Worth its small asking price, and a fantastic example of what distinguishes gaming as an art-form. Just be sure not to spend more money than you value for a two hour game.
Starbreeze Studios’ adventure game Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons is a small indie title that I decided to buy in one of the many Steam sales. By “decided” I mean that I woke up in a haze, with an empty wallet, a full library, and a significantly slower laptop.
In the game, two brothers must travel far in order to claim a mystical flower which is the only cure for their father’s fatal illness. While it sounds extremely basic, the focus of the game is on its story, or rather the development of its characters. It only takes around two hours to play, and is comprised solely of rather basic puzzles, and is, truth be told, all round pretty simple. Yet I would still call it a must play if you’re interested in the future, and the possibilities of gaming as a medium.
While most games signal changes through cut-scenes, dialogue, upgrade systems, or other kinds of signposting, Brothers works by changing the mechanics of the game itself to adjust to the relationship of the central pair. This alone sets the game apart for me. It turns this story from something that could have been a film, a short, a show, a book, a comic, anything else really, and makes it work in a way that only a game could. Its story is only effective as this method brings you remarkably attached to the characters, something that isn’t realized until the final act.
Again, Brothers is only simple. You won’t want to replay it, it won’t end up blowing your mind in the same vein as AAA titles do, but it is made in the way that every game should be. Starbreeze chose the best way to tell the story, and made full use of the medium to do so. That’s why this so special.
Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons is available now on Playstation 3, PlayStation 4, Xbox 360, Xbox One and PC.