A short review for a short game.
A Tale Of Two Sons tells the story of two brothers, Naia and Naiee. The beginning of the game shows the younger brother fail to save their mother from drowning. If that wasn’t enough, the boys’ father falls ill and needs help fast. Far off in the distant lands is the Tree of Life; a special tree with healing capabilities. The brothers have to work together to get to the tree and save their father.
After Remember Me, Ibb & Obb and Brothers were the next two games on the Plus freebies list. Both games require controlling two characters at the same time; something I wasn’t sure I had the mental capacity to handle. Ibb & Obb is almost unplayable without a 2nd player. Until that opportunity arises, I’m skipping it. The problem I had with Brothers was remembering which analog stick controls which brother. Most of the time, this would lead to me controlling the wrong brother. I learned to keep the younger brother on the right side of the screen, and the older brother on the left. Even in using this method, I still mixed the brothers up throughout the entire game.
The controls are simple; once you get around controlling two people with one controller, that is. The left side controls the older brother with the left joystick, L1 changes the camera, and L2 interacts with things. The right side controls the younger brother with the right joystick, R1 controls the camera, and R2 interacts. The brothers will often have to come together to use joint interactions. The problem with using L2 and R2 doesn’t set in until the climbing stages later in the game. Have you ever used the L2 and R2 triggers? They’re very sensitive, and they’re very slippery.
Brothers is an adventure game at heart, but it also has its share of puzzles. The game is all about interactions. Each interaction is different, depending on which brother is chosen. For example, the older brother tends to have more respectful interactions, while the younger brother tends to….well….be a kid. I never knew what I was going to encounter next. During one section of the game, a man can be seen preparing to hang himself. The brothers can save him, and after doing some searching, the story becomes clear. The man had just lost his family in a house fire, and decides to take his own life since he no longer has anything to live for. After rescuing the man, the brothers find something that was salvaged in the fire; a music box. The brothers bring the box over to the man, who begins to play it with tears of joy. Not only did the brothers save the man’s life, but they made him happy again. This is just one of the many interactions within the game. There’s all sorts of mini-stories like this, whether it be rescuing captured friends or reuniting lovebirds.
Although the journey was shorter than I had expected, I’m very glad I gave this game a second chance. It’s a fantastic journey, filled with all sorts of neat characters, a great sense of adventure, fun puzzles, and interesting interactions. Brothers is most definitely an emotional experience, and it can even be quite depressing at times. Give the game a shot. Don’t let the strange controls steer you away from a 3-6 hour story that you’ll never forget.