This past weekend, my girlfriend and I finally finished playing through the story of It Takes Two. I would most definitely recommend this game to anyone looking for something to play with a friend or their significant other. Especially if you’re playing with someone who doesn’t have so much video game experience.
Ever since first hearing about this game I knew I wanted to play it with my girlfriend. I missed Josef Fares’s last game, A Way Out, which had the same concept of a co-op split screen game where you work together towards one shared goal. In A Way Out you are playing as two criminals trying to escape from prison.
In It Takes Two you play as a married couple Cody and May, who are on the brink of getting a divorce. Their daughter, Rose, has somehow shrunken her parents into tiny dolls. Cody becomes a big-armed clay doll while May becomes a blue-haired wooden doll. They instantly go from their sad life together into this larger-than-life magical world made up of the strangest parts of their home and family life.
Perfect Couch Co-op
I’ve always been a huge fan of the couch co-op gaming experience. I started off playing games with my sister and then my friends on the NES and Super NES. In high school, my friend and I would beat a game in one weekend (consuming a bunch of candy and soda while doing so). In the age of online gaming it’s sometimes hard to find a good couch co-op game. Rather than playing against friends in sports games (NBA 2K, FIFA & Madden) I’ve always enjoyed playing as teammates.
It Takes Two explores many of the familiar gaming mechanics and genres of today, but in a way that’s easily digestible for newcomers. In each area of the game Cody and May are each given a different ability which they must learn to use together to solve puzzles and make their way through. They may split up at times, but always end up coming together to figure out a task as one.
Your Favorite Games
No matter what type of games you like to play this game probably features it or something like it. It Takes Two explores many different game genres, which was brilliant to see in one game. It’s also a good way for someone new to gaming to find out if there’s certain games they may want to try out.
I’ve posted some short clips from It Takes Two showcasing a few examples of these different types of game genres.
At some points the game becomes a fast side scroller. There are many chase scenes in the game from all different angles, but this was one of my favorites.
There’s an entire part where the game becomes a Dungeon Brawler in the style of Diablo 3.
This was the first genre jump I remember in It Takes Two. It suddenly became a fighting game in the style of Mortal Kombat and Street Fighter. I called it Plane Fighter and you will see why.
*Also, this is the part where my girlfriend beat that squirrel’s ass!
Towards the end of the game we got a nice little rhythm game/DDR (Dance Dance Revolution) salute. The rhythm game section was immediately followed by a downhill hoverboarding sequence. This whole jukebox level was probably one of my favorite builds in the game.
Never Stale or Overused
Although this game does explore different game genres using multiple game mechanics, I didn’t feel that anything was ever overused. In each new area of the game a new mechanic was introduced to each character. It started off with simple tasks, teaching you how to use that mechanic.
By the end of the area you’re using those tasks in more complicated ways and intertwining them together. By then you know what you’re doing. As you master the ability, you reach the end of that area and are stripped of that ability and handed a new one to learn in the next part of the game.
These abilities never got old. The levels were long enough for you to learn them and enjoy using them. And, the puzzles and opponents were always changing even a tiny bit to make it feel different. If you had to unlock a door on the right and the left side in one level, they had slight differences keeping the game fun and not repetitive.
Beautifully Designed Worlds
Since you become small dolls in the game there are many moments where you find yourself going up against small creatures, toys and bugs that are actually giant monsters and bad guys. There are many Honey I Shrunk the Kids moments in this game.
The level design is just great and the way they used normal, everyday objects as obstacles and some of their choices for enemies were wonderfully cast (Cutie the Elephant Queen and Moon Baboon).
There are also many beautiful lands. Each area held a different sense of wonder and magic to it even though most of the areas were just plain, everyday areas of our homes (the garden, a kids bedroom) but with some imagination added.
Traveling through Dino Land on the Mine Cart track was definitely one of my favorite moments. I am terrified of most rollercoasters in real life, but this part made me wish I wasn’t so that I could ride the Dino Land Mine Cart Track.
I would definitely put It Takes Two on my list of my favorite gaming experiences of 2021, so far. It’s definitely one of my favorite Co-op experiences in my lifetime (right up there with Overcooked 1 & 2).
One small thing I would have liked to see is some use of the Haptic Feedback or Adaptive Triggers since we did play this on the PlayStation 5, but I understand that I was playing an upscaled PS4 game on my PS5.
This game only works as a co-op game, so if you don’t have someone to play with I would say don’t get it just yet. Something else that’s cool about this game is that if you buy a copy you can share your copy with a friend who doesn’t own the game and have them play with you online. If that’s not an incentive to buy it I don’t know what is?
I have already recommended this game to multiple people (especially those in a relationship). It’s a great game to play with your significant other or your roommate who isn’t really into games.
It Takes Two is available now on PlayStation platforms (PS4 & PS5), XBox platforms (XBox One & XBox Series X|S) and Windows PC.