I have a brother, a sister, two half brothers and a half sister; it’s quite a big family I know. Sometimes we can be at each others throats and winding one another up, other times we’re best of friends playing together and having a laugh, the one constant is that we’re always there for each other no matter what. Being the eldest means I have extra responsibilities as well; I’ve played taxi, babysitter, banker, cook, you name it I’ve had to do it even when you really don’t want to because your siblings get on your nerves. That’s one of the reasons why I wanted to review this game, because I know how important family is and I wanted to see for myself how well Starbreeze Studios captured the bond between brothers. Well that and because someone else said it was a hell of a game, and they were right.
The story begins with a young boy on a small boat with his mother when the waters become rather choppy and both mother and child are in danger. Fortunately the child survives but alas the mother does not. Moving forward in time you see the same child beside the mother’s grave, grieving, when her spirit comes from the monument at her burial site. She makes a sound and disappears when your big brother comes down the path looking for you as your father has taken ill and is hanging on to his dear life. To cure him you must travel the world around you in search for the Water of Life, the only thing that can help save the life of the man who raised you. To make it there and back you have to rely on one another, using each others strengths to help you advance on your journey and using the bond between you to keep each other safe.
Now the type of game you can expect from Brothers is one full of adventure and puzzles with a gripping story to boot. Unlike many other adventure puzzle games though Brothers makes you control both characters at the same time, on the Xbox One this is done by pretty much assigning the left half of the controller to one brother and the right side to the other. The controls as basic as they are, can be quite confusing at times and take a little getting used to as you try and control both brothers at once but can’t remember which one is being controlled with which analogue stick. Still it adds to the challenge of the game and I like a challenge, I’m sick of games that just bend over and let you complete them without offering any fight. Along with moving each character you also use the triggers for a particular brother to perform an action; sometimes this will be done one at a time, others you will need to hold them together like when you need a boost up to a higher place.
One of the actions I enjoyed performing the most in the game, and you get to do this at many points throughout Brothers, is when you come across park benches. This doesn’t sound like an awful lot but my God, click both triggers together and you’ll sit down and the views you will witness are incredible. I mean you’ll notice the beautiful and captivating graphics throughout the game as you play, but there is something about just sitting there and taking in the magical world around you, it sends chills down your spine. The artists in this game have put so much effort into the enthralling game environments that I can’t play the game anymore without thinking I’m actually playing a piece of art.
The music syncs beautifully with the game as well, really setting the mood in the right way at the right times in every environment. But more impressively it somehow manages to capture the enchanting bond between the brothers and gives you a sense of the love and passion they share for their father. It makes you realise that these two boys are facing life and death together to help their father, but they’re not bickering and arguing, they’re working together as one and sticking together through both good and bad times as families should. I’d happily just get the soundtrack and listen to it on repeat all day, in fact if anyone at Starbreeze Studios reads this and wants to send me a copy, I’d be truly grateful.
The only letdown for me really was the fact that I couldn’t actually play this with my little brother, it’d have been great to have a co-op mode available. Saying that, the chances are if anything went wrong then I’d no doubt scream and shout at him and we’d fall out or fight which isn’t really the moral of the game’s story. But if it all did go well then I’m sure that we would both have enjoyed playing this game together and who knows, maybe it could help strengthen the bond between us and show us that we shouldn’t be petty with each other but instead just remember to always be there for one another.
Overall this is a fascinating game that begins with a heart-wrenching story and has you exploring one of the most alluring game worlds I have ever seen. Many people come up with game ideas which sound great on paper but fail to actually port over to a successful game, but with Brothers this isn’t the case. The devs can be so proud of what they have accomplished in this game because it truly is impressive, my only wish is that they had a co-op mode as well to allow people to enjoy the game together. Still I love this game (probably more than any of my siblings) and despite no co-op adventure it still gets a well deserved 5/5.
Disclaimer:All scores given within our reviews are based on the artist’s personal opinion; this should in no way impede your decision to purchase the game.