I will never rely on dialogue again…- Brothers: A tale of two sons

Hey, Gamers! Now, I know that this game is old, but I only recently played it. I was actually interested in it when I first got back into gaming, back when Josh (my partner) was trying to get me into games that weren’t Life Is Strange. I try not to research into games I haven’t played much so that when I play them, it’s my first time knowing what is happening. The story is always the selling point for me, and I don’t want that spoiled. Back then, all I knew about Brothers was that one stick controlled the older brother, one stick controlled the other brother, and they go on an adventure to get some medicine for their dad. I was disappointed when – at the beginning of lockdown last year – I was actually thinking of buying the game and Josh told me that there was no dialogue. It might be because I’m autistic and therefore don’t understand things such as body language, but dialogue is very important in telling a story to me. It’s the main part, even. So I just didn’t get it… until now.

SPOILER WARNING: The following post contains spoilers for Brothers: A tale of two sons. The game itself is short so if you have it and haven’t finished it, I recommend doing that before reading this post.

So I’ve been playing on the Switch a lot more recently. Since I stream a lot on the Playstation, I feel like I have to keep my ‘Playstation energy’ for the streams if that makes sense. So I’ve been playing on the Switch when I’ve been curled up in bed… or when I’m in the middle of making food… or when I’m getting my haircut. It’s hard to pull me away from it. My original game on the Switch was Civ VI, but more recently I’ve been on Animal Crossing lots. But there’s only so much to do at 3am when all the villagers are sleeping, so I was wanting something else to play for my late nights when I can’t get to sleep. I looked and Brothers was on sale. I’ve been talking to Josh a lot recently about how I think I’ve progressed as a gamer this past year or so. I’ve definitely branched out a ton. Finishing the Witcher 3 and Yakuza 0 has given me a whole bunch of confidence and I feel ready to tackle games like Spider-Man, maybe even Red Dead 2 and Metal Gear again. There’s so many games that I think I tried too early on and got frustrated because my skill wasn’t there yet. So, I thought, ‘y’know, it’s only £x, that’s not a lot even if I end up hating it’ so I talked to Josh about my thinking, and he agreed that it was a good idea. Since I’ve been taking gaming more seriously, I’ve experienced so much and been able to do so much and I thought I was ready.

I was not ready.

I mean, gameplay wise it was fine. It was fun and enjoyable and as was expected, really. But what I didn’t expect was to fully understand the story straight away. I was taken on an emotional rollercoaster with those two boys and my heart now aches. I wish I was exaggerating. I really never expected to be emotionally invested in this game, but I was straight away. The opening cinematic did an amazing job at displaying how the game’s story is told right away. This isn’t a formal game review or anything (that’s coming), but it was done perfectly. It’s one of the best openings that I have seen to show the audience how the story of the game is going to be communicated.

I think there’s games where it’s just a game with no particular story or a lose story, and I thought Brothers was going to be like that. I thought the most important thing in this game was going to be its game mechanics because, at the end of the day, people who play FPS games know about Brothers because the controls are so iconic. But this game tells an amazingly detailed story though music, tone and pitch, exaggerated and simple gestures and amazing character development.

So for those who haven’t played this game yet and are just reading because it’s me (first, thank you, that’s sweet of you), this game is… in the title. It’s about two brothers who go on a journey to get medicine for their father. Now that I think about it, the title fits it well but we’ll discuss that later. So the two boys go through their town, overcome challenges, meet new friends who help them along the way and get manipulated by people who seemed to help them. It really is a magnificent journey and it’s so beautifully told.

I’m a writer. I’ve been a writer for as long as I can remember. Back when I was younger, I was always told by teachers that I had too much dialogue in my writing. I couldn’t understand how to tell the story without so much dialogue. I get it now. This game taught me that not only is it possible, but it can be done well.

I realise that this post is just a gush about this game but it honestly shocked me because it’s just done perfectly.

So let’s talk about why the title is so fitting for this game. You know how when people go to war, there’s always a cliché thing going round that the men fighting are ‘fathers, brothers and sons’. This game kind of reminded me of that and really put that phrase into perspective. Like, people obviously have different relationships with their parents compared to their siblings and I feel like this is felt heavily at the end of the game. I will be talking about the ending now, so beware major spoilers.

When the little brother comes back from getting the medicine from the tree, he comes back to his big brother. When he realises what has happened, he almost instantly switches from ‘little brother’ mode to ‘son’ mode. He has a duty to get that medicine back to their father, no matter what. He buried his older brother – in my opinion he did this so that when their father was better, he could bring his father to the place that he buried his brother without finding a decaying body – and he ventured on, almost like he was taking a trip down memory lane of the journey he had just taken with his brother… only now he had to do it alone. I think it’s common knowledge that the death of the older brother hits harder because you no longer have control of him. You’re no longer using the left stick (or at least it was the left stick for me). It’s like a whole hand is now obsolete because he’s just gone. And this sense of duty that the little brother has… it’s changed. At first, he was just following his older brother. He was just helping whenever he could, but all in all it was normal for him to just follow his brother’s orders. Now, he was alone. He was no longer a brother, because his brother was gone. He was just a son. That’s all he had left, and he had to make sure that his father didn’t die like the rest of his family.

The brothers really reminded me of Sean and Daniel from Life Is Strange 2. Like, I ended up naming this Sean and Daniel in my head because I feel like there is a huge resemblance. Do you guys agree?

Anyway, that’s it for today’s post, Gamers. Thanks for reading! If you liked this, hit the follow button for more gaming content (I’m hoping to do a game review of this game very soon). Check out my social media to keep updated, and check out 2nerds_1game on Twitch if you want to see me and my partner stream almost every day! See you next time 😊

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