Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons Remake Review — FATHER!

Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons originally launched in 2013 and was developed by Starbreeze Studios. Brothers was developed in collaboration with Josef Fares, an award-winning director who would eventually go on to direct both A Way Out and It Takes Two, two incredible cooperative experiences; but it was Brothers that started Fares’ transition into video games. Brothers is one of my personal favourites, and while a remastered version was released in 2015, the Remake offers an additional visual upgrade. But do the improved visuals justify the existence of the Brothers Remake? And does the Remake reach the lofty standards set by the original release, over a decade prior?

Brothers follows the emotional story of two brothers, Naiee (the youngest) and Naia (the eldest). The family has experienced great heartache as the player finds out their mother drowned at sea during a harrowing event that took place prior to the story, which left the youngest brother traumatised by deep water. Not long after, we find out that the father of our two playable characters is severely ill, and unless the brothers obtain the water from the Tree of Life, his death is imminent.

The story of Brothers takes around 4 hours to complete, and while the adventure is rooted in a fantastical world, this is nothing like the fairy tale journeys you may experience from Disney. No, the world of Brothers is more like the folklore tales produced by the Brothers Grimm. The narrative is dark, shocking, incredibly sad, and memorable for all of those reasons. However, it is within this emotional weight that Brothers is able to produce one of the most powerful video game stories in gaming.

The story is beautifully told through environmental storytelling, character facial expressions, and the Arabic-inspired language the characters within this world speak. Brothers does not shy away delivering heartache, as it deals with the harsh realities of a cruel and unjust world. But Brothers is not always depressing, it delivers glimpses of joy, with lovely moments between our playable characters, and touching stories found throughout the adventure, helping to shine a memorable light on an emotionally heavy tale. The narrative in Brothers is still just as amazing as it was in 2013, which is more than enough reason to play this Remake for yourself. It is truly outstanding.

The Brothers Remake allows players to experience this adventure in both solo and cooperative play, as it features the cooperative mode, which was included in the 2019 Nintendo Switch release. However, Brothers was originally developed as a solo experience, so much so that the Remake even reiterates this when starting a cooperative playthrough. Brothers is still incredibly powerful as a cooperative adventure, but I can attest that a solo Brothers playthrough delivers a much more visceral, evocative, and memorable experience. Whereas the cooperative mode omits a memorable moment that can only be appreciated by playing alone. The cooperative mode tries to replicate that moment, but it is more effective while playing solo.

The gameplay of Brothers is unique, as each brother is controlled by using one analog stick and one trigger. This creates a gameplay version of patting your head and rubbing your stomach, as you try to control both brothers simultaneously to complete puzzles. Brothers is not an overly challenging game, as most puzzles can be solved quickly with common sense, but implementing the solutions while controlling both characters creates a unique challenge as you use the distinctive characteristics of each brother to progress. The eldest brother is stronger and able to pull levers and push gates, whereas the younger brother is able to enter small gaps.

Brothers Remake Review

There are times when the 2013 gameplay does feel dated in comparison to the visuals (more on that later), but the system still feels intuitive, and very few experiences have used similar mechanics since the original release. However, I did find myself encountering more technical issues throughout this Remake than I ever did in previous playthroughs. For instance, using the triggers to interact with objects feels more sluggish than I remember, with interactions taking a few seconds before the button input is acknowledged. I also encountered several game-breaking moments, with characters falling through the map or NPCs becoming stuck in an animation, forcing me to close the game. Fortunately, checkpoints are extremely frequent and little progress was ever lost, but these technical issues are noticeable when compared to the flawless technical experience of the original.

The Brothers Remake gives fans of the original soundtrack a good excuse to re-experience the adventure, as the Remake features an all-new soundtrack. The music itself is still based on the original score (composed by Gustaf Grefberg), featuring almost a dozen reworked arrangements and fifteen brand-new tracks. The soundtrack is fantastical, with producing an aura of serenity as you explore. Brothers also includes impeccable sound design, which helps emphasise both the joyous and sad moments, respectively.

Brothers Remake Review

The biggest selling point of the Brothers Remake is the visual upgrade. But how does the visual upgrade compare to other remakes on the market? Well, there is no denying that the Brother Remake looks leaps and bounds above the decade-old original. Environments feel less flat than the original, with intricate textures helping to improve the sense of scale and lushness of the world. The lighting can be genuinely picturesque at times, with darker environments lit up by stray rays of light or nearby fires; even the water effects look great. The visual upgrades significantly help emotional moments, as the facial expressions on our two playable leads and various NPCs are greatly improved, drastically helping convey the weight of these moments.

If you want to experience Brothers again, with enhanced visuals that improve on both the original 2013 release and the 2015 remaster, I believe you will be satisfied. It is worth keeping in mind that these visuals do not rival recent AAA remasters/remakes, but if you were not expecting a visual fidelity improvement of that magnitude, I think you will be incredibly happy with what developer Avantgarden has delivered.

Brothers Remake Review

The biggest issue I had with the Brothers Remake seemed to only occur while playing cooperatively. When playing solo, the camera follows the action nicely, focusing on the direction players must traverse to progress, with the camera rarely requiring any movement. However, in co-op, the camera would often display awkward angles, which hindered the ability to comfortably play and enjoy the experience. For instance, the camera would often get stuck behind or within trees, continuously obstructing traversal and character interactions that occurred outside of cut scenes. Due to this, the tank-like camera controls became an issue as the camera takes an incredibly long time to adjust. I must reiterate that if you plan to play Brothers on your own, you do not have to worry about this issue because it simply never occurred. But, if you plan to experience Brothers cooperatively, it is worth preparing yourself for some annoying camera angles.



The Brothers Remake allows new players to experience an incredible story, one that will stay with you for many years to come. It also gives fans of the original release an excuse to re-play Brothers with improved visuals, additional tracks, and for many, their first chance to experience this adventure cooperatively. However, this is not a Remake that updates or alters any other elements. The story (thankfully) and gameplay mechanics are faithful to the original release, but the major selling point of this Remake, is the visual upgrade. For me, I was satisfied with the visual upgrade, but other fans may find the lack of extensive changes disappointing.

Either way, Brothers is unforgettable. It is a perfect representation of how video games can blend gameplay and storytelling elements to produce something unique and uttering amazing.


  • Improved visuals over the original 2013 release and 2015 remaster

  • An incredibly memorable adventure, with evocative moments

  • The story was brilliant in 2013, and still is in 2024

  • Unique gameplay mechanics


  • Camera issues consistently occur when playing cooperatively

  • Aside from the visual upgrade, little else has changed

  • A handful of technical issues

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