An interesting concept and fantastic story hindered by its short length and lack of challenge.

User Rating: 8 | Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons X360
Remember Summer of Arcade? You know, that XBLA promotion that gave us games like Braid, Castle Crashers, Shadow Complex, 'Splosion Man, Trials HD, LIMBO, and Bastion, among others. Well, it's back, and after a year of less-than-stellar games (Dust: An Elysian Tail was okay, but nothing special), we're kicking off this year with Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons. Is it enough for the Summer of Arcade to reclaim its title as bearer of great indie games?


Brothers follows the journey of two nameless brothers as they try to find a cure for their dad's illness. The two must travel through different landscapes and fight through several different challenges in order to reach their destination. While that doesn't sound like much information, the story is really where this game shines. Despite the fact that the characters talk in an incomprehensible language the entire time, the actions of the characters speak much louder than any words ever could. The game has a lot of charm, despite the fact that the game is fairly grotesque, especially towards the end. In addition, this game has one of the best endings that I can remember in recent history.

The gameplay of Brothers is very unique. You control both brothers on their journey, one with the left control stick and one with the right. When you want one of them to interact with the environment, you press the corresponding trigger. While the idea behind the gameplay is quite interesting, the problem is that controlling two characters at the same time is difficult to wrap your head around, so to compensate there isn't much of a challenge during the game. While much of the gameplay is interesting, like when the two brothers are tied together on a rope, there isn't much in the game that you won't breeze through.

However, by far the worst part about this game is the length. All in all, this game easily clocks in under three hours, which is made even worse by the fact that the game costs 15 dollars to buy. Value aside, the lack of length really hinders the ability to delve into the story of the brothers as much as I would have liked.

In conclusion, Brothers isn't for everyone. There will be people like me who love the game despite its length because of its uniqueness and excellent story. There are others who simply won't want the game because it doesn't provide enough quality gameplay. Brothers is certainly a good game, but it doesn't quite do enough to stand up to the past Summer of Arcade gems.