When I first heard about It Takes Two from Hazelight Studios, I wasn’t quite sure if I was going to like it. It looked great and everything I read about it sounded fantastic, except for one thing. You see, It Takes Two is a multiplayer co-op only game. I’m not really keen on forced multiplayer games, sometimes I like to do my own thing.
You know what? After just five minutes of playing, I was hooked. Any doubt or hesitation I had toward the game because of the multiplayer requirement went right out the window. Why is that you may ask? Read on to find out!
It Takes Two Details
Platform(s): PlayStation 4, Xbox One and PC
Reviewed on: Xbox Series X
Genre: Action-adventure Platformer
Modes: Multiplayer only
ESRB Rating: T (Teen)
A story about relationships and healing two hearts by working together as one
It Takes Two‘s story is centred around Cody and May, a married couple, who are stressed out from the day to day pressures of work and raising their young daughter Rose. Pushed to their limits, the couple decide to separate. Rose gets wind of the news and instantly is in tears. Upset that her parents are going to separate, with two dolls in hand, she wishes that her Mom and Dad stay together.
In the blink of an eye, both Cody and May are transported into Rose’s two doll’s bodies and must work together to reunite with their daughter. Along the way, the two rediscover why they fell in love with each other. And, with the help of an old book, which is transformed into a relationship coach called The Book of Love Cody and May rediscover what made them a successful parenting team in the first place.
While the subject matter of the parents impending divorce at first seems as if the game is geared towards a more mature audience. However, that’s not the case. As a matter of fact, I found the overall story to be lighthearted and often comical at times, thanks to The Book of Love. And, I think it’s a perfect premise for what It Takes Two is all about, teamwork.
Unique co-op gameplay with fresh new experiences
Gameplay is where It Takes Two really shines. It perfectly fuses the game’s narrative and co-op experience into some of the best multiplayer fun I’ve had in recent memory. It features both online and split screen couch co-op that takes you on an emotional journey through a house transformed into a magical dreamscape. It’s clear from the minute that you begin playing that the whole game is designed around the co-op experience from top to bottom.
It Takes Two would not be the fantastic game and experience that is without co-op only play. Cody and May each have their own unique characteristics and abilities that require you to work together as a team to solve puzzles, overcome challenges and participate in mini-games. What I like most about It Takes Two‘s gameplay is that each level features new mechanics that require you to work together. For example, in one level Cody can shoot nails to hold things in place, which May can then swing upon. And, in another instance, May can hit objects with a hammer to move them and Cody can then nail them down. Part of what I enjoyed so much about It Takes Two is discovering how to advance and make progress as a team.
Two can play for the price of one
The game encourages exploration to uncover hidden activities and Easter eggs that add to your overall enjoyment of the game. Additionally, I really enjoyed that fact that It Takes Two‘s co-op experience never feels forced or like it was an afterthought. While some puzzles and challenges can be tricky, they never ever make you want to bang your head against the wall.
The majority of people will probably play It Takes Two online with a friend. This aspect of gameplay is where It Takes Two could have gone horribly wrong. Luckily, Hazelight Studios foresaw this potential problem and remedied it by including a Friend’s Pass with every game purchase. This allows you to invite a friend, on the same platform, to play with you online at no additional cost. A genius idea!
Varied environments filled with vibrant colours
It Takes Two is a gorgeous game that is packed full of superb art and design. It is filled with vibrant colours, impressive textures and breathtaking lighting. Moreover, the game runs smoothly and the animation is spot on.
From a space station consisting of various bedroom items to a pillow fort to an expansive ski resort located within a snow globe, each level of the game is varied and an absolute delight to look at. Furthermore, the game’s voice acting is top notch. Not only from the two leads, Cody and May but also characters such as The Book of Love.
It Takes Two is one of the best co-op experiences in recent memory that should not be missed
It Takes Two is one of this year’s best games and a serious contender for game of the year. The game perfectly blends storytelling with gameplay, that provides a multiplayer co-op experience that you won’t soon forget. Moreover, the game was designed around multiplayer so gameplay never feels forced or tacked on.
Each level provides new gameplay mechanics that keep things fresh throughout the entire 10-14 hour journey. And, the game’s visuals are filled with vibrant colours, sharp textures and superb lightning. This is a game that should not be missed!
+ Superb gameplay that is both varied and engaging
+ Original and well told narrative
+ Solid platforming with precise controls
+ Beautiful visuals and excellent voice acting
+ Friend’s Pass allows you to play with a friend online who doesn’t own the game
– Some may find the game too easy
OVERALL ASSESSMENT OF IT TAKES TWO
Lasting Appeal/Replayability: 4/5