Published on August 7th, 2013 | by Tony


Brothers: A Tale Of Two Sons (XBLA)

It’s raining outside when the sun should be shining. Kids are on the streets enjoying their six weeks off while parents are going mad trying to play entertainer to the chorus of “I’m bored” from those children. What does this mean I hear you cry?
Well this must mean summer is here and that also means Summer of Arcade has arrived on XBLA.

Today sees the first game released in this promotion with Brothers: A Tale Of Two Sons, which is brought to us by Starbreeze Studios, the team behind the upcoming Payday 2, and is published by the guys at 505 Games.

The game also sees Swedish director Josef Fares make his first videogame, as he is normally a guy behind the lens of a video camera making movies that no doubt none of us will ever of heard of, but he seems a good guy from videos I’ve seen on YouTube. He spoke about how he wants Brothers to be a game that gives us a reaction to what plays out in the game, by that he means rather than just pressing buttons on a joypad we get to feel what these brothers go through in the game. But I’m getting ahead of myself here, so let us take a step back and let me explain what Brothers is all about.

Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons is essentially a puzzle solving game with a light sprinkle of story put into the mix to blend it all together. But overall it is a game about exploring. You control two brothers who have already lost their mother to a drowning accident at sea, but the game kicks off with your father being very ill and needing urgent help. Once you are given a quick tutorial of the simple controls, the games path is set as you must find a cure to save your dying father from this illness. This requires the two brothers working together to overcome tons of puzzles and obstacles as they travel through a fairytale land to save their very sick father.

The way the brothers work together is one of the unique aspects in the whole game, as the game sees you taking control of them both via the one joypad, as this is a co-op game without the actual co-op. Big brother is controlled by the left analogue and the left trigger, while little brother is the right analogue stick and the right trigger, so the game is more a experience rather than having to kill tons of things.

There are things to protect yourselves as you progress in the story, but these come few and far between in the game and to be honest with you I feel the game would have just felt wrong with any sort of combat added to it. The controls were a little bit hit and miss at times, as I did have moments of crossing them over to their respected pad position  so my mind would insist on not relaying that back to me which meant a lot of walking into walls and a few idiotic deaths. That being said it’s not something that stops you enjoying the game one bit, as you tend to get used to it the more you play it, but it will happen to you.

Away from the actual control mechanic and gameplay itself a few other things stood out for me that sometimes get over looked in downloadable games these days, music being one such thing.

Now without going into spoilerific review territory, Brothers takes you on a roller-coaster of emotions as you play through the game. You do become attached to the bond between these two characters, and the background music at times only helped this fact. With fantastic use of the music throughout, the game really does a great job of creating an atmosphere where the game is best played quietly and via some gaming headphones, as I loved whenever there was a intense piece of music played through my headset, as it somehow gave that moment more of a meaning.

Another thing that stood out was how beautiful the game was, and by this I don’t mean how colourful it is, but how well the world matches the story being told. It captures everything you would expect of a world full of trolls and giants and it really does feel like you are reading a fairytale like story as you play through each chapter of the game.

That being said with only seven chapters in the game it will feel a little short, as my run through only took about four to six hours, but the fact my gamerpoints came in at a low 100g tells me I need to go back and explore the world more. So if you take anything from the review make it be that, don’t rush through the game like I did for my initial review, but enjoy, explore, and be sure to capture everything this game world offers to you.

Overall Brothers: ATOTS is one of those games that I went into not expecting much out of, but I’ve come out of it fully respecting Starbreeze studios and Josef Fares for what they have done with this game. Think what games like Limbo and The Walking Dead did for the XBLA market and Brothers stands right alongside those for a game experience, and for me it’s already one of the stand out titles on XBLA this year. The Summer of Arcade has kicked off with a real Scorcher of a game, here is hoping the heat wave continues!

You can try the demo or buy the full game for 1200 Microsoft points right here.

Brothers: A Tale Of Two Sons (XBLA) Tony

Summary: A wonderful gaming experience to be had, and will surely be highly spoken of from anyone that gets their hands on it. Brothers: ATOTS has kicked of the summer of arcade with a sure fire hit.



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About the Author

Help start this place. Left. Came back as a part-timer. Shall be here to post mostly PlayStation stuff while I focus most of my Xbox one content on my blog www.honestxboxreviews.com (cheap plug).

49 Responses to Brothers: A Tale Of Two Sons (XBLA)

  1. Ben Morrow says:

    The game looks really fun and interesting.

  2. Gaming Thoughts says:

    Love how great stories are becoming in games now! I can’t wait to try this thanks for review – bit worried about short play time but it is ‘only’ an arcade game.


  3. Anthony McGloin says:

    This looks like an interesting game certainly struck me as being similar to the walking dead game from the review.

  4. scott gable says:

    Can’t wait to try this game

  5. SuperNutsy says:

    Need to give this some attention as know nothing about this till now

  6. Markus says:

    As a Swede I’m looking forward to this with very high hopes. The art design looks very similar to Fable and story written by Fares can’t go wrong

  7. Rob Hestar(★♋) (@Hestar69) says:

    Glad to see SOA is starting off on a very good note!.Btw,If I’m not mistaken, this is Josef Fares first game ever right? If so,he’s off to a good start!

  8. schrnkuk (@schrnkuk) says:

    Looks really good, and I am sure it is because it was developed by the same team behind Syndicate.

  9. ilRadd says:

    Seems like an interesting idea for game mechanics – glad the story sounds solid – definitely worth a look.

    Twitter: @ilRadd

  10. Certifiedninja1 says:

    Awesome looking game and great review. Thanks for the chance. @certifiedninja1

  11. asmilon says:

    This is one of the titles I really wanted to check on this year’s Summer of Arcade along with Flashback!


  12. Atle says:

    i’ve been anticipating this game for a long time. looks so good!

  13. liam andrew says:

    Interesting review Tony! Game looks innovative and puzzling! Can’t wait to see more !

    Twitter – @liamtrenthouse

  14. eugaet says:

    I’ll have to check out the demo to see what I think of the control scheme. Sounds interesting, but potentially frustrating. Looking forward to finding out which way it leans!

  15. Gary Liddington says:

    Nice review, seems to be pleasing people across the board. Was actually reading another review when I saw this 😉 @glidding

  16. gmanvg says:

    Thanks for the chance!

  17. Brian L says:

    I smell an epic adventure!


  18. Polerand says:

    I’m not one to gripe about a short experience. Time is a limited, precious commodity, so not having to invest ten or twenty hours is a good thing. But I wonder if the price is right on this one with limited replay value? Exploring is fine and dandy if I’m sucked into the world, but not something I’m going to do once I finish with the game (except, you know, for achievements).

    Still, this sounds very appealing. I may still have to buy it. Thanks for the review.

    By the way, any more puzzles glitch in you besides the one with chains?

  19. Mark says:

    Here I read always the best reviews, you make me love a lot of new games like this Brothers: A Tale Of Two Sons, thanks


  20. louiedog says:

    This game seemed to come out of nowhere and looked pretty interesting to me. I’m glad to see it turned out well.

  21. Antarael Dulacre says:

    This looks like a very good start for the Summer of Arcade =) Will definetely play the demo and want to thank you for a chance to win this great gaming gem =)


  22. Aaron says:

    Sounds fantastic. Cant wait to get home and try out the demo!

  23. JD Blosser says:

    Looks interesting for sure, thanks for the chance at it.

  24. Raheel says:

    Game looks cool as it has a bright message in it

  25. Sean Welsh says:

    Been waiting on this game for ages. Looks fantastic. Just the breath of fresh air that I need in my life.

  26. Thanks for the chance!

  27. Keklar says:

    Looks really interesting, hearing lots of good things. 🙂 Gonna queue up the demo now

  28. Dom Paolo says:

    Hmmmm, this being put in a similar boat as Limbo and The Walking Dead means I NEED to try this game out. Great review!

    Twitter: @DomPaolo

  29. Freddie says:

    It made me lol when Tony got stuck playing this game 🙂

  30. Warren Crosby says:

    Been watching this game for a while I am looking to pick it up but A little short on funds at the mo. Thanks for the in depth review I really enjoyed your writing style cheers.

  31. Nikmou says:

    Looking forward to this one,I really enjoy puzzle games, just got in after a long day out so will download the demo and give it a whirl tomorrow

  32. Sith says:

    Just saw some gameplay of the game. It’s like a twin-stick action adventure. I love how the game looks.

  33. Oscar says:

    Judging just by the demo, seems really amazing. Can’t wait to play it in full.

  34. Volgihn says:

    I’m very glad that this game is getting good reviews. I’m really looking forward to playing this.

  35. Francisco G says:

    Really looking forward to this. Hope it doesn’t disappoint.

  36. Neo-Metatron says:

    Wow, I didn’t expect Brothers to play in the same league as The Walking Dead. I really enjoyed TWD, which makes me even more excited for this.

    Great review and thanks for the chance!

  37. dazzadavie says:

    Really interested in the controls. Nice review in what could be a great game. Will hope yo get this this week and I love limbo and Walking dead.

  38. Ryan Nicholas says:

    Hopefully plan on getting this when i have the money, played the demo, liked what was there.

  39. Tony S says:

    Really want to see how confusing this gets controlling two at once?!

  40. Great idea behind the game too!

  41. Good Review, looks like an interesting games

  42. James Walker (@HazukiSensei) says:

    Looks amazing. I love games like this.

  43. David Bergström says:

    This game looks cool

  44. James says:

    great game it looks really ennjoyable

  45. bill says:

    Great game. I play the trial with my brother and we want more of that amazing game.
    @killer bondbill

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