How well can you multitask? If you've ever had trouble scratching your head while patting your stomach, perhaps Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons, also a third-person downloadable adventure game comes from the mind of Swedish film director Josef Fares, can help you start thinking in parallel.
While Brothers stars two protagonists, it is not a cooperative game. Instead, you are expected to control both avatars simultaneously. This is done by dividing the controller in half. The left directional stick and shoulder buttons control the older brother, while the opposite stick and buttons control the younger (or is it the other way around?). For players experienced with modern games--where only a single avatar is controlled--this two-person mechanic may feel a bit…alien.
The brothers are on a quest to find a cure for their dying father. Along the way they can interact with various people and items. These interactions differ depending on which brother you use. For example, the older brother generally wants to speak with, or aid, others. The younger brother loves playing tricks or making people laugh. In the picture above, you see a girl playing with her ball. Taking the ball gives you an opportunity to play a surprisingly tricky game of catch with the brothers and hone your skills.
To help you adjust to controlling the brothers, the game has several asynchronous puzzles. One example involves a menacing dog, shown above. The brothers need to cross the field, but the dog will attack if they try to run past. Working together, one brother can distract the canine while the other brother moves up to the next hay bale. By taking turns in this way, they will eventually outwit the canine.
The dog example is about as close as the game gets to traditional combat. Exploring the world, talking with villagers, and solving puzzles take precedence over hacking and slashing. It is a very relaxed and slow-paced game, but that doesn't mean it is boring. "I value my time and the quality of experience," Fares noted. "Any [puzzle] you encounter will not recycled a second time."
Take a little time off the main path, and you might find a pack of rabbits: three black and one white. The black rabbits are all clustered together, and when the white rabbit tries to approach, they all hop away. Should you feel sorry for the lonely white rabbit, you could dip it in the ashes of an expired camp fire. The soot-covered rabbit will then be able to happily join his kin.
If helping poor rabbits and playing catch doesn't sound like a fun time, Brothers may not be the game for you. And Fares is perfectly OK with this. "This game is not for everyone," he admitted, but he hopes that those who do enjoy it can make some sort of connection with it. You should be able to finish this game in one sitting, he noted, since the game is only three to four hours long. Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons is set for release during the spring of next year on the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3, and PC.