Games News and Reviews | High Def Digest
Film & TV All News Blu-Ray Reviews Release Dates News Pre-orders 4K Ultra HD Reviews Release Dates News Pre-orders Gear Reviews News Home Theater 101 Best Gear Film & TV
Games : Recommended
Release Date: September 3rd, 2013 Movie Release Year: 2013

Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons

Overview -

'Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons,' is the latest game from Starbreeze Studios. Much of what Starbreeze Studios has developed over the years has focused on high intensity and over-the-top action. They attempted to breathe new life into the highly regarded 'Syndicate' franchise, took four player co-op to the next level with the 'PayDay' series, and gave us a taste of what hell may be like with 'The Darkness.' 'Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons,' has a much more subtle air to it compared with these past games and is an obvious break from a development formula that many may have identified as the developer's comfort zone.

Rating Breakdown
Tech Specs & Release Details
Release Date:
September 3rd, 2013

Video Review


Although that the bulk of 'Brothers' is played from a bird's-eye view, the lavish imagery of the environments often shines through, and exhibits exceptionally crafted detailed. Starting out from the comforts of your village you will quickly come to feel that the world is a vast and punctuated by examples of grandeur. This becomes especially apparent throughout the game when park-like benches positioned at key observation points allow the player to rest both characters while overlooking the sizeable vistas they have yet to explore.

When sitting atop the highest mountain or looking down into what appears to be a bottomless trench of the underground, draw distances are impressively rendered and exhibit an appropriate sense of height and detail; enough so that should the player possess a tremendous fear of heights (as I do) a moment may be needed to convince the brain that seeing is not always believing.

Still, as impressive as the environments are, the up-close-and-personal character animations consistently removed me from an otherwise believable setting. While all of 'Brothers' was developed with a cell-shaded art style, the character cut scenes often reflected a more cartoonish look and feel. This seems to be an unfortunate side effect of the cut scenes that are needed to further develop the characters and push the story closer to its resolution.

Audio Review


Much as the game's visuals are used to develop an engaging story, music is easily just as important. With the decision to dispense with conventional voice acting, (and voice acting altogether), the game's music becomes an even more important part of the experience. The game's soundtrack is the vehicle by which the developers at Starbreeze Studios display emotions in the characters of 'Brothers.' Whether it was a sense of wonderment and awe from the dizzying heights, or the fear of the unknown when interacting with the magical creatures they encountered, the musical score was spot on in every scene.

That's not to say the limited amount of sound effects didn't deliver in deepening and complementing the experience. On more than one occasion my powered subwoofer received a substantial workout from the likes of a giant stomping across a snow-covered village, destroying everything that standing in its way. Similarly, the quieter stretches of exploration delivered a nice even surround sound quality. Birds could often be heard from around and behind me, and sudden gusts of wind were pushed from left to right as the brothers traversed some of the higher elevations.

As short as 'Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons' is, its potent content satisfies where a lengthier game would lose resonance. Its focus was on delivering its story, and the game thoroughly accomplished what it set out to deliver. While I never fully grasped the unique control scheme, it was certainly an exercise in creativity, and for that I applaud Starbreeze Studios. For a developer know for its action-heavy titles and addictive multiplayer, 'Brothers' is a surprising success that serves to prove the merits of creative freedom in video game development and potential for such freedom to result in a memorable gaming experience.

Click here to view comments on this review