When a developer hypes up an upcoming project without showing or telling us anything it usually results in complete disappointment. Gamers may be hard to please at times, but when something is teased to be surprising only to be revealed as a derivative mess of concepts that isn’t new by any means, then the further flaming gamers may give a particular studio can be justified.
2012 may not have started off on the right foot for the folks at Starbreeze since their Syndicate reboot was a commercial and critical disappointment, but the studio is going in a different direction with Brothers – A Tale of Two Sons.
The long teased Starbreeze project which has Swedish film director Josef Fares serving as a contributor, Brothers is a massive change of pace for the studio as it swaps the usually dark and mature settings found in The Darkness and Riddick: Escape From Butcher Bay for a fantastical land that looks like it was inspired by Tolkien. The plot of Brothers hasn’t been hammered out in direct detail, but as the name implies the game will see two young brothers embark on a journey in a fantastical world that isn’t overly saccharin but has some rather eye catching art design.
One minor plot element was divulged as the journey the two brothers are going on is to secure something called the Water of Life, which is trying to be obtained in order to help their ill stricken father. So it could be possible that amidst the colorful art design and adventure-puzzle basis of the game we could receive a somewhat heavy narrative, similar to what Minority did with the stellar Papo & Yo.
The abilities of the brothers weren’t detailed though it was mentioned that they’ll both have to overcome their fears & weaknesses so I’m assuming the game will be heavy on co-op teamwork. Exactly how the big troll like figure shown in the teaser video plays into the game mechanics is unknown, but I assume it may be a simple case of guiding the giant figure to destroy objects or serve as a stepping block to reach high areas – similar to what was done in the long forgotten Game Republic title Majin and The Forsaken Kingdom.
Brothers may not be a traditional Starbreeze game as it’s a fantasy based adventure bound for the PSN, XBLA, and PC, but the game still looks interesting. The quality of Starbreeze may have fallen ever so slightly since many of the original members have left and gone on to found the Zenimax backed MachineGames so in ways the studio may be a shell of its former shelf. However, I am intrigued by the concept of Brothers since it could be an enjoyable game that thankfully doesn’t revolve around shooting or stomping heads in.
Brothers – A Tale of Two Sons will be available in 2013 for the PlayStation Network, Xbox Live Arcade, and PC.