Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons Remake is quite simply remarkable | Hands-on preview

by on February 1, 2024

When Josef Fares pitched the story of Brothers to Starbreeze, little did we know the path it would set him on over the next ten years. Not only did it receive critical acclaim, it led Fares to form Hazelight Studios, the developers responsible for No Way Out and the masterpiece that won our Game of the Year in 2021, It Takes Two. Now, 505 Games has teamed with Avantgarden to make a faithful remake of Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons, and after playing the first couple of levels, I was reminded of just how special it is.

Creatively, it utilises unique controls to allow you to control both brothers at the same time as they set off on a journey to try and save their sick father. You use the left stick to control the taller, stronger, and older brother, while the right is used for his younger sibling. It takes a bit of getting used to at first because your brain is having to work both separately and together to move them in tandem, but once it starts to click, some of the environmental puzzles are staggering.

Brothers remake preview

The developer has done an amazing job here in recreating these puzzles with visuals that are far superior to what was released 10 years ago. You rely on the world to tell you the story, and as you make your way through forests and caves, meeting strange humans and trolls, Brothers is filled with wonder and folklore, drawing you in and refusing to let you go. The relationship between the two brothers warms the soul, and not just through the way they interact with each other.

At certain points the youngest relies on his older brother to cross rivers by grabbing his shoulders and putting his life in his hands. There’s a vulnerability to it, and even though both are more than capable of solving puzzles and traversing across dangerous locations, their relationship is rather moving. It’s going to be an emotional ride when Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons Remake releases, but just from the first hour or so, I can tell it’s been recreated with an overwhelming amount of care.

The puzzles are excellent, much like they were in It Takes Two. One had me rely on the brothers to grab each end of a large metal tube and try to move it through tight spaces in an underground settlement, then lodge it into a mechanism which allowed me to cross a fast-flowing river. Another had me using the little brother run in a hamster wheel to lower a bridge while the bigger brother crossed the bridge, picked up a sheep, then place it in the wheel so we could both cross it. There’s a lot of variety in how these are solved, with more advanced ones popping up the further you get.

I had to save a woodland troll who was trapped in a cage by using the smaller and agile brother to creep up on her captor and steal the key, and as I saved her, the guard was alerted, and set off a tense puzzle that had me try and coax him into the open cage while my older brother pulled a lever to shut the door on him, allowing me to slip through the bars. One of the final parts of the preview had me trying to get another enemy troll to break three chains that were holding a grate in the floor in place, so that once all of them were broken, he’d run over it while I opened it up to see him fall through it.

There are plenty of tense moments in Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons Remake, but there’s also a personal story that will move you greatly. The puzzles are exceptional, and the way Unreal Engine 5 makes the visuals pop takes the original to another level. There’s also a gorgeous score layered over the game that adds to that emotional heft, and after being reminded of how fantastic the 2013 version was, I’m so excited to play the whole thing when it releases at the end of February.


Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons Remake releases February 28 for PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X|S, and PC.