Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons Remake ~ The Same Story and A Deeper Connection

Written by Lyn Kyoumei

March 20, 2024

“Brothers aren’t simply close; brothers are knit together.”

– Robert Rivers

I was quite fortunate enough to play the remake of Brothers – A Tale of Two Sons. AvantGarden S.R.L. lovingly remade it in Unreal Engine 5, and 505 Games published it once again. The game retains the soul of the original, but instead of remaking the entire game and its mechanics from scratch, it seems that it focuses more on providing more depth to the world’s details and interactions with the brothers and their environment.

The game is priced at $19.99 or ₱850.00 on Steam, PlayStation 5 and the Xbox series X/S. In my opinion, the game is worth the cost because of its captivating story and the way it guides you through the beautiful sceneries with simple gameplay. The game focuses more on storytelling through its scenery and player interaction rather than action-packed gameplay, letting the player unwind as the gameplay isn’t as hard as long as you understand what is shown to you.

 

Mechanics

The game’s core mechanics are as straightforward to understand as it gets. The player controls the two brothers using a joystick and two shoulder triggers each to interact with the environment and rotate the camera. The gameplay is explained clearly in the opening minutes of the game. The game is easy to understand as it does not require advanced techniques like wave dashes or Shinryu Reppa to defeat trolls. The game only requires your undivided attention. Each chapter of the game involves encountering a “boss” that requires a specific strategy to defeat. For example, players may need to hit the boss on its back while it is focused on the other brother, or find high ground to avoid the boss entirely. The brothers must switch who moves to progress through the stage.

Although the game can be completed in 4 to 5 hours if you book it straight to the end, I do not recommend doing so. The game is not replayable and is more like a $20 interactive movie that has its moment the first time around Solo and Co-Op. Therefore, I suggest taking breaks and progressing at your own pace. There’s nothing that should pose too much of a problem gameplay-wise, but it is essential to stay alert and take time to think things through.

 

 

Presentation

The story’s presentation is stunning. Unreal Engine 5’s Nanite and Lumen provide a beautiful coat of polish and detail that surpasses the original. Although I miss the PS3-reminiscent style of the original, I appreciate the lush greenery, abundant fauna and flora, and intricate details of the world. I believe the team who remade the game enjoyed the process of recreating the game and held the same passion and determination as the original creators had. Although the presentation is important, the sounds bring the world to life and elevate this game from just being visually appealing to truly immersive. From the dynamic music that plays when entering or exiting a specific part of the chapter to each step the brothers take. The ambiance that the game has is believable to the extent that it almost feels like it is a glimpse into a rooted fictional world.

Although I don’t have much to say in terms of UI since the game is very simple control-wise and because it focuses more on telling a story, I would like to note the fact that the game is very inclusive to those with vision impairments as it gives accessibility options such as object highlights and filters for common types of color blindness, making it easier for colorblind players to enjoy.

 

 

Now the story starts with Naiee, a young boy, grieving at his deceased mother’s tombstone. She drowned at sea, and he was powerless to save her. A manifestation of his mother comforts him and calms him down. Now Naia, his older brother, calls him down from the hill to help their ill father reach the village doctor. The doctor tells them that the only way to save their father is by collecting the water that stems from the “Tree of Life”. The brothers start their journey through the village, forest, hills, and mountains. They face challenges such as the local bully, a farmer’s very aggressive dog, cave trolls, and the wolves that stalk the brothers at night. They assist others throughout their journey as well which includes reuniting a friendly troll couple, preventing a man from committing suicide, and helping an inventor with his flying machine.

Though I could not understand the characters’ words, their actions reveal more about their personalities than words ever could. Naiee is portrayed as a friendly yet mischievous younger brother, while Naia is depicted as the more resourceful and thoughtful older brother. The game’s plot revolves around their dynamic, which develops over time. Despite not being blank slates, they grow into their unique individuals during and after the game.

 

 

One scene that stood out to me was in the later chapters when the brothers encountered a group of tribesmen and saved a young girl from being sacrificed. While assisting the brothers on their journey to heal their sick father, the girl began to seduce Naia, which upset Naiee. She then led the brothers into a dark cave, where Naiee pleaded with Naia not to go. It was then revealed that Naia was not human, but a creature. She attempted to cannibalize the brothers, but they managed to stop her. Even in death, the brothers were not left unscathed.

Honestly, though my time with the game was short, it was worth the hours I put in. Unfortunately, I could not finish the game in time for this review. However, I would like to finish playing through it someday.

 

Conclusion

Would I recommend this to everyone? In an ideal world, everyone should play this game. However, in our imperfect world, I would recommend it to those with siblings or those who wish they had siblings. The chemistry between Naia and Naiee is a near-perfect representation of how siblings who depend on each other would act. If you decide to purchase this game, take your time to absorb everything it offers. The game may not be easy to understand at first, as it relies on actions rather than words. However, as you spend more time with the characters, your understanding of them will slowly develop. This is the best way to experience the game.

Do play this game, it’s not without imperfections or flaws, but once you’ve played it you wouldn’t notice them unless you were actively trying to scrutinize the game. This game captivates you with its simple gameplay and beautiful world and slowly leads you to a story that you will never forget.

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