Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons Remake (2024) Game Review – A beautiful looking game with some heartbreaking moments

Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons Remake

Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons is a remake of the 2013 adventure game that was developed by Starbreeze Studios. The original game received a high level of critical acclaim at the time of its release, with reviewers praising the title for its emotional storyline, enjoyable puzzle elements, and beautiful art-style graphics. 

Also praised was the control scheme which required gamers to use the left and right analogue sticks of their joypads to move both of the game’s protagonists. The game was quite challenging as a consequence, especially during puzzle sections which involved the need to manipulate both characters when trying to complete objectives.

When 505 Games developed a version of the game for the Nintendo Switch in 2019, they included cooperative play elements. So, while gamers could play solo, there was also the option to play with somebody else, with each player controlling one of the characters. This made the game simpler to play and in some ways more enjoyable as two people could sit side by side on a couch and experience the adventure together. 

This cooperative element is present in the remake which is available to gamers with either a PC, PS5, or Xbox Series S or X.  Published by 505 Games and developed by Avantgarden, the game retains the same story elements as the original but it includes a graphical upgrade, a few tweaks to the level design, and some additional cutscenes. 

Do the improvements make the game worthy of a purchase? Well, if you have never played the original title, this remake can certainly be recommended, especially as it’s not expensive to buy ($15.99 in the US and £15.99 in the UK). If you have played the earlier version of the game, you might still want to pick this up, if only to try out the 2-player option if you have a friend or family member to buddy up with during the playthrough. 

Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons tells the story of two young brothers, Naia and Naiee, who have been left without a mother after her tragic death at sea. They are also in danger of losing their father as he is seriously ill and in desperate need of water that can be sourced from the Tree of Life. 

It’s up to the brothers to collect this water, which they do by embarking on a journey through green and mountainous landscapes filled with assorted dangers, from deadly giants to a savage group of tribesmen. Along the way, they help a Troll couple reunite, aid an inventor (and borrow his glider), and rescue a girl from being sacrificed to an unknown god. 

The adventure is a gripping and emotional one but sadly, it’s over far too quickly. The game can be completed in under 4 hours, even when aiming for 100% completion, so you might be left disappointed by the game’s length when the closing credits start to roll. It’s a good job that the game is available at a low price as you may have felt cheated if you bought it at a higher price point. 

Thankfully, the moment-to-moment gameplay is engaging enough to make the game worth owning. As well as the main story quest, there are several side missions to take on, from guiding a group of turtles to safety to helping a man regain his musical instrument. You can also spend your time fooling around by annoying local townsfolk, spitting in wells, and playing a game of basketball.

There is a lot packed into the game so while it doesn’t take more than a few hours to complete, you will still gain some satisfaction from your playthrough. The journey the boys take is gripping and there are lots of surprises in store when finding out more about the game world. 

Unfortunately, the game is occasionally buggy at times. On one occasion in my playthrough, during a scene in which the boys were roped together to help them scale a tall building, the rope disappeared, causing one of the boys to glitch out and the camera to go awry. You might not experience this same issue, but you may experience other bugs that require a checkpoint restart to remedy the problem.

Another issue I had with the game was the sudden switch to darker themes. The game begins in a pleasant land filled with greenery and rivers, so the initial part of the journey is quite jolly, despite the overriding quest to save the boys’ father from dying.

But it’s not long before a series of horrible things begin to happen, with scenes that are definitely not recommended to younger gamers. As such, some discretion is advised if you’re a parent looking for a game to play with one of your children. 

Caution is also advised for those with experience of mental health problems or who are experiencing grief. Death is a major theme in this game, with one scene involving attempted suicide that will be difficult for some to bear.

Quite why game developers need to include such sequences I don’t know. There have been several titles in recent years that have included sequences of people taking their own life, and of those I have personally played, I haven’t recognized the need for such scenes in terms of story context.

More care needs to be taken and this doesn’t just mean including a disclaimer at the start of the game (as happens in Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons) to warn of troubling scenes. If scenes involving suicide aren’t relevant to the story, they should not be a part of the game. Do you agree?

These quibbles aside, the remake of Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons is extremely well-made from a visual standpoint. The game world is beautiful to behold, more so when you sit on one of the benches in the game to gaze out at the scenery in front of you. The enhanced graphics make the game more immersive to play as does the relationship between the brothers which is brought to life visually when they interact with one another during the game.

There are lots of subtle details to the characters too. For example, the younger brother is more childish in his actions, so he will behave differently to the older brother in certain situations. They also have different walking paces, so if you control them both together, you’ll notice the gap widening between them over time. These details enhance the overall experience, which could be why the original 2013 game is so fondly remembered. 

Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons tells a moving story while also giving gamers some unique gameplay challenges. The occasional glitches sometimes get in the way of a good time, but this is still an enjoyable title that is perhaps best played by mature gamers who can handle the troubling sequences that pop up during the game.

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  • Verdict - 7.5/10

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