Reviewed On:  Xbox 360

 Available For:  Xbox 360, PS3, PC (Steam)

 P ublisher: 5 05 Games

Developer: Starbreeze Studios

Genre: Puzzle Adventure

Age: 16 (PEGI)

Price: 1200 MS Points (£10.20)

As time passes and the gaming world dilutes with even more releases, it's harder for developers to come up with a new and fresh concept. Sometimes when they do though, it can make for one of the most memorable experiences for a gamer, and can even be influential to gaming as a whole.

Space Panic was the birth of the platformer, Mario 64 bought us the independent camera, REZ fused music creation with gameplay, and LittleBigPlanet made game creation and sharing easy and accessible on consoles.

Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons does something unique and original, something which at first seems alien and odd - it has players taking control of two characters at the exact same time.

The best way to think of it is as a co-operative game in which both your left and right-hand-side are working independently, but at the same time. The left stick controls the older of two brother and the right controls the younger. It takes small amount of acclimatising to, but once you're in the flow, it's both smooth and seamless.

The two brothers speak in a foreign tongue, yet their body movement and actions make their communications and intentions clear. Through a meagre amount of detective work, the storyline becomes abundantly obvious.

Their father has fallen ill and the local medic has given them the task of finding the necessary ingredients to make him well again. This journey takes them across farmland, through caves, over mountains and more.

The journey is made up with a succession of puzzles, each being conquered by using each of the brothers abilities. The elder of the two is stronger and can therefore pull heavier levers, whilst the younger is small enough to fit through tight gaps. 

Their personalities also vary massively, with the elder being more mature. For instance, when interacting with a well, the elder brother gazes down inquisitively, whilst the younger hocks phlegm and spits it into the gaping hole.

Although there's often a big difference in how the two interact, they often have to work together to lift, get through, or go around things. The level design and the creative genius of the puzzles is a true wonder and a return to fine form for developer Starbreeze Studios.

I did however incur a glitch at one point which wouldn't allow me to continue, and meant I had to restart an entire chapter, but when a game is this good and looks this beautiful, it doesn't matter too much at all.

It's not just beautiful because of its superb, Fable-esque visuals, but because of the charm which shines through from the the brothers' different personalities and the different ways they interact with the myriad of activities. You'll click with the characters, and feel both joy and pain when they do.

An excellent start to what is already shaping up to be a fabulous Summer of Arcade, with a little more content, Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons would be worth buying on disc at a premium price. The fact its not makes it a bargain and a must have for gamers.

Just like Space Panic, Mario 64, REZ, and LittleBigPlanet, it's a memorable and original experience - one which deserves to be influential for years to come.


Daily Echo:

Positives: It not only adapts, but it's engaging.

Daily Echo:

Nagatives: The scenery is boring and the general polish is not up to standard.

Daily Echo:

SCORE: 9 / 10