Brothers: A Tale Of Two Sons Remake Does Not Need A Sequel, Says Game Director

"Perfect as it is."

Story Highlights

  • Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons Remake was released on multiple platforms on February 28, 2024.
  • It is the remake of the first game directed by Josef Fares, founder of Hazelight Studios.
  • We spoke with Luca Simonotti, Game Director at Avantgarden Games, about their recent creation.

Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons became a critically acclaimed title soon after its release in 2013. It was the start of Josef Fares’ successful career, who went on to create A Way Out and It Takes Two. Over a decade after the release of Brothers, Avantgarden Games took it upon itself to remake the classic title for the latest hardware. The game now features modern graphics with many improvements in animations and controls.

This would be considered a rather risky move for any studio as tinkering with the vision of a renowned developer would not be well-received by their fans. Still, Avantgarden and 505 Games did a pretty good job and improved aspects that further elevated the experience while preserving the original vision.

To learn more about how Avantgarden achieved that, we interviewed Game Director Luca Simonotti over an email Q&A session.

Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons Remake
Naia & Naiee In Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons Remake – Via 505 Games.

Could you introduce yourself and tell us a bit about your work on Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons Remake?
Luca: Hello, I am Luca Simonotti, the Game Director at Avantgarden Games. My role within the studio is to oversee the entire development process. I manage the team, schedules, and planning to ensure that the game fully embodies the creative vision set by the Creative Director. Additionally, I oversee the technical aspects to ensure that the final product meets certain quality standards.

The announcement for this remake was a big surprise, mostly because the original game still holds up pretty well and is quite enjoyable. Was this something the studio wanted to do themselves, or were there players demanding a remake?
Luca: The studio, in conjunction with Digital Bros, reached a decision aimed at celebrating the 10th anniversary of Josef Fares’ acclaimed Bafta-winning creation. The essence of this decision was to revitalize the original experience by crafting a distinctive and updated version. Despite the passage of time since its inception, the game’s distinctive qualities endure.

The primary objective was to honor and enhance the original concept, transcending past technological constraints to illuminate its core ideas. Even though over a decade has passed since its initial release, the team firmly believes that the emotionally resonant narrative of Brothers merits discovery by new players and rediscovery by those familiar with its tale.

Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons Remake
Screenshot From Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons Remake – via 505 Games.

Do you have any developers who worked on the original game? Or has anyone on the team worked with Josef Fares himself?
Luca: None of us had ever worked with Josef before; it was the first time for everyone. He helped us a lot during development by providing valuable feedback on both gameplay and artistic aspects.

What were some of the major things you wanted to change from the original game? And was there anything in particular you didn't want to change for the sake of integrity?
Luca: For our team, Brothers transcends the realm of mere gaming; it unfolds as a profound emotional odyssey for players. As such, our primary focus has revolved around elevating the game’s presentation, refining controls, and conducting a thorough overhaul of all animations. In terms of enhancing the presentation, considerable effort has been invested in reimagining every scene, introducing fresh sequences, subtly tweaking mechanics and puzzles, and integrating interactions throughout all levels.

The Avantgarden team diligently reconstructed each stage of the brothers’ journey from the ground up, harnessing the full capabilities of Unreal Engine 5. Modern technology has markedly reshaped the original experience, enabling a level of expressiveness previously beyond reach. We wanted to preserve what, for us, is the primary gameplay feature of Brothers, namely the player’s control over the two brothers.

The use of the controller as a sort of “single-player cooperative” experience is fundamental to the gameplay and is one of the many innovations in the gaming world introduced by the original title. That’s why we preserved it and kept it the same as the 2013 project.

Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons Remake
Climbing Puzzle In Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons Remake – via 505 Games.

Considering the original game came out over a decade ago, what were some of the major hurdles of working with this title?
Luca: I believe our greatest challenge didn’t lie solely in the development phase of the title, but rather in navigating the intricate creative process. We were confronted with one of the most significant video game masterpieces of the past decade. Its exceptional artistic direction, evocative soundtrack, and meticulously crafted game world all contributed to crafting a truly unique atmosphere. These elements not only distinguished the game within the gaming landscape but also immersed players deeply into its narrative and emotional journey.

Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons garnered acclaim for its ability to evoke emotions without relying on traditional spoken language, instead utilizing the language of gameplay and visuals. This innovative approach opened new avenues for storytelling in video games and left a lasting impact on subsequent titles. Reviving a game of such historical significance demanded a delicate approach characterized by reverence, admiration, and a profound understanding of the original creators’ vision.

Our objective was to accentuate and magnify every emotion envisioned by the creators, ensuring that the game retained its enchanting allure and influence even in its revitalized form. Embarking on the journey to recreate this captivating masterpiece has been both an honor and a weighty responsibility for the Avantgarden team.

Josef Fares was very happy to see his first project getting a remake. But aside from the public acknowledgment, what discussions, if any, did the team have with Josef, and how did he feel about the final version?
Luca: With Josef, the project was shared in multiple phases. There was an initial phase where we presented our idea for the remake, which immediately convinced him, and he provided excellent feedback. After this phase, we provided various builds related to the project milestones (alpha, beta, etc.). Again, we received consistently positive feedback along with suggestions for improvement. The support we received from Josef and his team was greatly appreciated by the Avantgarden team. There were never any issues, and we were always in agreement.
Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons Remake
Gliding In Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons Remake – via 505 Games.

Was there anything in particular he didn't like and didn’t want the studio to do?
Luca: Joseph did not forbid us from anything, but it is also worth mentioning that our research and all our studies on what the perfect remake should be led us to avoid overhauling features that would have had not only a significant impact on the game but also a major impact on Fares’ vision. For example, I imagine that if we had decided to revise the controls of the two brothers or fundamental parts of the story, Joseph probably would not have agreed, but these are things that we ourselves did not want to do.

Did you take inspiration from Josef’s other games for some of the changes in the remake?
Luca: Absolutely. The entire studio is familiar with “A Way Out” and “It Takes Two”. These are games we became acquainted with thanks to Fares’ success with Brothers, and they are games that we all played and admired even before working on this Remake. In his games, there is always some brilliant inspiration to draw from. I admit that in Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons Remake, there is also an Easter egg related to Fares’ other works, but I do not want to say more as it would be a spoiler.
Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons Remake
Mushroom Back Troll In Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons Remake – via 505 Games.

Other than the game being more suitable for local co-op, is there a technical reason why you didn't choose to have an online co-op?
Luca: There is not a technical reason why we did not include offline co-op; let’s say we opted for offline co-op because it felt more romantic. Brothers is the story of two brothers embarking on a journey to save their sick father, and throughout this journey, they continue to help each other. Without each other, they could not make it to the end. Playing this story together, under the same roof, side by side, creates a more familiar, brotherly, intimate, and indeed romantic atmosphere.

Do you have any place to pursue a sequel to Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons?
Luca: Currently, there are no plans for a sequel of Brothers. Often, we see movies, books, and video games that have a sequel, a second chapter that disappoints fans. Brothers is perfect as it is; it does not need a sequel. For now, this is not an option, but we may reconsider it in the future.
Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons Remake
Naia (Blue) & Naiee (Red) In Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons Remake – via 505 Games.

Which other older game would you personally want to remake similar to Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons?
Luca: There are many games that would deserve a remake, not so much to change their mechanics but because with today’s technologies, they could have a quality that would give them new life, an artistic and visual quality that unfortunately could not be achieved at the time.

Is there anything else you would like to share with the readers? Something we haven't touched upon yet.
Luca: Certainly, I also want to dedicate a small part to the soundtrack. The original compositions have been rearranged and recorded with the assistance of an orchestra. This choice was motivated by the desire to convey to players the attention to detail in Brothers, even from an audio and musical perspective. For more information about the music, I invite you to take a look at the game credits, but above all, you can find behind-the-scenes content on YouTube, an opportunity that I believe may interest all those who have appreciated the soundtrack.

YouTube video

Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons Remake is an adventure game developed by Avantgarden Games and published by 505 Games. It was released on PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X|S, and PC on February 28, 2024. We extend our gratitude to Luca Simonotti for answering our questions and to Lorenzo Martone for assisting with the interview.

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Mudassir is a seasoned journalist with a passion for uncovering the stories behind our favorite virtual worlds. Armed with a trusty notepad and a keen curiosity, he dives headfirst into the gaming industry's most exciting personalities. His knack for insightful questions and his ability to connect with developers and gamers alike makes his interviews a must-read. While on the lookout for the next person to interview, Mudassir keeps himself busy by writing news surrounding the gaming universe. Experience: 4+ Years || Senior Journalist || Education: Bachelor's in Psychology.

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