In Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons, Dad is in poor health and his only hope is the fabled "water of life." It's up to his two sons to traverse a beautifully rendered landscape for the cure. The plot takes on some grown-up themes, and from the get-go you feel the weight these two boys carry as they push forward, discovering their own bravery and courage.
The control scheme instantly grabs your attention. You control both brothers, but not by toggling between them. Instead, each analog stick controls a brother, and this creates some compelling -- if frustrating -- gaming.
The various scenarios test gamers' focus and dexterity. You may have to simultaneously navigate one character onto a platform while another character crosses a bridge. In another excellent scene, the two boys are attached by a rope and use each other as counterweight to swing along a cliff. Each scenario requires your left and right brain to work as one.
The game looks like it's taking cues from the Fable franchise, and no one could complain about that. Detailed environments, a wonderful sense of place and time, and interesting characters pop in and out as the brothers make their journey. If only the developers had invested in some voice acting instead of relying on that emotive noise stuff Fable and The Sims are known for.
Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons instantly engages you and keeps you invested throughout the action. This is a must-play for Xbox and PlayStation owners.
RATING T for Teen
PLOT Boys become men to save their dad's life
DETAILS PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, $14.99
BOTTOM LINE Papa can be proud