Remakes are a tricky thing, and it’s hard to define what a “pure” remake means anymore. We have remakes that are essentially the same game with major visual uplifts, or something like Resident Evil 4: Remake that’s almost a reimagining. Based on what I’ve played so far, Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons Remake falls in the first category. It takes an older title, gives it a new coat of paint that’s pretty, and makes it accessible to a newer audience.
Still a Tale of Two Sons
Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons follows the titular brothers who venture on a quest to find a cure for their dying father. It’s a simple premise that is effective to this day, largely because of how the game uses the siblings to conquer hardships, and a variety of obstacles together. It’s one of the rare examples of video games fully using the medium to tell a story through meaningful interactions.
Before jumping into the Remake, I booted up the original release from 2013 and played through its opening. I think it holds up for the most part largely due to its art direction. Individual assets can look a bit off, and some of the animations aren’t all that great. That said, it’s not exactly a game that badly needed a remake, but I don’t mind that it’s getting one, especially when it’s largely just a major visual uplift for modern consoles.
I played around 60 minutes of the Remake, and although it’s still a work in progress, I came away largely impressed with the improvements. Despite the visual improvements, I believe the game retains the art style of the original release with its use of vibrant colors, and stylized texture work.
Character models have far more detail than before, and they feel more “animated”, as their reactions are a bit more exaggerated than in the original. Indoor environments have more items to give a sense of space and better effects with a general focus on using the same areas and objects to create a more believable world and lived-in world.
Controls and Gameplay
Both the controls and gameplay are largely the same here, and it was more apparent after I switched between both versions. There are neat little touches here and there, and generally, the animation work has improved, but the developers have done a great job of keeping the core experience the same. That also means that it takes a bit to get used to this unique control scheme where you use analog sticks for the movement of both characters.
One of the biggest strengths of the original is the immaculate pacing. There’s always something going on, and you essentially flow from one puzzle, interaction, obstacle, or platforming challenge to another. Using both characters becomes vital for progress, and the remake doesn’t detract from that core experience.
Based on what I’ve played so far, I think this is a very faithful remake, and the developers have a lot of respect for the original release. Despite the visual uplift, the art direction is retained in the presentation, and this is still the same game that touched our hearts back in 2013. The gameplay is practically untouched, and it just might be the best way to experience the title for newcomers.
It’s still up for debate whether a remake was even necessary in the first place, but it feels nice to revisit this world created by Josef Fares.
This preview is based on the PC version of Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons Remake. The key was provided by 505 Games.