Brothers: A Tale Of Two Sons Remake Review – Still A Unique, Emotional Singleplayer Co-Op Masterpiece

Get ready for an emotional rollercoaster that will not only make you question justice but also your motor skills with Brothers: A Tale Of Two Sons. Read in our review what we thought of the remake for the classic.

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Brothers A Tale of Two Sons Review: An emotionally stirring co-op game that you play on your own. | © 505 Games/EarlyGame

In 2013, a game emerged that completely captivated players on multiple levels. Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons, directed by Joseph Fares, told a gripping story and also introduced the innovative scheme of controlling two characters simultaneously, which was intricately woven into the storytelling. Fares later transitioned to Hazelight Studios and created co-op hits like A Way Out and It Takes Two, where the formula was further refined.

Brothers, on the other hand, was originally a single-player experience that simply repurposed co-op mechanics. Now, 10 years after its debut, the indie title is receiving a remake, allowing players to experience it with new graphics, a new soundtrack and a local co-op mode.

Read our review to discover our thoughts on the remake and whether it's worthwhile for both new players and fans of the original.

Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons Remake Quick Facts
ReleaseFebruary 28, 2024
DeveloperAvantgarden Games
PlatformsDigital on: PS5, XBOX X/S, PC (Steam, GOG & EPIC)

Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons Remake Review | The Bottom Line

  • The story is still an emotional rollercoaster, so be prepared.
  • Hidden "side quests" consistently provide wholesome moments.
  • Controlling 2 characters with one controller really gets both halves of your brain working.
  • The puzzles aren't really difficult and are suitable for beginners to the genre.
  • The music at the right moments enhances the emotional impact of the story.
  • With roughly 3 hours of gameplay, the adventure is very short.

Prepare To Cry

Of course, I won't tell you much of the plot here because the story is too magnificent to even slightly spoil. However, you should have a rough idea of what kind of themes to expect.

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The brothers try to find the Tree of Life. | © 505 Games

The game is set in a fictional world, where you experience the journey of two brothers trying to find the healing water of the Tree of Life to save their terminally ill father. Along the way, they encounter various obstacles and characters, not all of whom are friendly.

The themes they encounter during this journey are sometimes very dark, and I mean very dark. You should feel emotionally prepared when embarking on the journey. For example, you'll be confronted with illness, war, and suicide. Furthermore, some passages are genuinely creepy, but don't contain jump scares.

So that this is not all too heavy on your stomach, you also experience a variety of wholesome moments with the inhabitants of this fantastic world and witness unique natural spectacles. Although there isn't an open world, it's worth looking around every corner as heartwarming encounters are hidden everywhere.

In my opinion, the story is the absolute focal point of the game, around which everything revolves. Even the controls are integrated into the storytelling. Here's a pro tip from me to you: Play with a controller and play Brothers alone, as that's when its impact is best realized. Also, then, you don't have to cry in front of your friends.

Get Ready For Some Mental Gymnastics

As mentioned earlier, what makes Brothers special is its controls. As a single player, you simultaneously control 2 characters (yes, exactly, the titular brothers... well spotted!). After all, you have 2 hands, so what could be difficult about that? Hehehe.

It's best to play Brothers with a game pad, even on PC. With the left half of the pad, you control the older brother, and with the right half, the younger one. You only need the analog sticks and the triggers.

With the sticks, you control the brothers' movement, while the triggers serve as the action buttons. Technically, you can also rotate the camera with the bumpers, but in most cases, this is obsolete as it usually shows pretty well on its own where you need to look. However, rotating the camera can be helpful for some side quests.

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Climbing around with the brothers is one of the easier tasks. | © 505 Games

What sounds pretty easy on paper is actually quite confusing in reality. Especially when the two characters swap positions on the screen, and the left brother suddenly ends up on the right. Add to that the difficulty of timing, and you really need to concentrate. With some practice, however, you'll quickly find the right rhythm, and generous checkpoints allow for numerous retries if you mess up.

That being said, the difficulty of the puzzles is manageable. Each brother has their own strengths and weaknesses, and you must find a way to use them effectively in puzzle sections. However, the brothers cannot move very far apart from each other, which means that the solution to the puzzle often lies right in front of your nose. Once you know what each brother can do, the levels flow smoothly. Perfect for puzzle beginners.

Moreover, there are even boss fights. However, you can't just beat them up Dark Souls style; instead, you have to use your environment to heat things up for the enemies. Again, you should make good progress once you know what to do.

Furthermore, the gameplay offers pleasant variety. Some sections are puzzle-focused, others require skill, and still others are just enjoyable action sequences. In each section, there are also small secrets to discover, which can earn you various achievements.

Unfortunately, Brothers is a very short game. This time, it took me about 3 hours (but I had already played through the game twice back in the day). Even if you approach it more leisurely or try to collect all the achievements, the game shouldn't keep you busy for more than 4-5 hours. However, this brevity can also be seen as a strength. You wouldn't be able to endure the emotional rollercoaster for much longer anyway, and this way, the game remains a brief but engaging journey.

A Classic In A New Look

The original Brothers has a timeless look. Back then, they opted for comic-style graphics that you can still appreciate today without feeling nauseous. However, the remake takes these graphics to a whole new level.

The proportions and art style are still similar but have been polished to perfection using the Unreal Engine 5. Lighting effects, textures, and level of detail have significantly improved without suppressing the charm of the original.

However, my computer struggled a bit in some areas, dropping frames from time to time. While I don't have the best hardware, Brothers is a game that should be runnable on practically any PC. Unfortunately, in the version I tested, there were hardly any graphics settings that could improve performance. Nonetheless, the game ran mostly smoothly, and the pre-rendered cutscenes, in particular, are a sight to behold.

The music has also been re-arranged and recorded by a live orchestra. The captivating tracks play at the right moments, enhancing the feeling conveyed by the scenes.


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Did Brothers really need a remake? | © 505 Games

You might have noticed, but I'm a real Brothers fan. I love this game and recommend it to anyone even remotely interested in gaming. Simply because it's so different.

The story is touching and fills your heart just before tearing it out of your chest again. The gameplay is engaging in its own unique way without being too frustrating. I mentioned that the controls become part of the storytelling. Why exactly that is, I can't tell you; you'll have to find out for yourself. Just trust me, bro.

The question is: Did Brothers really need a remake? In my opinion: No. The game from 2013 might not look the most up-to-date, but the mechanics and the story are still the same, and those are the things that make Brothers special.

So if you already own the game in its original version, it's absolutely not necessary to buy the remake now. However, if you've never played Brothers before, now is a great opportunity to catch up. The story is faithfully conveyed, and you have the chance to enjoy beautiful graphics; a win-win situation. And if, for whatever reason, you don't want to play the game alone, you now also have the option of local multiplayer, which may be a decisive factor for some.

In the end, though, I'm glad that Brothers has been given new attention. After the great successes of A Way Out and It Takes Two, I can imagine that now more people will get to enjoy this great game.

Rating: 90/100

Marie-Lena Höftmann

After a childhood full of videogames, Miffy devoted herself to her greatest passion within her academic studies. Aside from science, she has spent too many hours in Dead by Daylight, loves to shred through Souls-likes or chills in Animal Crossing....