Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons - a downloadable adventure coming to Xbox Live, PSN and PC this spring - has a unique hook with its control system; you're using one controller to play as two characters at once. Each brother is assigned to an analogue stick and a shoulder trigger for movement and interacting with the world around them, as the pair journey through a fairytale world to find a cure for their sick father. Having to control a Brother with each stick feels disorientating at first, but its gentle pace in exploration – you can't fall off cliff edges or aren't encountering roaming monsters – means you aren't punished for any minor navigational mistakes. The camera also cleverly repositions itself to ensure the right-most brother remains on that side of the screen wherever possible, again helping with any possible frustration. Working together as a team The pair need to work together to progress past the game's many puzzles. An early example sees a dog in a field that chases anyone on sight. By distracting the dog with one Brother, the other is able to run to a nearby ledge, progressing further down the field, repeating the process until both are safe at the other end of the field. Another early example is a water wheel that lowers a bridge. With one Brother running inside the wheel, the other crosses over and grabs a sheep, which can then be swapped with the Brother so both can cross the lowered bridge. Puzzles are designed to be simple enough to both work easily with the game's controls and not frustrate the player. Instead, the focus is creating an adventure that is varied from start to finish, where no obstacle or puzzle will repeat itself more than once. Each puzzle will also experiment with the simple control scheme in various ways, such as a hand-glider that has you co-ordinate analogue stick movements, or rope swings that require specifically timed releases and holds as statues crumble around you. Establishing a story through player interaction Each Brother will also interact differently with the world around them, which helps establish each of their personalities. An early game example is a harp; the old brother carefully plucks at the strings, while the little brother trashes away creating a noise. It's this interactivity that Swedish award-winning director Josef Fares and the game's creative director feels is special about games, letting the player become involved in the story, and what he believes will make games stronger than other mediums – including film and music – because of player agency. "For me, in games, interactivity is the most important, because that's what I love with games, is that you're actually in control of what's going on. "I think in the end, people want to be touched. If you're touched and interactive at the same time, it's the strongest thing. But we're not there yet, but in the future we will be." An inspiration he takes from film is a character's journey, watching them "start somewhere and end up somewhere else" and grow. "That's in Brothers as well. But it's an interactive experience, you actually play it and feel it in your hand." While Brothers has short cutscenes to briefly introduce new areas, situations or characters, it's these interactive elements where this character growth will be made. To say precisely how this emerges over the course of the game would move into spoiler territory, but Fares said it would be "subtle" but once players get it, they'll "definitely react to it". Using Achievements to tell smaller tales Another interesting idea is using the Achievement system won't be used for campaign progression or collectables, but to help find and experiencing side stories in the world. One early game example is a girl playing with a ball in a village. Using the Brothers to play bully, you can steal the ball and drop it down a well to unlock an Achievement. Another sees you encounter a group of black rabbits that's avoiding a white rabbit who's trying to fit in. One Brother will shoo away the creatures, but the other will pick it up by the ears, letting you coat the white rabbit in black soot and help it make some new friends. "We're making 12 unique [stories] which makes you want to really want these achievements because you get something out of them," explained Fares. "You not only get the ding and the Achievement, but you get that little story." Creating a short - but meaningful - experience Fares's decision to have puzzles play out only once over the course of the game results in Brothers becoming a short experience, but one that's aimed as a deep and meaningful one. It's something downloadable games, such as the multi-BAFTA Award winning Journey, have benefited from, by telling a concise tale that cuts out the filler and respects the user's time. "I don't care how long or short a game is. What's important for me is the experience," explained Fares. "People talk about value for your time, how much you pay – if you have three great hours... Journey has been with me since I've played it, that's value. "It's not like playing 10 hours of a game, and most games that I play they could have taken away easily two, three, four hours." He continued: "There's this thing that reviewers or journalists that have been saying that it's supposed to be long and trying to make it as long as [possible]; we should talk about the experience, not about the length. "This is a three-, four-hour experience. I don't know how much exactly it's going to cost, but it's a downloadable title. I don't know how you value it. "But for me, I value the experience, not the time. This game is just as long as it needs to be. That's it." Source Digital Spy.