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We recently discussed whether we’re seeing too many remasters or remakes. The most recent major remake is, unsurprisingly, Final Fantasy 7 Rebirth. However, shortly before that, a game was named on the list. The initial title was created by Josef Fares. This was Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons. This was originally available on Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 long before A Way Out or It Takes Two. I adored A Way Out, and It Takes Two was named game of the year. So it’s no surprise that this impending remake was a personal highlight at the recent Game Awards. Sadly due to Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons launching just a day before part two of Cloud and companies journey in Final Fantasy 7 many may have overlooked it.

So now let’s dig a little more into the remake for Brothers: A Tale Of Two Sons. Xbox Wire has an article by the Senior Brand Community Manager at 505 Games, Jason Ryan. In making this remake they’ve not only “concentrated” on bringing “a modern classic back to life”, but also they wanted to “preserve and enhance this incredible, one-off experience”.

Our philosophy throughout the Remake process was to enhance the original, not distort. As we began to study the game, we realized that everything in Brothers, each environment, the puzzle, and interaction, is there for a specific reason and has its own goal to help support the overall story. Our job then became to modernize the experience while keeping everything that made the original special and memorable.

Jason Ryan, Senior Brand Community Manager 505 Games

The overall aim of the remake was to keep what made the original special and preserve that whilst updating everything for the modern day.

Brothers: A Tale Of Two Sons

Brothers: A Tale Of Two Sons And How The Remake Holds Up

Let’s break down the game and look a little more in-depth.

Gameplay

The premise is simple, you control the two brothers with one controller. Like with the Switch port of the original we have the addition of local-op. That release allowed the use of 1 joy-con per player. For single player you control both brothers on one controller, the left analog stick, and the Left trigger or L2 controls the older brother and the other side for the younger brother. This works well and does take some getting used to. When you do master it it really enriches the gameplay. Sadly it can take a while to get used to. The puzzles are not difficult and this may put some people off. The game is a full like for like remake so no new content added.

Brothers: A Tale Of Two Sons

Graphics

Visually we have crisp clean environments and textures. The character models are also much sharper and clearer. Though they offer more detail than the original at certain moments they lose some of the charm we experienced in the original release.

Though the game now has an engine upgrade, it was formerly powered by Unreal Engine 3 and currently runs on Unreal Engine 5. The lighting is much more realistic, which naturally leads to more realistic environments. This can boost the atmosphere by making dark regions feel more foreboding than before. Though, as with the character, it occasionally detracts from the original’s appeal. The video below features footage from the PlayStation 5 version of the game.

Audio

The interesting point is the game still features the brother’s fictional language. Though even if we don’t know the words spoken we can grasp a basic understanding. The use of emotion is evident throughout the communication. The remake offers a brand new orchestral arrangement which compliments the atmosphere. The sound effects from birds tweeting to a windmill creaking are of high quality.

Story

If we look at the official Steam page we see a short synopsis of the story.

With their father suffering from a deadly illness, two brothers must bravely set out to find the “Water of Life,” the one cure that can save him. With no option for failure the brothers must rely on each other using their individual skills to protect one another and overcome the obstacles ahead in this unforgettable journey.

The game’s strength is its story so we know nothing has changed from before. It’s still delivered the same way with most of the narrative presented visually.

To Conclude

The Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons is an excellent recreation of a classic story. Visually stunning and an accurate retelling of the original. Although there was an opportunity to expand or add to the plot that would have been interesting, it was not taken. As a faithful like-for-like remake, the game is a success. However, an opportunity to revisit and improve the story would have been appreciated. Yet, I understand the choice of staying away from that because there is no guarantee that the quality of the story would not have suffered. Even with this in mind, the game is still amazing and well worth playing.

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