I held off playing Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons because I knew it wasn’t a long game and I wanted to play through it in one sitting. At long last I managed to put aside some time for it and I’m truly glad I did.
Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons is exactly that: a tale of two sons. As the player you control both siblings and guide them on a quest across varying terrain to find a cure for their father’s illness.
I got swept up in the beauty of this game. I was lured in by it’s soft, yet detailed landscapes. It’s lifelike characters and it’s strong emotional bonds. I won’t lie, at times Brothers brought a tear to my eye and it’s impact on me will resonate indefinitely.
The control interface is extremely simple and for the most part rather elegant. The left analogue stick controls the older brother and the right stick controls the younger brother. The respective right and left triggers work as action buttons which are primarily used for grabbing ropes and picking up objects. I was fairly impressed how rich such a basic control scheme proved to be. At first it seems a little odd controlling two characters simultaneously, fortunately Nintendoland has a mini game with the same set up and I’ve spent countless Friday nights chasing my friends in that game so it wasn’t hard to adapt. Occasionally, my brain would have trouble keeping track of which thumb was controlling which bro, momentarily taken me out of the narrative, but I found if I primarily kept the older brother to the left I wouldn’t often lose track.
Along my journey I traveled across many lands and each of them was filled with diverse life and scenery. Every so often my brother and I would come across a bench, usually at the top of hill or near a cliff, and we would take a moment to reflect and look out over some great vista and the land below. We looked down upon the amazing animals and landscapes, seeing great and unique creatures. During these moments the camera would pan back expanding my view and allowing us a welcome moment of tranquility. But, we could never stay long as we had a crucial task to accomplish and soon we would again stand and be on our way.
Brothers explores moments. Each area is filled with both big and small moments. Sometimes we would come to a town and ask for directions, play with another child’s ball, try to create a tune on someone‘s harp or stumble upon the aftermath of some tragedy and do our best to help ease the pain. Not all the pain could be mended, but every experience was one of learning and growth. The story has moments of joy and sadness, growth and loss, discovery and pain. Along this journey a theme became clear: one needs to enjoy the moment no matter what tragedies may surround it. There will always be moments in our past we wish would we could have avoided and there are undoubtedly struggles to come that are simply unavoidable, but between these times is when we live and it’s crucial to cherish the highs and take in whatever beauty that may present itself. We must learn from these moments and grow stronger from them.
This was a beautiful and memorable experience. I didn’t know where Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons would take me and to avoid spoilers I don’t want to be too specific, but it was a remarkable journey rich with magic, courage, wisdom, growth and loss. I felt connected to these two brothers and I will cherish my brief journey with them.