Family Gathering: Brothers – A Tale Of Two Sons

By Adam Smith on September 3rd, 2013 at 8:00 pm.

I’m not sure if any of the RPS crew have played Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons yet, but it’s out today and sounds like it’d be the ideal interactive experience for at least a couple of us. It’s a character-driven, single player co-op game, and I’m not sure what either of those things mean. ‘Character-driven’ because it’s about the brothers and their encounters with other people, creating moments of what I believe Professor Henry Playful would describe as ludonarrative resonance. We hear about the dissonance much more often, but occasionally these things called game do resonate along just the right axis. The ‘single player co-op’ part describes the mode of interaction – two characters, one controller. It’ll be interesting to see how it works with the more usual PC paraphernalia. From what I can gather, the joypad controls are a pleasure to use. Trailer below.

As well as seeing lots of high scores, I’ve also seen people complaining that it’s a simplistic adventure-puzzler with occasional sparks of brilliance. Some of the RPS crew may be less than pleased by that sort of thing. Perhaps we’ll divide into Cains and Abels once we’ve tried the game, and sort things out with fists and fratricide.

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30 Comments »

  1. Rikard Peterson says:

    “a simplistic adventure-puzzler with occasional sparks of brilliance”

    Sounds good to me!

  2. ScruZer says:

    no it is not out today. It’s been out for almost a month.

    Journalism.

    • Lars Westergren says:

      It’s out today on PC, so for a PC games site it makes perfect sense to say it is released today.

    • ffordesoon says:

      On PC?

      You do realize this is a blog about PC games, not console games? Or did you think that “PC Gaming Since 1873″ tag displayed very prominently at the top of the page was meant to throw people off?

    • LennyLeonardo says:

      Comments.

  3. Faxanadu says:

    I don’t know if it’s good but goddamnit do I love the feeling and the teamwork bits and the fantasy setting in the trailer.

  4. Grey Poupon says:

    So it’s like The Lost Vikings, but with less beards and vikings? That game was great, but I’m not sure if that was because of the beards.

    • Serpok says:

      Also minus the puzzles. It is insulting how challenge-less and brainless this game is. The only thing that takes effort is wrestling with controls.

  5. LennyLeonardo says:

    This game is amazing. I mean, it completely brutalised me in the heart area. Controls are occasionally fantastic, mostly a bit squiffy.

  6. Don Reba says:

    Needs more bloom…

    …and high-pitched yodeling.

  7. ScruZer says:

    It’s one of the best games I ever played, that’s for sure.

  8. ANeM says:

    “It’ll be interesting to see how it works with the more usual PC paraphernalia.”

    Simply put, it doesn’t. According to the Steam Page “Brothers – A Tale of Two Sons requires a controller to play”

    That is quite unfortunate.

    • theanorak says:

      Hm.

      I have it for 360 and, having played about 45 minutes-worth, found it to be rather lovely, but I’m struggling to see how well it would work making use of standard pc inputs.

      With a controller, each thumbstick controls a brother, and the corresponding shoulder button serves as an “interact” button for that brother. Doing the same thing with parallel keyboard-only controls *might* work, but has a fair chance to be clunky.

    • derbefrier says:

      buy a controller man, don’t think about it just do it. Even though you wont use it often they sure are nice to have when you need them. On a more serious note at least they warn you about it and as for the game itself it looks fun but not something i need to have right now. I’ll pick it up one of these days.

    • Mitthrawn says:

      But…but… How do you play Spelunky? With a keyboard? *Shudder*

      There are whole classes of games (platformers, sports, racing, fighters) that I only play with controllers, because they are made for controllers. And while you can play them on mouse and keyboard, honestly the experience is just better with the controller. It is IMO the most important upgrade to your rig not initialed SSD.

      • Serpok says:

        Keyboard is much better for spelunky the pad for it is much more precise.

      • bills6693 says:

        I don’t play platformers, sports, racing or fighters. So honestly I don’t have a reason to have a controller. But I find it disappointing when the occasional game I would like to play works terrible with keyboard, or in this instance doesn’t work at all.

        • frightlever says:

          So you just add THIS sort of game to the list of games you don’t want to play and move on. It’s no big deal. I wouldn’t play an RTS with a controller, I wouldn’t play an FPS with a controller, I wouldn’t play a racing game without one. There are proper tools for the job. If you don’t want to dig holes, don’t buy a spade. But don’t complain that you have a perfectly good rake, so you should be able to dig a hole with it.

          Oh, and it works with the keyboard. WASD and arrow keys with two other buttons to interact. Go nuts with your digital 8 way controls, vs the controller’s analog control.

    • Sweetz says:

      Anything that’s fixed camera, but where you still have direct control over character movement (which applies to Brothers) all but demands 360° analog input. Moving a character that’s detached from the camera around in a 3D world with 8-way digital control just doesn’t cut it.

      There’s no way they could make this game control well with a keyboard, so I commend them for just straight up saying a controller is required and not attempting keyboard controls that everyone would end up whining about anyway. (See: reactions to Castlevania: Lords of Shadow which also a fixed camera and where keyboard and mouse control would never work well regardless of how it was be implemented, but people complained regardless).

      Just as a rational person wouldn’t complain that a flight sim more or less demands a flight stick, some need to recognize that there types of games are intrinsically suited to gamepads and lack of good (or any) keyboard and mouse support isn’t necessarily laziness on the developer’s part.

  9. Enzo says:

    I’m playing it right now, and it’s absolutely wonderful. It’s like a Brothers’ Grimm fairytale. It also looks amazing. It’s very simplistic (you can move and there’s an interaction button – that’s it), but that’s ok because they do a lot of clever stuff with the “singeplayer coop” concept.

    • Lessing says:

      Enzo have you tried it with KB&M? I read on Steam that you can use these controls. I don’t own a controller (I know, I should buy one), but this looks lovely and I’d like to know if KB&M would work.
      Thanks.

  10. maicus says:

    One of the most important games I’ve ever played – I played it with a friend of mine, passing the controller between the two of us. Last hour of it, we were both completely silent. First game I’ve played that has made me cry, simply through the underlying mechanics of the game. Haven’t felt like that since journey.

  11. adammtlx says:

    Even if it is, the math is all wrong. A few hours at $81 per hour is only $243, not $20391. An honest mistake, I’m sure.

  12. internisus says:

    This year’s Journey. Absolutely spectacular.

    Here is the recommendation I wrote for Steam:

    Brothers is a gorgeous adventure delivered through a unique control concept that is perfectly executed throughout its many action, puzzle, and dramatic utilizations. It is also a remarkably affecting and memorable experience, a confident and heartfelt peer to Journey and Ico.

    I’d love to talk more about the game and its design, but it is impossible to do so without at least hinting at story spoilers. Suffice it to say that I have always found it interesting when games co-opt their own mechanics to force you to do something dramatic, and Brothers does this in the most thorough and thoughtful way I have ever seen. The controller requirement is not only key to the game’s design; it is also, brilliantly, vital to its emotional impact. That is all I will say.

    I cannot recommend strongly enough that you play this as soon as you possibly can.

    http://steamcommunity.com/id/internisus/recommended/225080

    • Rikard Peterson says:

      Ooh – following the link to Steam, I read that Josef Fares is behind it. That made it even more interesting. I then found a review in Swedish newspaper Aftonbladet that only had praise to say. Here are some excerpts that I’ve attempted to translate to English:

      “I haven’t been this close to video game characters since Ico let me hold the hand of a girl.”
      “You can’t tell that the game’s creator Josef Fares is a hyped movie director. There are no gratuitous cutscenes or added on “cool” visual storytelling.”
      “Fares has been able to bring the same warmth as in his movies, but unlike other movie makers trying on making games, he’s done so with a gaming specific language.”

      Sold.

  13. Screamer says:

    Why the big emphasis to play with a controller? I hope there’s no man touching involved XD

  14. McGuit says:

    An amazing, wonderful game.
    Nuff said….