Starbreeze may have lost face after the poor effort that was the FPS version of Syndicate but their newest title Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons (which is basically a tautology, right?) seems to have a little something going on under the hood.
Shown off in their latest video, the developer has gone into how you will control both the young brothers simultaneously and how they will interact with the world differently as a result.
I’m quite a fan of the concept of this, we’ve often had games in the past where you control multiple characters, switching between them to interact with the world differently (the LEGO games come to mind), be it that one character is stronger or another lighter, and so the environment can be tackled differently. But controlling both at the same time seems a novel development of the mechanic.
Largely, it looks like Starbreeze could have opted for a character switch mechanic without causing many problems but there were a couple of instances in the video that show how simultaneous control would be necessary: the instance where the two boys are sharing a hang glider and must shift their weight across the handrail to tip it, or when they’re using each other as a pivot on a rope swing. It’s those moments that make me want to try the game and see how possible it is to split your brain over the management of two people.
A neat touch is the difference in the boys interactions. The older brother seems to be trying to take charge, so when he interacts with people he is searching for information, asking for help. The younger brother, he is coddled by the older woman and teases the old man. If Starbreeze have continued this throughout the game it will be a fascinating thing to watch, see how well they can characterise the two brothers as separate personalities.
Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons is due out this spring but you can burn some of that time by reading about its story here.