There’s only one thing that gets me more than a nice happy ending: a well written sad scene. And for today… well, my friends, the choice was simple for today. I’m just going to trigger the spoiler alert right now, even tho’, if you read anything about this game, you already know what I’m talking about.
MASSIVE SPOILER ALERT
Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons – Naia’s death
…and what follows.
What is unique about this game is that it can only be played in co-op. You control two brothers: Naiee, the younger, and Naia, the older one. Thing is, you can’t do much without the other: Naia is stronger and can pull levers and help Naiee reach high spaces, while Naiee is smaller and can fit through bars and such. You can’t carry things without both brothers in control and you have to pass through some puzzles with each brother distracting the monster in turns until you reach the other side. As I have played the games on PC, one brother is controlled with WASD and the other one with the arrow keys.
Basically, you depend on each other for every little task you have and it creates the most powerful bond between characters I have ever witnessed.
As for the story, it starts off when the brothers’ father gets sick and the only cure is some magical water from a magical river in a magical place not very far, but pretty far from home. That’s your journey. Take your brothers and get back with the water.
Now there’s a very important part of the story: their mother is dead. She drowned in an accident and Naiee witnessed the horrific moment, making him extremely afraid of swimming. This is why Naia must carry him whenever they have to swim.
Their entire journey is fantastically whimsical. You help a troll, you reach a giant’s home, you save a woman from being killed by fanatics, you survive an invisible monster, you make friends, you lose friends. But, in the end…Naiee loses his brother right before finding the magical water. Right before their journey ends. And it’s heartbreaking. It shatters your heart to see Naiee trying to save his brothers. It sucks the life out of you to see him crying over his dead body. And it crushes your soul to see him bury Naia right beside the water that could have saved his life if only earlier.
And, if you thought that this is the saddest you can be, you’re in for a surprise. Remember how you got to the water together, how you couldn’t do anything without one another? You have to get back as only Naiee, facing his demons and overcoming his fears. But there’s the catch. Naia did not leave you. Naia is there and you get to end your journey with his controls.
I just cannot put into words how powerful the moment was when, standing as Naiee in knee high water, I was unable to advance until I pressed Naia’s swimming button. And the magic happened.
This is, by far, the saddest game I have played until now and, ever since then, I have been on a constant hunt for a game that could move me as much as this one did.
If you have any suggestions, I would be more than happy to hear them.