Developer Starbreeze recently showed off its upcoming adventure title Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons, and it seems to have some interesting ideas. The game is about two young brothers who set out into the world to find a cure for their ailing father. Along the way, players will have to solve puzzles using the brothers' differing personalities and abilities, encounter mythical creatures, and explore mysterious environments.
Big brother and little brother are both controlled by a single player from an isometric viewpoint. The left analogue stick controls the big brother's movement and the left trigger works as his action button. The opposite stick and trigger control the little brother. Both characters have a different personality and abilities from the other. The younger brother is playful and nimble, and the older boy is responsible and strong. These attributes affect the way they interact with the environment and other characters in the world.
Depending on which brother interacts with an NPC or object, you can get different results based on their personalities. For instance, at one point in the demo, the two encountered a white rabbit that was being shunned by his black-furred counterparts. When the big brother interacts with it, he picks it up, puts it down, and nothing special happens. When the little brother interacts with the rabbit, he playfully drops him in a pile of black soot from a nearby campsite, turning the white rabbit into the more socially acceptable color black. It is then accepted into the group--leading the brothers to the path forward.
The brothers' physical abilities affect the gameplay as well. Big brother may be required to give his younger bro a boost up to a ledge, to which a ladder can be dropped to open the path, or the two might have to work together simultaneously to get around dangers. In one area, the brothers needed to get past a guard dog that was watching over recently sewn bales of hay. To safely cross this section, the brothers take turns climbing on top of hay bales while the other distracted the dog by whistling and yelling.
Much of the game’s charm comes from the characters' reactions to each other and the beautiful environments they explore. There is no real spoken dialogue, but the characters express themselves with their own gibberish language and animated, dramatic movements that convey the emotions of the characters very well. The environments are also visually striking. The camera often pulls back to show off the expansive vistas, and the autumn colors, steep cliff sides, and flowing creeks of the level we saw create remarkable surroundings to explore.
Starbreeze mentioned that Brothers will be a bite-sized experience--lasting about three to four hours--and is designed to be played through in a single sitting (much like Journey). Look forward to getting your hands on Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons early 2013 for XBLA and PSN.