swimming with the help of two dead relatives! This is the height of storytelling in games as of 2013? If Brothers is supposed to be on a par with the truly innovative and brilliant Journey, then I'm Hideo Kojima!… Expand
Nov 4, 2014This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. I liked the game a lot, not like the game is hard or anything, it's all pretty straight forward but it's more the experience and the atmosphere that makes the game special. I would give it a 9 but the ending... I finished it with a bit of a heavy feeling on my chest. Very disappointing...… Expand
Jan 27, 2014While overall I had a very pleasant experience, there's a fair amount of a "mixed bag" with this game. Overall, the visuals are quite pleasing, though more so in its vistas than in the "close-ups" which in contrast are somewhat "cartoon-y". Another downside is that you only have limited camera control at times, which makes it much more difficult to be able to appreciate the landscape.While overall I had a very pleasant experience, there's a fair amount of a "mixed bag" with this game. Overall, the visuals are quite pleasing, though more so in its vistas than in the "close-ups" which in contrast are somewhat "cartoon-y". Another downside is that you only have limited camera control at times, which makes it much more difficult to be able to appreciate the landscape.
It has, overall, a good main and a few good side-stories. However, on reflection, I do not agree with their choice of ending. I won't go into the details though. There's also a tone to the brothers' actions that I can't find myself really agreeing with. They sometimes run roughshod over other people's possessions and property, and given the linearity of the gameplay, you cannot avoid these actions.
As for the gameplay, once you get the hang of it, the puzzles are fairly simple and somewhat repetitive. I only found myself really scratching my head once. The hardest thing is to get the hang of controlling the two correctly, which is made somewhat harder by the camera that often spins around, which makes you have to adjust the direction of the sticks. I often had to resort to controlling the two separately--however, there's one portion where you have to have both run with somewhat good control to get through a section, and that's one I had a lot of trouble with.
Finally, value. Brothers is a fun play-through, but frankly, it's a one-time thing. A few hours and you're done. I can't say that I have much of an interest in playing it again. I did redo a few scenes to pick up the achievements, just because there are only a small number of them and since I probably won't play it again. However, I have to say that one of them doesn't make a lot of sense from a character perspective, and another is downright mean and cruel. Thus, I was glad I got this as part of the IGC of PS+ because I'm not quite sure how much I'd be willing to pay for such a limited amount of playtime, though that time was fairly well-spent.… Expand
Jan 23, 2014This game reminded me why i play video games; as a form of entertainment. This game just didn't do it for me. The only thing it's got going for it is a unique gameplay mechanic that was ok, and definately something I didn't master even when I was close to the ending. this game was an "experiment" something I'll play for the unique mechanics, but will not look back even the slightest. storyThis game reminded me why i play video games; as a form of entertainment. This game just didn't do it for me. The only thing it's got going for it is a unique gameplay mechanic that was ok, and definately something I didn't master even when I was close to the ending. this game was an "experiment" something I'll play for the unique mechanics, but will not look back even the slightest. story was straightfoward and I'll admit I felt something in the end, albeit just a gentle tug; nothing more. I got this game for free via ps plus, and asked myself at 14.99 would I have bought it knowing the short game and it's style? the answer is no. game just isn't fun for me, and that's what games should do for anyone. 67/100… Expand
Jan 27, 2014I got this free on PlayStation Plus, and played it on one sit, thinking about all the praise and prestigious talk this game got last year. So why didn't I enjoy Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons that much? Did I play it on the wrong platform? Maybe. Or is this game you fall in love with, or you just don't completely get?
Brothers tell the story of two brothers that go on a journey seeking theI got this free on PlayStation Plus, and played it on one sit, thinking about all the praise and prestigious talk this game got last year. So why didn't I enjoy Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons that much? Did I play it on the wrong platform? Maybe. Or is this game you fall in love with, or you just don't completely get?
Brothers tell the story of two brothers that go on a journey seeking the cure for their dying father. Is a platformer, and the distinctive touch is that you control both brothers with the analog sticks and the triggers, that's it. And that's where I had my problems.
It's ok, I know. It is supposed to be challenging, specially at some really well-done tense sequences. But at times, the game just throws you in some scenarios without any explanation and you are left all by yourself (I also get it, Challenge) but at times it is pretty frustrating, specially when it is almost impossible to figure out by yourself what to do.
Anyway, maybe it's the rookie me talking, but I also didn't find the controls enjoyable. I found them messy, confusing and really took me out of the game, which has a very heartwarming then heartbreaking story with some deep gut-wrenching moments.
Talking bout controls, the Dualshock 3 may be the worst controller to play it. Both the triggers R2 and L2 and the analog sticks are slippery, making the game less enjoyable. I could barely get the controls until the end of the game thanks to the controller. Sorry sony, but it is the truth. The 360 version has a better controller that makes the game more enjoyable.
Still, this game has a lot of clunky visuals. Texture don't load, and when they do, they don't look very decent. And although this game has a very pretty art design and some eclectic and creepy scenarios I just can't take out of my head, the console version of the game is not the way it is meant to be played. Buy the PC version and play it with an X360 controller, and then maybe you will get the complete experience the game wants you to enjoy.
Otherwise, the platform sequences are fantastic, creative and genuinely designed. Sometimes, I awed at the incredibly insane things these brothers have to do in those jaw-dropping places. Unfortunately, the controls and the visuals immediately grabbed me and pulled me out of the atmosphere the game created.
That is why Brothers didn't convince me. Sure, great story with a strong emotional payoff, and some incredible art design. But the gameplay and the visuals were the main problem here, and takes a huge chunk of the game's quality. It may be PlayStation 3 is the wrong platform to play this game. However, that is how I played it, and I can't feel anything but a little disappointment.… Expand
Awards & Rankings
Official PlayStation Magazine BeneluxOct 1, 2013Some games stay etched in your memory because of the emotional journey you experienced, like The Walking Dead, The Last of Us or Ico. Brother: A Tale of Two Sons does not quite belong on that list, but it does come very close. [October 2013 p.94]