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Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons Remake review

Brothers A Tale of Two Sons Remake review 3 (1)

Released in 2013, Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons won over gamers and critics alike with its emotional journey and unique dual-protagonist gameplay. Just over ten years later, a remake has somehow been deemed necessary, but after playing through Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons Remake, it feels a bit like a missed opportunity.

There’s nothing wrong with Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons Remake per se, it’s just that beyond looking a bit prettier, it doesn’t have all that much new to offer. While some remakes tweak or build on the original experience to provide something that feels fresh and exciting, this remake of Brothers feels afraid to deviate too far. And in the ten years since its release, much of the impact of the original has been lost.

For those who are totally unaware of the original game, Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons finds two brothers, who have recently lost their mum due to a boating incident, on a quest to save their illness-stricken father. Starting at their village, they embark on a great journey, taking them to the nearby mountains and beyond. It goes in some surprises places, in fact; an increasing amount of fantasy seeps in as you progress. Though what’s particularly noteworthy is that there’s no dialogue. At least of the type you can understand, anyway.

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You see, everyone in this world speaks a native language foreign to you, and there are no subtitles, either. Actions are the go-to method of communication here, then. In the original game, players also had control of both titular brothers at the same time, controlling each with their own analog stick and trigger.

The default is the same here, and it’s where most of the challenge of the gameplay lies. Trying to get both to successfully climb up a cliff at the same time, for example, is like trying to rub your belly and pat your head at the same time. But just wait until you need to use one boy as bait to lure an angry troll, while using the other to pull a lever and entrap it.

What this remake does offer, however, is the opportunity to play the game in local co-op, with each player having their own controller. Player 2 will still need to use the right analog stick and trigger to move and perform actions though, perhaps making things a bit trickier for them. Still, it does make the game much easier overall. But a warning for those planning on playing in co-op who chase trophies: player 2 won’t get them. Like in the original game, they’re also tied to performing random actions rather than reaching milestones in the story.

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Playing in co-op, we completed Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons Remake in just under three hours. They were a fairly enjoyable three hours, with some surprises along the way, but the gameplay was basic throughout. Highlights included swinging from each other to negotiate a tall tower, co-piloting a glider, and fighting against a grotesque spider. The trouble is, there’s nothing that would have us playing though it again in a hurry.

It’s up to you then: if you’ve never played Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons before, this remake offers pretty much the same experience but with prettier visuals. Though even then, there are prettier games out there. For those who have already played the original, we’re not sure this remake goes far enough to make it worth buying again – at least not at full price.

Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons Remake feels like a missed opportunity to build on the unique concept of the original game. It could have been expanded with new scenes and situations to provide fresh new challenges and keep players on their toes. Given the success of A Way Out and It Takes Two, more work could have been done to make its co-op mode much more intuitive and enticing, too. As it is, it’s successful in beautifying the original game but nothing more, unfortunately.

Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons Remake review – GameSpew’s score

GameSpew Our Score 6
This review of Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons Remake is based on the PS5 version, with a code provided by the game’s publisher. It’s available on PS5, Xbox Series X/S and PC.
Editor in Chief // An avid gamer since discovering the wonders of the Acorn Electron in the '80s, Rich has nearly played more games than he's had hot dinners. Not one to put all his eggs in one basket, Rich is happy to play games of all genres, but he particularly enjoys racing games and anything that's full of non-stop action, especially if it includes a good dose of humour, horror or crudeness!