Max The Curse of Brotherhood Review
For the purposes of transparency, this review was created using a code provided by the company or their respective PR company. The use of a review code does not affect my judgement of the game.
Max The Curse of Brotherhood has been around for a while now, but it has eventually made its way over to Playstation 4. This is a game I never thought I would see on this console, due to the fact it was developed by Press Play, one of Microsoft’s first party studios meaning it was also published by Microsoft. But, after the closure of the studio, it’s made it’s way to Sony’s console – the question is how does it hold-up four years later?
The game starts out with Max returning home to find his younger brother Felix in his room, not pleased at this Max looks up a chant online to get rid of Felix – a bit harsh if you ask me. To his surprise a portal opens and his brother is dragged through it, so Max jumps into the portal also. Now in another dimension, Lord Mustacho has taken Felix and your job is getting to his castle and save Felix. Now, the story might sound a bit of a cliché but it does work for what the game is offering. But, the games main charm comes from its gameplay.
So, let’s get to the gameplay. At heart the game is a 2.5D platformer, which relies on puzzling elements as it’s main core mechanic. The puzzle mechanic is all controlled by the magic marker you get very close to start of the game. What is so special about this magic marker? It can used to raise platforms, draw vines, generate water currents and shoot fireballs at either your enemies or destructive objects. This magic marker mechanic really makes for some great puzzle aspects to the game, and has allowed the team be creative in how they work. Even though the game may look like it is for children, some of the puzzles become really complex by the end of the game – so don’t let the looks fool you. It’s not always as easy as using one of the markers abilities at a time, you will need to start to combine them. Throughout the game you will also come across action like chase sequences that will really get your heart pumping, because one false move and you’ll be the monsters lunch.
As mentioned above the game may carry a look like it is aimed at younger gamers, but, the games presentation has come on along way since the original Max and the Magic Marker (Wiiware). The games visuals might not hold as much awe as it did on its original release four years ago, but it still holds-up for a game today. In the game you do visit a number of different types of areas throughout the dimension, which in turn keeps the presentation of the game interesting. When it comes the audio in the game, unfortunately the characters all seem to be very one-track, which can soon become a bit boring, but the world it is set in and the gameplay will take your attention away from the audio.
Where the original Max game was all motion controlled, they have not included motion controls in The Curse of Brotherhood – which personally I think is a great thing. Instead you will complete all of the actions in the game with the DualShock 4. The way this works is you will get out the magic marker using the right trigger. Once this is out the game will highlight on the screen what objects can be manipulated, and you will move the marker around the screen to active these. After a very short time with the controls, you will have the hang of them. This is a good thing, because when you need to make a chain of different abilities for a puzzle, the speed of doing it is essential. Other than the magic market controls you have your standard move and jump actions you would expect in a platformer.
When it comes to the length of the game, it boils down to a couple of things. The first is if you are not interested in getting all the collectables (two separate types), you will be looking at around 6-7 hours to get through the game. If you are looking at getting the collectables you will be looking at around 8-10 hours. However, where you might think even at 6-7 hours the games mechanics might start to feel a bit repetitive, something the game does is staggers the new abilities through the chapters – meaning it feels fresh throughout your play-through.