There may very well be a disembodied voice providing some assistance and feedback throughout the many levels, yet it’s never really of much use – well, I never thought so anyway, particularly at the beginning of the game. Here, it asks you to perform certain actions, and yet, for the most part, it never actually relays how the player can do what is being asked of them, this is left entirely to trial and error, the player forced to randomly hit every button until the correct action is performed. There’s not even a configuration option, making it impossible to see a button layout either, so imagine my surprise when – several levels in – I accidentally press “B” and sent my poor little robot straight back to the start of a level, which effectively forced me to do the whole thing again from scratch. Thankfully, functions are quite limited, so it doesn’t exactly take very long to get a handle on everything, but it certainly would have been nice to have had this corrected.
I know several people who, for some reason, struggled with Starbreeze’s Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons, finding the controls rather disorientating, I didn’t, and yet coming into this, I found it almost impossible to tell which robot I was in charge of at any given time, which meant I would invariably look at the wrong portion of the screen when attempting to move one. After a brief amount of time though, this disorientation passed and I soon found myself quite at home with it, and in truth, using a split screen option actually makes the experience fairly intuitive. Each of the two robots, as you might expect, has a section of the screen devoted exclusively to them, this proves invaluable as the areas become more complex and buttons interact with sections far beyond the scope of but one robot. This allows the second one to follow the first’s line of sight to track down the affected area, creating an almost tit-for-tat style of gameplay, as each character allows the other to make progress. It feels an awful lot like Southend Interactive’s Ilo Milo, at least to a certain extent, though the goal here is not to reunite the two protagonists, but rather bring them both to the end of the level in one piece.