Hello, and welcome to Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons. This is a tale of two brothers (technically sons of the same man), named Naiee and Naia (hereafter referred to as Little and Big Brother, respectively).
Developed by Starbreeze Studios, of Payday 1 and Chronicles of Riddick: Escape from Butcher Bay fame, this game marks a thematic departure from those games as it does not feature a gunman making tough choices. This is largely due to the influence of the game's Director, Swedish filmmaker and Fajr International Film Festival award winner Josef Fares. Brothers won a BAFTA in 2014 for innovation, and was also lauded at the 2014 Video Game Awards (stop laughing) for Best Xbox Game. I feel the praise is well deserved.
Told without intelligible dialogue, the story follows the brothers through an improbably dangerous and magical journey to find a macguffin to cure their deathly ill father. While the story can often veer into the heavy-handed and maudlin, I was enchanted when I first played this in 2013. There are some truly beautiful moments in the game, and incidental details show that we aren't even scratching the surface of what this world has to offer. Starbreeze has managed to create a beautiful game that was able to quiet the cynic in me, and awakened a real sense of the marvelous.
The main selling point of the game is that you control both brothers simultaneously - Big Brother is controlled with the left stick and trigger, and Little Brother is controlled with the right stick and trigger. This can prove challenging, as I will amply demonstrate throughout this LP. There are no puzzles that punish sluggish responses, and do-overs due to brain farts are merciful. That said, I feel that the mental gymnastics involved in managing two protagonists simultaneously help to deepen the bond we form with the characters - it'll be interesting to see if anyone who hasn't played the game actually identifies with the characters, or if that's a function of the mental investment necessary to even play the game.
I'll be playing through the story, attempting to show off every delightful aside and Neat Thing (helpfully alluded to in the game's achievements). If you haven't experienced the game before, or wrote it off as the usual indie schlock, I can't blame you. It is clearly a game that makes you want to Feel Things. For those of you still reading, however, I hope you'll join me on this brotherly quest.