Brothers is a beautiful and simple game. Unusually, itâ€™s a cooperative game that you play by yourself. Two thumbsticks and two triggers are all that is used to play and control the two characters.
The two boys - one older and stronger, one younger and more agile - travel on an epic journey to save their father. On this journey they encounter dead giants and pet griffins and love-struck trolls, all shown in beautiful visuals. But while the quest is epic each scene is small and intimate.
The camera will sometimes pan to show what is coming up, but nearly always the focus stays on the two brothers. And they never stray far from each other: they canâ€™t. Take one too far from his sibling and they complain. They are connected, sometimes literally, and they need each other to complete their quest. While sometimes their paths are identical, more often the two will have to complete both halves of a task before they can continue.
But this is where the game does something wonderful: it never tells you what to do. The game doesnâ€™t start with a tutorial, and none of the puzzles give you a hint. Even the characters themselves donâ€™t speak English (or any other language). It lets you explore with the same curiosity and adventure that the two sons do.
Like many story-driven games that donâ€™t give you points and where the characters you play are vulnerable, itâ€™s hard not to quickly become completely attached to the sons. There are plenty of perils along the way to harm them; some you run from, some you fight (though never in a direct fashion).
Itâ€™s odd that in a game where you play as children, you might want to be there if your children play it. Not for shocks or gore, but for the emotions that the story evokes. Even the opening scene is heart wrenching.
I want to tell you so much more, but I canâ€™t without revealing the story. I will tell you that the controls will confuse you while you play unless you can control both hemispheres of your brain separately. You will find the characters running in separate directions or walking into walls and barrels, or worse, falling to their deaths.
Brothers is a wonderful piece of storytelling and a fantastic puzzle game thatâ€™ll make you want to hug a loved one. Highly recommended.