Brothers: a Tale of Two Sons   Leave a comment

Sony introduced the first DualShock controllers back in the PlayStation era. It’s basically the same PlayStation control, but slightly bigger, with a vibrating function through the oscillating motor inside and the addition of two analog sticks in the front. The analog sticks also functions as the L3 and R3 buttons when you pressed down. This new controller became the standard controller with new editions of the console. Game developers used the vibrating feature to enhance the game experience (worked pretty well with fighting and survival horror games). They also took advantage of the analog sticks, which simulated real time input from the players. Game characters were able to look in all directions and move at varying speeds with a slight nudge or full motion towards any direction.

I thought about ways game developers can make use of analog sticks. As a kid, I used to play Contra with my sister or cousins. They didn’t play the game as much as me and wasted lives (sometimes costing me lives). I imagined how it would be like to control both players by myself. I thought about how cool it would be to control two characters on the screen with each of them tied to each of the analog sticks. The possibilities are endless.¬†Brothers: a Tale of Two Sons, made that adolescent thought into reality.

Brothers is a story-driven adventure game. It revolves around the interaction between the two brothers with each other and the world. Players control each brother with one of the analog sticks, allowing each character to move on their own. NPCs will have different reactions when interacting with the siblings. Sometimes, only one of the brothers can get specific info from various NPCs.

The story starts with the younger sibling praying at his mother’s tombstone. His mother drowned at sea while he tried to save her. This made him fearful about the outside world, especially swimming. The older sibling calls out for help to get their father to the village doctor. The doctor seems to suggest that the only way to save their father is to go on this long journey outside the village and collect water from this Tree of Life.

Now, since I’ve already played the game, I already know what the brothers had to get. During the game, we are oblivious as to what the brothers’ main objective is for venturing out on an adventure. The characters talk in a foreign, made up, unintelligible language. On screen actions and intonations in their voice are my only cues.

Throughout their journey, they face the local bully, a farmer’s dog, and wolves. There are optional actions to do like take a ball from a kid to either shoot it in the hoop or drop it in the village well, which makes the kid cry. There is no timer, so these little interactions add to the atmosphere and setting. They also help out others during their journey. There is a troll that help the brothers hop and climb over hills and inaccessible areas without being thrown (gently). Turns out this troll is looking for a female troll captured by other trolls. The brothers enlist themselves in freeing the captive damsel and reunite the two. Other characters they encounter include a man attempting suicide, an inventor that needs help and a tribal group doing a ritual dance of sort.

The story and the controls take center stage. You could feel the urgency and necessity of having both brothers work on puzzles and obstacles, wonderfully interwoven into the story. There’s not much else I could say without spoiling the story, though. It’s a must play game.

I’m done.

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Posted February 22, 2014 by StupidSystemus in Games, Reviews

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