Undoubtedly, It Takes Two is a co-op masterpiece. Its highly diverse gameplay is held to such a high standard from beginning to end. The visuals are stunning, the story is immersive, and the sound is memorable. Developed by Hazelight studios, the same developers that brought us the famous coop title “A Way Out”. They prove once more that using split screens can have a place in modern gaming.
Story: A Comical & Fantastical Love Story
Players are introduced to the dissolving relationship of Cody and May, an unhappily married couple. We witness their arguing and inability to get along, ultimately leading to the decision to tell their child about their looming divorce. This is where the craziness begins and where reality as we know it begins to evaporate. This chain of events ultimately causes the couple to transform into Rose’s toy dolls.
The two try their best to identify a possible cause for this sudden transformation and also brainstorm solutions. They do not get much time to consider their predicament before Dr Hakim “Book of Love” abruptly makes his appearance. With Rose’s best interests at heart, he sets out almost obnoxiously optimistically to relight Cody and May’s love. He sends them on many incredulous and bizarre quests with the goal of reigniting their passion, with each area forcing them to collaborate and understand each other to proceed.
Gameplay Overview: Genre-Bending, Diverse & Captivating
The task of describing the gameplay of It Takes Two is a difficult one. It is perhaps one of the most varied, dynamic, and energetic games I have encountered. Featuring too many genres to name – it masters everything it includes. Every level is a rollercoaster and seamlessly transitions through each element. From a top down section similar to Magicka, a fighting short scene akin to Tekken, and gravity fuelled puzzles, reminiscent of Crash Bandicoot. Each area almost feels and looks like a brand-new game; it was just that unique.
New weapons and abilities are constantly introduced throughout the game. These elements are only used temporarily before being replaced with something else. Shoot down foes, reduce or enlarge your size at the click of a button, defy gravity with magnetic boots, slice enemies with a sickle and use a magnet to grip onto surfaces (or your partner). This is only a small selection of the differing aspects experienced throughout the game and the creative ideas do not stop here. Players also get to swing, fly, grapple and grind rails through the air with ease. Ride frogs, deep sea creatures, make friends and enemies, verse your partner in a variety of minigames and work together to solve puzzles. I was aptly blown away with the amount of sheer creativity seen in each and every level. Whilst the title shares a lot of similarities with other renowned games, the differing concepts are seamlessly combined, providing for a fresh and engaging experience.
Personally, I did not mind this. I enjoyed the relaxing and childish nature of the game. This stress free approach also ensured I was never frustrated, stressed or bored. Those looking for a challenging coop game, this is not it. What it lacks in challenge, it more than makes up for with its engaging story and one-of-a-kind masterful coop gameplay.
Graphic and Sound
The voice acting is exceptionally well done, delivered with emphatic emotion and allows players to better relate to the characters relationship woes and concerns. The entire soundtrack is exhilarating, particularly during boss battles and just like the rest of the game, is ever-changing.
There are not enough words to adequately explain the experience of It Takes Two. Featuring extremely varied and diverse gameplay, it stands out among other coop games as a true masterpiece. Its high-quality production proves that the once hated split screen still has a place in modern gaming. I highly recommend this to anyone looking for an unforgettable coop experience. For 12-15+ hours of playtime and a price tag of $39.99, it is well worth it and deserves the many accolades it has already received. This game was so breathtakingly amazing that I am genuinely sad that it is over. Absolutely breathtaking!