Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons is a fairy tale of a game. It’s a straightforward story filled with wonder, emotion, and life lessons. Like Journey, Brothers is a small game that conveys so much without even a spoken or written word of dialogue. Saying that Starbreeze Studios has created one of 2013’s most unique interactive experiences is easily an understatement.
Brothers opens with the younger brother, Little, kneeling at the grave of his mother. A quick flashback shows her tragic drowning in front of Little, caught helplessly on a boat during a storm. We cut back to reality where the older brother, Big, asks Little to help him with something. The brothers’ father is dying and needs his sons to transport him via wheelbarrow to the town doctor. The doctor presents the boys with a map to the only cure that can save their father.
Off the bat, Brothers features a story darker than most games and presents what prove to be key themes in the story: death and grief. The two siblings travel a tremendous distance and across unbelievable lands to save the life of someone they love. Throughout the journey, death is ever-present, whether by passing through a town hit with the plague or a silent battlefield after a war. Despite containing zero explicit dialogue, Brothers' storytelling will engross you with its cinematic feel, which likely comes from Starbreeze collaborating with Swedish film director Josef Fares.