“Brothers – A Tale of Two Sons” takes a novel approach to cooperative gaming. Rather than splitting up control of its heroes – the titular two sons – between multiple players like most co-op games, “Brothers – A Tale of Two Sons” tasks you with controlling both simultaneously, using the left and right analog sticks, to solve puzzles and overcome obstacles.
Developed by Starbreeze Studios and published by 505 Games, “Brothers – A Tale of Two Sons” tells the story of two sons who set out on an epic journey to find the Water of Life for their ailing father. You will need to guide both brothers at the same time, and solve an array of complex puzzles that require careful coordination, employing each of the brothers’ unique abilities.
For example, the first puzzles we encountered in our preview had us passing through a field guarded by an angry dog. We ran the younger brother halfway across the field, climbed to safety on a haystack and began taunting the dog. The dog ran over to growl at the younger brother, opening up a clear path for the older to sprint to the end. Once there, we used the older brother to distract the dog, so the younger had a clear shot to join his sibling.
The next puzzle was more complicated and required experimenting with the brothers’ specific traits. We needed to lower a drawbridge and get both brothers to the other side of a river, where a flock of sheep waited. The only way to activate the bridge was to run on a nearby wheel. We quickly discovered that using the younger brother to keep the bridge lowered enabled the older, stronger brother to carry a sheep back across the river. After that, we deposited the sheep into the wheel, which lowered the bridge again and allowed the brothers to continue on their way.
Controlling both brothers using separate analog sticks and triggers felt natural after a few minutes, and solving the game’s introductory puzzles was a rewarding challenge. According to the developers, though, our preview was just the tip of the iceberg. A host of significantly more intricate puzzles, and even boss fights, await the two brothers as their adventure takes them through the game’s lush, fantasy world full of magical allies and deadly monsters.
Two Brothers. Two Thumbsticks. One Journey
“Brothers – A Tale of Two Sons” launches Aug. 7 for 1,200 Microsoft Points as part of Xbox Live’s Summer of Arcade.