Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons Remake

Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons Remake

2013's harrowing adventure game is back and more beautiful than ever in this striking and respectful remake.

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Josef Fares became a bit of an icon for the gaming sector following the major and critical acclaim that It Takes Two achieved. The co-op adventure blew many away, but in many respects, it was a title that was almost a decade in the making, with Fares flexing his creative talents as early as 2013 when the harrowing Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons made its arrival. In the year 2024 that very adventure game is making its return as a remade experience with striking modern graphics and a few additional extras to boot.

But before I get into what these modern improvements are and how they enhance or affect Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons, let me start by just mentioning that the elements that have been preserved still hold up incredibly well. The story is both fascinating and heartbreaking, the gameplay systems ingenious and unique, the level design and set pieces stunning and bewildering, and the added exploration opportunities a delight that brings welcome charm and heart to a usually very, very tragic storyline. Regardless of how the new improvements and features impact the actual Brothers experience, if you've never had the chance to play through this game, this remake is a great opportunity to do exactly that, and I'd recommend doing so as it's short duration means you can cruise through the game in just a couple of hours.


But anyway, the new elements. At the forefront are the visual and performance improvements. All you have to do is watch a trailer to see that Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons Remake is a graphical delight. It's stunning and beautiful at pretty much every turn, and it's clear that the decision to remake this game and not simply remaster it was a very wise choice from the crew over at Avantgarden. The levels feel livelier and more realistic than ever, the colours are deeper and more vibrant, the characters are easier to connect with, and as you work through the chapters you steadily fall more and more in love with the world thanks to its great graphics. As per the performance, on PS5 this is usually very good, but I have noticed a few drops in frame rate here and there, and even faced a few occasional bugs where during platforming I've managed to get characters stuck in places they shouldn't be, leading me to having to exit to the main menu or restart at the nearest checkpoint.

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Looking at the gameplay instead, this is where I find Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons Remake much more conflicting. To be clear, the puzzle design and the platforming elements are all very well handled and realised, rather it's the actual control scheme that's more of a challenge to appreciate. Since this remake features the ability to play co-op on separate controllers from the get-go, you have to wonder why pretty much every mechanic in the game is offered up on an analogue stick and a trigger, and why the developers didn't look to accommodate some further buttons to help alleviate the strange feeling of using the same trigger to both hold onto a ledge and jump up to another ledge at the same time, as an example. Similarly, the nature of controlling two characters at the same time using separate sticks is quite the mind-boggling thing to complete, and for the single player elements, I personally wouldn't have minded a way to simply be able to switch between characters when necessary and have the unused character following along automatically otherwise. It would be an improvement that would simply make the game less annoying to control at times.

Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons RemakeBrothers: A Tale of Two Sons Remake
Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons RemakeBrothers: A Tale of Two Sons Remake

As this is a very short game with a very linear design, there's not a whole lot else that was adjusted. There is mention that the NPCs and enemies have been improved with better and more challenging reactions, but I personally didn't notice much of a difference here. The soundtrack has also been re-recorded with a live orchestra, and while I won't deny that the music and the ambience of the game is excellent, it doesn't quite make as big an impression as the graphical improvement does.

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So, when you boil it down, the main thing to take from the Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons Remake is that this is still a great adventure experience except now it uses graphics that befits its entertaining gameplay. This is a remake that is as pure as the term can get, it's not doing a whole lot to differ from the original product, or even adding much that's worth harping on about beyond its visual and performance enhancements. If you've never played this game before, I would suggest picking this title up as the story is fantastic albeit very sad, but if you have already played the original game, there's not too many reasons to necessitate returning to it here.

08 Gamereactor UK
8 / 10
Preserved elements are still fantastic. Graphics are stunning and a true highlight. Amazing soundtrack.
Controls are still a bit hit or miss. A few performance hiccups.
overall score
is our network score. What's yours? The network score is the average of every country's score

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