Emotional Simplicity in Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons

Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons

In the last few years, some of the most striking, emotional experiences I’ve had in games have come from stripped down, simple titles. Titles like Journey or Bastion, which give the player one simple goal, and execute the carrying out of that goal in a skillful, artful manner.

Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons is a new title from Starbreeze Studios which does just that. The best way to describe Brothers is that it’s a single player co-op game, one in which you control two brothers simultaneously, with each analog stick on a controller, along with its triggers. While it sounds simple enough, trying to solve puzzles with two characters at the same time can be a decent enough challenge of your dexterity and brainpower.

But the more striking thing is how much the game conveys with no dialogue whatsoever, just gameplay. As the two brothers journey to save their father from a mysterious illness, there are all kinds of great character moments that build out not only their relationship, but who each brother is and what his goals are. With stunning little moments like watching them sit on a cliffside bench to take in the stunning vista, or watching one brother save the other from drowning, the game is stock full of small moments that are poignant and emotionally real.

While I’m not very far into Brothers, I do have to say that I’m already obsessed with how simply it does things that big budget games strive to do with endless cut scenes, hours of voice acting and ridiculous plot twists. Sometimes the best thing to do is to keep it simple.

Are any of you guys playing Brothers? What is the last game you played to affect you emotionally? Go!

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I write about samurai girls and space marines. Writer for Smooth Few Films. Rooster Teeth Freelancer. Author of Red vs. Blue, The Ultimate Fan Guide, out NOW!