Title: Max: The Curse of Brotherhood.
Platform: Xbox One, Xbox 360, PC, PS4 (reviewed)
Developer: Press Play
Publisher: Microsoft Studios (PC & Xbox) | Wired Productions (PS4)
Release date: Out now
tl;dr:: Max journeys into another world to save his brother, and his only defense is a magic marker.
Price: PS4: $25 / £20 | Xbox & PC: $15 / £11
Family Focus: Click here for more information.
Back in 2013, during the Xbox E3 press conference, Max: The Curse of Brotherhood was shown off, and I loved the artistic design. I was disappointed when I found out it wasn’t making its way to PS4, as I had already decided on my next generation purchase. Now flash forward to the present day, and Max has made his way to the PS4, bringing a magic marker and a whole lot of puzzles for you to solve!
Max: The Curse of Brotherhood follows young Max, who is fed up with his destructive little brother, Felix. So he searches Giggle (Clearly a parody of Google) for an answer to make his brother disappear, and after reading a magic spell, his brother is snatched away by some monster and dragged into another dimension. Max instantly regrets his decision, and so jumps in after his brother to save him.
After arriving in this new world, Max encounters an old woman who grants his marker powers, allowing him to draw a variety of things from glowing spots littered throughout the levels, such as massive stone pillars, large branches, long vines, or summon streams of water that allow you to glide through the air. With these abilities, Max must solve various puzzles to save his brother from the evil that kidnapped him.
Visually, the game looks gorgeous: gameplay and cutscenes look almost identical and both make the game look like a Dreamworks animated film. The soundtrack is beautiful with a very fairy tale-esque vibe coming from each note; after all, you’re in another world full of monsters, and you’re able to control the elements – pretty fairytale stuff!
Now, gameplay… oh boy, where do I start? It’s not that I hate the gameplay by any means – I thoroughly enjoyed myself at times, but certain sections caused some unneeded frustration. For example in the second chapter, Max has to escape from a large creature and hide underneath a structure to solve a puzzle to send the monster packing, but at first, I wasn’t able to make it to the structure, as the beast was killing me… I had to look it up on YouTube because I thought I was doing something wrong, maybe I was missing something but, no, the game for some reason was allowing the beast to catch me.
Another moment was on Chapter Three, where you’re sliding down, escaping from another creature, and you have to time your jump arcs, which are fine, but there’s a moment where you have to draw a vine to swing across a gap. Instead of propelling me towards the correct path, the game decided to send me the opposite direction, which was odd. Physics puzzles are fine, just as long as the physics actually work!
It may seem like I don’t like the game, but that just isn’t the case. The game’s puzzles are interesting and kept me on my toes as you solve various problems to make your way through the different locales from dense woods to fiery volcanoes; the game has a lot to offer and the platforming can be fun, but in certain situations, it doesn’t pull through. I think with a bit more polish, Max: The Curse of Brotherhood could be a fantastic game but with these issues, it’s just a game with a lot of unfulfilled potentials at best.
Overall, Max: The Curse of Brotherhood is a fun little title with some great puzzles on offer but the game falls short with some technical issues which can leave you with a sour taste in the mouth.
- Beautiful visuals and gorgeous enviroments .
- Amazing soundtrack.
- Some great puzzles.
- Some technical issues with physics and AI.
- The sliding chase sequence still has me frustrated.
- Encounters are repetitive.
Max: The Curse of Brotherhood is rated E for Everyone by ERSB and PEGI 12. The game contains mild fantasy violence but nothing too drastic.
This review is based on a digital copy of the game provided by the publisher for the purposes of this review.