Everyone is hating on this remake of a classic game — here's why they're wrong

Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons Remake
(Image credit: 505 Games)

Remakes are such an inherently tricky concept to pull off effectively. Whether in video games or movies, there’s a good chance you’re going to create more frowns than smiles on faces.

That utterly unnecessary shot-for-shot remake of Psycho in 1998. Good ol’ Nic Cage’s “NOT THE BEES!” Wicker Man. GoldenEye 007: Reloaded on Nintendo Wii that somehow got Daniel Craig to sign on for. So often, attempting to reimagine a beloved IP turns out to be a thankless, totally misguided task.

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Which brings me (not all that) neatly onto Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons. Conceived and directed by the supremely talented Josef Fares, it was one of the most charming indie adventures of the 2010s. I adored it when I first played it on PS3 back in the day and its utterly captivating tale of (you guessed it) “brotherhood” has held a special place in my heart far more than most titles from that console generation. It’s one of the most perfectly paced short video games I’ve ever played.

So of course, Fares and company went ahead and screwed things up by remaking it for current-gen consoles and PC.

Except they didn’t. Despite getting a hefty amount of online flack after being released a week or so ago, I personally think the Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons Remake honors the original adventure, rather than tarnishing its legacy.

There are some aspects of this remake that many fans of the 2013 fantasy yarn of two siblings working together to find a cure for their ailing pop won’t like, of course. And I totally get that. For one thing, Fares and original developer Starbreeze Studios have nothing to do with this comprehensive redux. Sure, the new Unreal Engine 5 take on the brotherly bonding quest has the same publisher in 505 Games, but this updated version of an indie darling has been entirely handled by a little-known Italian outfit called Avantgarden.

They ain't heavy, they're my brothers

For my money, the Milan-based team has done a damn good job. Admittedly, my experience has been helped by the fact I’ve been playing on one of the best gaming PCs and I can easily hit frame rates of around 100 fps at 4K if I enable Nvidia DLSS. Of course, the picture being painted regarding the console versions isn’t nearly as flattering. While the PS5 and Xbox Series X versions apparently offer decent experiences in this remake’s Quality mode, it’s been reported that the Xbox Series S version can dip to pixel counts as low as a ghastly 454p (thanks, VGC). For context, that’s a resolution far lower than many Nintendo Switch games in Handheld mode.

I’m not excusing such a lower resolution on Microsoft’s underpowered console, but I think it speaks to a narrative where everyone and their momma is all too ready to dunk on the Brothers remake before they actually have a chance to play the final experience. It reminds me of a recent game I can’t quite remember the name of. I think it involved some sort of squad with a giant shark looking to end The Man of Steel.

Look, I’m not going to be so arrogant to say I’m right and everyone else is wrong… well, I am a teeny bit. But when I read articles accusing the Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons Remake of being a shameless cash grab that’s had very little effort put into it, I just can’t agree.

I get not liking certain elements of the updated art style, but there are some seriously advanced Unreal 5 tech features at play here"

I get not liking certain elements of the updated art style (I’m personally not a massive fan of the more realistic character models), but there are some seriously advanced Unreal 5 features at play here, including Lumen and Nanite tech. These are not graphical elements you casually toss in at the last minute if you’re looking to make a fast buck.

Not to mention that 505 isn’t trying to squeeze an obscene amount of money out of your change purse — this remake only costs $19.99. Granted, you can polish it off in an evening, but in my opinion, said short hours are full of quality and brimming with imagination. Help a cave troll couple escape an oppressive mine! Ride a pair of mountain goats! Play an impromptu game of hoops even though the game is set in ye olden times that look more akin to something Hansel and Gretel would inhabit than Stephen Curry.

If you’ve never played the original Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons, I wholeheartedly recommend checking out this lovingly crafted remake, which includes an entirely re-recorded score that sounds sublime. Sometimes it can be all too easy to buy a ticket for the Hate Train. In this case, I urge you to avoid getting on the locomotive of negativity until you take a chance on what’s a very respectful reshaping of one of my favorite PS3 games.

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Dave Meikleham
UK Computing Editor

Dave is a computing editor at Tom’s Guide and covers everything from cutting edge laptops to ultrawide monitors. When he’s not worrying about dead pixels, Dave enjoys regularly rebuilding his PC for absolutely no reason at all. In a previous life, he worked as a video game journalist for 15 years, with bylines across GamesRadar+, PC Gamer and TechRadar. Despite owning a graphics card that costs roughly the same as your average used car, he still enjoys gaming on the go and is regularly glued to his Switch. Away from tech, most of Dave’s time is taken up by walking his husky, buying new TVs at an embarrassing rate and obsessing over his beloved Arsenal.