Electronic Theatre In-depth Review: Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons

Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons has not yet received the attention it deserves. In the run up to release it received a number of glowing previews, including from your very own Electronic Theatre, and yet none have quite captured a perfect snapshot of just […]
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Electronic Theatre ImageBrothers: A Tale of Two Sons has not yet received the attention it deserves. In the run up to release it received a number of glowing previews, including from your very own Electronic Theatre, and yet none have quite captured a perfect snapshot of just how well designed the videogame is. And that’s because it’s impossible to understand how carefully constructed each moment of Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons until you sit and down and play it from start to finish.

The videogame begins as the menu screen pans to a young boy kneeling at a grave.  A flashback reveals the tragic death of his mother: despite the bright colours and joyful exterior, Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons isn’t going to be your average run-and-jump through giant mushroom filled lands of Electronic Theatre Imageexuberance. Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons is gritty and real at times, but much of your journey does have a lighter tone.

Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons teaches you its unique mechanic with remarkable flair. The adventure you are about to embark upon is with the intent to save the brothers’ father’s life, and in order to do so you must journey far and wide to gather his medicine. These two brothers are your on-screen avatar; not one at a time, but rather both simultaneously. The right side of the pad controls one brother while the left controls the other. The first tack set to pick up the cart your father lays upon, teaching you that the triggers control each brother’s actions, and move it along a path, confirming that the analog sticks do indeed control movement. At this point both brothers move as one, but aligning the analog sticks in the same direction will offer aElectronic Theatre Image greater speed, thus inferring the correct way to control the characters. It’s a relief as coming into the videogame fresh appear be daunting, but that the eloquence of the control system isn’t hidden behind two hours of fumbling is a wonderful achievement.

Your journey has you exercise these skills through platform and logistical puzzles mainly, though the occasional head-scratcher and boss fight are included for good measure. All of this is set to a wonderful pacing that pulls you through the entire videogame without a second thought: it grabs you and doesn’t let go. And you wouldn’t want it to, as the only true flaw with Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons is that it simply doesn’t last long enough.

The world that is created in Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons is truly remarkable: Pratchett in it’s aesthetic and genuinely loveable in it’s characterisation. For many years gamers have spent many hours discussing the titles that stir genuine emotion, and it’s here that Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons certainly takes a leading role. From the relation between the two brothers to the Electronic Theatre Imagebird-like creature you rescue halfway through the videogame, the brief hope of finding love – falling foul to lust – and the turn in the final chapter that makes you wonder just how the videogame can continue: this is genuinely progressive interactive story telling.

The visual quality then, is on par with the gameplay design and character development. Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons delivers every inch of it’s relatively shirt journey with style and grace, unquestionably making it one of the finest videogames of the year so far. There are many videogames that present unique, interesting mechanics and others that deliver a story that comes close to equally the best motion-picture productions have produced, but there are so very few that manage to do both in such a captivating fashion as Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons.

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