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Single-Player Co-op
September 23, 2013 11:28 AM   Subscribe

Requiring one player to independently control two characters, one with each hand, the recently released Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons (Steam/360/PS3) has been receiving high praise for its intertwining of emotional storytelling and gameplay. "Brothers is a compellingly beautiful game, yet remarkably dark... it’s a single-player co-op, executed sublimely." - Rock Paper Shotgun. "The resulting journey is so singularly devoted to creating a specific tone and atmosphere that you won't likely be able to stop thinking about it until long after you've seen it through to the end." - Giant Bomb. "We see so many games striving to be interactive movies, but Brothers is something more akin to poetry. Mechanics are stanzas, and together they pack more of an emotional wallop than some scripts achieve with thousands upon thousands of hollow words." - Polygon.

From developer Starbreeze, more known for gritty shooters like The Darkness and Syndicate, Brothers has been one of the surprises of the summer, drawing comparisons with Gone Home (GWJ article, clearly marked spoilers) and Total Biscuit calls it his favorite game of all time.

Giant Bomb's Patrick Klepek has a great (but spoilers filled) interview with Aramean-Swedish director Josef Fares who created the game.
posted by kmz (22 comments total) 29 users marked this as a favorite

 
Wow, major spoiler in that Josef Fares link!
posted by Foci for Analysis at 11:37 AM on September 23, 2013


Brothers is emotionally manipulative, and not in a good way.
posted by grimmelm at 11:38 AM on September 23, 2013


Ack, yeah, I should have maybe been stronger with my spoiler warning there. BIG MAJOR SPOILERS in the Klepek interview.
posted by kmz at 11:38 AM on September 23, 2013


So, which one is the Klepek interview?
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 11:49 AM on September 23, 2013


Oh, the Fares one.
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 11:50 AM on September 23, 2013


(And don't forget Enclave (an elderly favorite of mine), Riddick: Assault on Dark Athena, and the recent Payday 2).
posted by Samizdata at 11:53 AM on September 23, 2013


grimmelm:

I am not challenging you but I hope you'll come back and explain this. I haven't played it myself but I am interested to hear why you would say that.
posted by Our Ship Of The Imagination! at 11:54 AM on September 23, 2013 [1 favorite]


I actually played this with my GF using a single controller. An interesting way to experience it, and the ending was, I think, a little more interesting that way.
posted by empath at 12:18 PM on September 23, 2013


Not done playing so I can't read the links but as soon as I started playing it struck me as such a singularly Swedish idea, a single player co-op for one of the loneliest places around.
posted by Iteki at 12:20 PM on September 23, 2013


And actually, this thread is already getting a bit spoilery in itself, so I will be back later!
posted by Iteki at 12:21 PM on September 23, 2013


"Requiring one player to independently control two characters, one with each hand..."
You mean just like when playing "The Adventures of Cookie & Cream" for the Playstation 2 ?
posted by Mozai at 1:04 PM on September 23, 2013


Gone Home was created by MetaFilter's own zusty (along with several other people, of course).

(It's pretty great, by the way.)
posted by brundlefly at 1:12 PM on September 23, 2013


I played this on Saturday and I can see what grimmelm means, although I'm not sure I agree. The ending felt like being punched.
posted by jacalata at 1:36 PM on September 23, 2013


I like being punched. Right in the feels.
posted by naju at 1:39 PM on September 23, 2013 [1 favorite]


I wrote a blog entry about my reaction to Brothers, which was less than positive. With a couple of exceptions its narrative techniques are old-fashioned, manipulative, and its structure often works against the core story. Also, to quote myself:

"You’ll be glad to hear that in a game about two boys saving a man, there are female characters. You’ll be less glad to hear that two of them are hostages who need to be rescued, one is a bitch who tries to kill you, and one is already dead. That’s it for women. No, wait, I tell a lie. You get the game’s second achievement by taking a ball from a little girl and throwing it down a well. The girl cries and you get 20 points."

It's very good in parts. The whole, not so much.
posted by Hogshead at 1:55 PM on September 23, 2013 [3 favorites]


Grimmelm blogged about his feelings on the game here.
posted by louie at 2:44 PM on September 23, 2013 [2 favorites]


Thanks, louie!
posted by Our Ship Of The Imagination! at 2:49 PM on September 23, 2013


Yeah, thanks for the link louie and great blog post Grimmelm, especially the conclusion.
posted by kittensofthenight at 3:09 PM on September 23, 2013 [2 favorites]


Gone Home was created by MetaFilter's own zusty (along with several other people, of course).

Gone Home is amazing.

It's also the perfect game to get a new player used to first-person controls. There was an AskMe about that a while back. Gone Home is perfect, because there's no rush: everything is just casual exploration.
posted by painquale at 3:20 PM on September 23, 2013 [1 favorite]


This game sounds like it's right up my alley. Any opinions on which console version is the best/prettiest/least bugs/etc.?
posted by jbickers at 6:05 PM on September 23, 2013


Zero Punctuation (loud video) didn't seem to like Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons, due to wanton overdramatic story and plot holes. But he is quite a cranky bastard.
posted by meowzilla at 8:25 PM on September 23, 2013


I agree with most of Hogshead's points, as well. The unreality and episodic nature of the game didn't bother me, but the treatment of female characters really did.
posted by grimmelm at 8:08 AM on September 25, 2013


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