Hazelight Studios' It Takes Two is a wonderful co-op game, dare we say, one of the best we've played in recent times. Like we just mentioned, this is a two-player co-op game that well, needs a pair to be played. There's no way around that, because it takes two to play this game. Don't say you weren't warned, it's in the name! If you can get over the hurdle of finding a buddy to play with, definitely give this a whirl. To find out why you should give this a whirl, read on!
To be honest, the story didn't resonate too much with us. Not to say the story is bad or anything like that. In the game, players take control of either Cody or May. The two have a daughter, Rose, and from the moment you start the game, it becomes evident that Cody and May don't get along. It doesn't come as a surprise when we find out they're getting a divorce. When they break the news to Rose, she runs off to a book of love she purchased and wishes that they wouldn't separate and become close again. The Book of Love, written by one Dr. Hakim, must have been magic or something because the next thing you know, Cody and May have been transformed into little toy doll versions of themselves. These happen to be dolls that their daughter made of them. The book itself is also alive now – seemingly possessed by Dr. Hakim – and is basically reciting notes from itself in order to "fix" their relationship. To return themselves back to normal and see their daughter again, Cody and May are going to have to work together. Of course, Dr. Hakim is trying his best to put as many obstacles in their way for them to “overcome”. We see how this could be a charming and heartfelt story, but like we said earlier, it didn't quite resonate with us. However, whatever you feel about the story, what you can't deny is the game's excellent co-op gameplay.
We haven't had this much fun playing two player co-op since Portal 2. Dare we say, it might even be more fun than that. It Takes Two is packed to the brim with all kinds of content for co-op gameplay, from mini-games, to puzzles, to platforming sections and even crazy fun boss fights, just to name a few things off of the top of our heads. All of these aspects need coordination in order to succeed, there's no way forward without it. Communication with your partner is key, otherwise this is going to be one tough and loong ride.
There's so much variety between the different worlds or levels, there's never a dull moment. Each new world you're introduced to has a new gameplay mechanic that's relevant to that area. For instance, in one of the earlier levels of the game, you're introduced to a fan mechanic. These either blow or suck you in, and you have to coordinate with each other to switch them around in order to progress. You're then required to use that same mechanic in various creative ways throughout that world; at no point does it even start to feel repetitive. There are various parts of It Takes Two which are competitive as well; a little friendly competition between you and your partner. It's a nice break from the focus and co-ordination that's otherwise required to progress through the game.
The controls for It Takes Two are a tried and tested formula. Spacebar for jump, twice for double jump. Shift to dash, E to interact with objects and caps lock to toggle sprint. The game also offers local co-op if you've got a controller hooked up to your PC. Thankfully, you only need to have purchased one copy in order to play with a friend online thanks to the Friend Pass Initiative. All your partner needs to do is download the game via the Friend Pass, and you can invite them to play the whole game with you.
It Takes Two features graphics that are very similar to the Disney movie Coraline, if you're familiar with that. Cody and May almost look like claymation, if it were happening real smooth and at 60fps. The environments are teeming with life if you stop to notice, there's some serious attention to detail here, and you'd be surprised how much of it you can interact with that isn't relevant to actually progressing through the level. So take your time.
Music is fitting, the voice acting is great. It can get a bit repetitive sometimes as you use the same mechanic, but that really didn't bother us because we were busy actually enjoying the game.
It Takes Two is easily one of the best co-op experiences you can get your hands on right now. Plus it's one of the few that are story-driven as well. Like we mentioned above, the story may not have resonated with us, but it's still a good story nevertheless. This is easily one for the co-op hall of fame; find a friend and play it!
Developer: Hazelight Studios
Publisher: Electronic Arts
Platforms: PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X and Series S, Microsoft Windows
Played on: Microsoft Windows (Origin)
Price: INR 2,499
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