It’s been a long time since a game has had me constantly in awe as I progress through each level. It Takes Two has done that and it’s even better if you have someone to experience it with.
It Takes Two tells the story of Cody and May, a couple whose marriage is at a breaking point. After hearing the news from her parents Rose is devastated and wishes her parents back together as her tears fall on her two dolls. In this moment Cody and May are transported into the doll’s bodies and begin a harrowing journey to reunite with their daughter. To make it, they’ll have to learn to work together and rediscover what made them a successful team in the first place.
Cody and May quickly meet a self-help book called Dr Hakim, who basically becomes their marriage counselor. Love him or hate him, he gets the troubled couple thinking about their relationship as they explore many different worlds without actually leaving their home.
You begin the game in the shed but you’ll visit various set pieces including a snow globe, a cuckoo clock and even Rose’s pillow fort. Each world introduces a special game mechanic to help the duo escape. In one level, Cody and May have opposite sides of a magnet that requires some clever thinking and good teamwork to solve some of the puzzles. Early on in the game, Cody has a nail gun while May has a hammer.
Each level is so well thought out, not only do the puzzles hit the right mark difficulty wise, but there is also so much to discover through exploration. There is so much to interact with in each world that has nothing to do with progressing through the game, they are just fun. During the game, we rode a toy train track around a village outside a castle, we worked together to send a pull back car to perform a stunt jump into a huge ball pit. Levels take just over an hour to complete, but that’s without exploration – you could easily spend an extra hour just messing around.
If you played A Way Out, you may remember the random game of Connect 4 in the hospital. In It Takes Two there are 25 mini games to discover. These range from Tug of War to Ice skating. There are some fantastic easter eggs dotted around too, search really hard and you’ll find a sound clip of a certain speech made at the game awards.
As I mentioned at the start of the review, as we made our way through the game we kept being shocked by the new areas we discovered and how clever the game mechanics were, we could reel the list of games we thought It Takes Two takes references from and how the game style changed on a sixpence. One minute it felt like we were playing Super Mario with the side scrolling platforming, when all of a sudden the world becomes isometric and we’re playing Diablo. What’s most impressive is how seamlessly the styles change and how natural the controls felt as the camera angles moved around. If I have a slight criticism, it would be related to some of the flying/driving sections and how they can be a little bit fiddly sometimes.
The attention to detail is brilliant, look carefully and you’ll actually see some of the levels you have already played from the vantage points you have in the newer levels. All of the characters you meet along the way are full of personality, from an overprotective toy monkey, to a psycho of a hoover. Even Dr. Hakim, who is pretty annoying for the majority of the game, brought a smile to my face at certain points.
Each level ends with an entertaining boss fight that requires proper teamwork. The respawn system works well, when a character is downed they can tap Y repeatedly to respawn, if both characters get downed however you’ll have to go back to your last checkpoint, this rarely happens however.
Of course, once you have finished the game as one character you can go back and play as the other as the experience will be completely different. Whether you play online with your friends or locally with your partner you are going to have an amazing time with this game. I’d love to play this with my kids but the themes are too mature for them, then of course there is Cutie the Elephant. I’ll let you find out about that yourself.Josef Fares and the Hazelight team have done an incredible job with It Takes Two. The game is full of variety, never feels dull and will send you on a rollercoaster of emotions. You MUST play this game.
It Takes Two
Josef Fares and the Hazelight team have done an incredible job with It Takes Two. The game is full of variety, never feels dull and will send you on a rollercoaster of emotions. You MUST play this game.