Review – It Takes Two
Website Link – https://www.ea.com/games/it-takes-two
Price – $39.99
Disclaimer: we purchased the game with our own money, this review is not sponsored. All thoughts are our own.
It Takes Two is a 2021 action-adventure platformer specifically designed for two players. There is no single player option at all. Players have the option of playing online or locally in-person. In-person co-op works in split screen. Either way, each person will control their own character. The game relies heavily on teamwork, communication, and joint puzzle solving.
The story follows a couple who have recently revealed their plans on getting a divorce to their young daughter. The daughter, Rose, inadvertently puts a spell on her parents, causing them to inhabit the bodies of Rose’s homemade dolls which look a bit like her parents. Now the couple, Cody and May, must work together to break the spell and return to their old lives. To successfully break the spell they must first get through the challenges of a magic book whose goal is to fix the couple’s relationship. Can Cody and May change themselves back? Is their relationship as broken as they believe?
The base mechanics of It Takes Two are those of a standard action-adventure platformer. Players will navigate around different worlds and levels, needing to get to the end of courses by jumping and puzzle solving. Each level also introduces both players to unique new power/mechanics that fit the theming of the worlds they visit. One player may get a magic hammer while the other gets a nail gun, or one will have singing powers while the other has a cymbal that acts as both a musical instrument and a shield.
We played the game on our PS5 console, but the game is available for PS4, XBox Series One, XBox Series X/S, and PC.
“You want me to play a divorce game?,” Confetti asked when we first started It Takes Two. Thankfully, this game is less about divorce but more about a couple learning to work together and appreciate what the other person brings to a relationship. It also highlights parents’ willingness to push themselves beyond their normal limits for their child. Don’t get us wrong, there are plenty of emotional moments, but the overall tone of the game is more humorous and uplifting. You’ll more often than not be rooting for Cody and May, hoping that they figure things out for themselves and their family.
The game does a good job of immersing players in the feelings of the characters. You’ll feel the characters’ setbacks and failings, but when you enable their triumphs and growth, that feels like your own personal success. There was a point or two where the characters had to make the hard decisions and the game made sure you felt that too, fully involving the players in the action. One sequence in particular made us feel pretty guilty. Again though, the majority of the game is a humorous adventure about two people learning to reconnect.
We both appreciated that It Takes Two is clearly built with fun in mind and with the understanding that players may be approaching this game with different levels of gaming experience. The best example of this is how the game doesn’t really punish players for dying. The game is about figuring out what to do next and about platforming your way through a level, not about navigating the level perfectly. Players won’t have to worry about running out of lives or having to start over again and again from the beginning of a level. Usually we found each other rooting for the other to succeed at a platforming section instead of getting frustrated since the other person’s deaths and mistakes didn’t actually hinder us as a team.
The game fully utilizes its premise as a cooperative game, making both players feel necessary and important. We both got to experience the levels fully and each had our moments to shine when the game offered us different abilities for a level. We should mention that the unique abilities meant that It Takes Two stuffs an impressive amount of mechanics into itself. The abilities and mechanics made sure that every level felt unique and the game stayed fresh. They also sprinkled in a lot of mini-games to be found just in case players wanted more ways to play around.
It’s good that the game did so much to stay fresh because one aspect of It Takes Two that surprised both of us was its length. In our experiences, dedicated co-op experiences often seem to be shorter or less developed than single player or larger group videogames. Several times we felt the game was probably in wrap up mode and then we were surprised with more story and more in depth levels than either one of us expected. Thankfully, when you’re enjoying a game, more playtime isn’t a bad thing. (However, we were actually caught off guard when the game did eventually come to an end).
Constantly doing something new, hitting just the right story notes, and fully mastering the idea of cooperative play, It Takes Two is a must for anyone looking for a multiplayer experience.
Official C&C Rating:
GameplayGameplay: 5/5GameplayGameplay: 5/5
Overall Enjoyment: 5/5
Final Averaged Rating: 5/5