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It Takes Two

Developer: Hazelight Studios Publisher: Electronic Arts
26 March 2021
It Takes Two - cover art
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3.92 / 5.0
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910 Ratings / 5 Reviews
#313 All-time
#8 for 2021
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Title
It Takes Two is by the creators of A Way Out. I haven’t played that game but this is similar in the sense that it is split-screen co-op with some asymmetric gameplay ideas. You can play local or online co-op, and with the “friend pass” only one of you needs to own the game. It is split screen so you can always see what your partner is doing which is vital to help each other navigate the environment and puzzles.

Married couple May and Cody inform their child, Rose they are about to divorce. Rose has found a “Book of Love”, and somehow, her tears falling on some dolls transfers her parents' souls into the dolls. Cody is made of clay and May is made of wood.

Their situation is explained by the Book of Love, Dr Hakim. The book has a face with a mustache, and arms and legs. He seems quite seedy and often pelvic thrusts. He speaks in a strong Mexican accent, accompanied by flamenco guitar strumming. It’s possibly a bit on the racist side. He is definitely a jarring/cringeworthy character.

Dr Hakim gives you tasks, sometimes transports you to the next area, and gives you new abilities for that area. He is always emphasising how necessary teamwork is, and his tasks are trying to help Cody and May repair their relationship, even though they have no intention of doing so. They just want to return to human form.

The tone in general can be inconsistent. There’s a pretty shocking section where Cody and May rip apart their daughter's favourite toy. Then there’s a section of dialogue where Dr Hakim swears. Both these aspects took me by surprise.

I assumed the game was aimed at a parent playing with their child. I played it with a friend and we are both in our early 30’s. We really loved the gameplay but didn’t enjoy the story so much. We felt nostalgic for the idea and dialogue between the main characters. The dialogue from the child and book seemed very odd though. The overall story and dialogue style seems very 90’s. It reminded me of films like “Honey I Shrunk the Kids” and “Jumanji”.

The story was obviously going to go down the route of the parents rekindling their friendship after all this teamwork. It’s probably a bit of a weird message to give to children. Also, it didn’t even seem that believable that their relationship was salvageable. They constantly argue and it doesn’t really seem like they are solving their issues. May doesn’t seem that likable as a person, but I did like her character. She just constantly shoots Cody down and nags and moans at him. There’s some moments where they’re reminded of why they liked each other: like their holiday where Cody proposed, and the final sections where Cody is told to restart his gardening project and May should start singing again.

The story isn’t the reason why you play the game though, and I have to say, the gameplay is extremely impressive. The game design is actually really good, the puzzle variety is very high, and it is long for a co-op game at around 11 hours.

To navigate the areas, there’s a fair bit of platforming and puzzles to solve to get to the next section. Some sections are for the visual flair, so you may just run down a long section (could be a chase sequence, or just an interesting environment), some rope-swinging sections, and there’s sections where you are grinding a rail and have to jump to the next rail at the appropriate time.

At first, it seems that they are navigating real environments like a shed, garden and treehouse, but then sometimes goes down the imagination route.

The shed level was one of my favourites. May has a hammer and Cody has a few nails which he can recall like Thor’s hammer. Cody gets to pin moving platforms, or create areas that May can swing off with her hammer.

There’s one level where it plays like an isometric hack and slash and each character has different magic and abilities.

The combat can be quite tough especially in the boss battles e.g. dodging an insane amount of moving lasers. There’s plenty of ideas, so you will have fights against the likes of a Vacuum Cleaner, a mechanical bee, and Rose’s toy; Moon Baboon.

If you die, you respawn. In combat, you have to repeatedly press a button to respawn. If you both die, then you fail but you never lose much progress at all.

Since you both have different abilities, you often get different tasks to navigate through the level. There's plenty of sections where only one of you can cross a section, then will have to find something to interact with for the other person to get across. Plenty of these moments require teamwork, so one player has to be helped across before they can then help the other.

Some of the moments reminded me of playing Trine. Sometimes the fun comes from all the times you mess up: either when you just affect yourself, or affecting your partner. The respawn feature means it never gets frustrating. You just laugh and have another attempt a few seconds later.

There’s also moments where maybe you don’t understand how to solve a puzzle but your partner will. So they will have to guide you through the solution. These moments are what makes co-op games like this really fun.

The graphics are great, with bold colours and good detail in the environments. The characters are well animated and have very dramatic running animations. The sound design is really good too.

Some parts of the levels have interactive objects with no impact on the level. These can be simple things like launching rockets, playing musical instruments, stealing a hat from a character, or having a snowball fight on the winter themed level. Some players may just ignore these completely, but I think they are a nice addition because it adds more personality/charm to the environments.

There’s some dedicated mini-games where you play against each other. These can be rhythm games, shooting galleries, whack-a-mole, ice skate races etc. They are a bit mixed in quality, but again, they are nice distractions that add a bit more variety and personality to the game.

Like I said before, my friend and I didn’t care for the story set-up, but we thought the environments and gameplay ideas were excellent, and the game is definitely deserving of the high praise it seemed to receive from critics. It’s very creative and full of great ideas. I’m not sure who the game is actually targeting; it’s very confused in that regard.
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CaptainClam 2021-05-28T21:57:35Z
2021-05-28T21:57:35Z
4.5
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shallow gameplay gimmicks and charmless, joss whedon-like dialogue makes this a cavalcade of cringe. it's like a shiny toy, dedicated to provide dopamine boosts and nothing more. a game for people that think that video games aren't art
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Szkieleton 2024-03-07T16:56:21Z
2024-03-07T16:56:21Z
1.5
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Needs More Rick Moranis
My biggest takeaway from playing It Takes Two is that despite all appearances, it's not a great choice for co-op with a non-gamer. I played through both Overcooked games with my wife so I thought she'd be up for this. But after a few hours, end-capped by major struggles with the giant beetle boss, we agreed that it was too difficult for her to enjoy. It's a shame, too, because the cinematics are top notch and she was enjoying the story.

So I started the game over with another friend, and we both found it to be an enjoyable platformer. The best part is that new mechanics are constantly being introduced. One minute you're exterminating bugs and the next minute you're defying gravity in outer space. It's a continual stream of fresh environments and new challenges. Thankfully, the controls remain relatively consistent; if you have experience with platformers or third-person shooters, you should be able to handle each new challenge with ease.

Because of all the different mechanics, some areas are more fun to play than others. My biggest disappointment was that the final area was one of the weaker ones and didn't climax in a satisfying way. Despite this, the rest of the journey is more than worth a play, and the sheer amount of imagination at work here is impressive. As someone who grew up watching Honey, We Shrunk Ourselves on VHS, I must say this is as close as a game has ever come to recreating that experience.
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toadhjo 2024-01-26T05:00:50Z
2024-01-26T05:00:50Z
4.0
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Companion
Great game for playing with a friend, or with a partner, it takes you to a hole new level of thinking, not just in the game, but actions in life, a great message is fed by the creators and developers
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_brualbu 2023-08-22T12:50:13Z
2023-08-22T12:50:13Z
4.5
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Co Op Hasn't Felt This Important
Co Op games continue to become a thing of the past for some reason. Devs don't want to put the effort in to make co-op split screen compatibility like they once did. Since everything is online now, you can just play with your online friends. Yet nothing will ever replace the feeling of playing a game with friends next to you. This is a game about the meaning of relationships and how to approach them. While it might be full of new revelations in it, it has, many great messages embedded in its foundation. Going through any breakup or divorce can be hard on the couple and any kids, friends, or family. This game shows that it is possible to fix the problems that might lead to a divorce or breakup. Not only that, but its full of deep chemistry between the very well written characters. There's plenty of comedy and heartfelt moments that will leave you wanting more and more and more. This game is incredibly creative in its levels. Some are trippy, some are snowy, some are medieval. There are new systems each time that keep the game refreshing as you move through its long storyline. There are mini games that are based on and inspired by famous videogames of the past which make this a game for old heads that are continuously inspired by the simplest of older games like space invaders and pong. The multiplayer experience has never felt so visceral, entertaining, heartwarming, and overall important in over a decade.
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TheSurrealist 2023-07-31T02:40:36Z
2023-07-31T02:40:36Z
90 /100
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A great co-op puzzle platformer with excellent controls and fun mechanics. The puzzle difficulty is fairly easy, but the different mechanics used throughout the various stages of the game to solve these puzzles changes to keep it fresh.

I do think the game could have been a bit shorter though, I started losing steam towards the end.

I played it with a buddy, but I think it's best experience would be with your SO. Could be a great gateway game for the non-gaming SOs out there as well.
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jtpavlock 2023-07-09T02:49:25Z
2023-07-09T02:49:25Z
4.0
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Catalog

ReneJr19 It Takes Two 2024-06-15T14:14:24Z
2024-06-15T14:14:24Z
4.5
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
jaydedash It Takes Two 2024-06-15T08:38:49Z
2024-06-15T08:38:49Z
4.5
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
Anatomized It Takes Two 2024-06-15T01:43:07Z
2024-06-15T01:43:07Z
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
paillou It Takes Two 2024-06-14T16:49:33Z
2024-06-14T16:49:33Z
4.5
1
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
Ali5ia It Takes Two 2024-06-13T11:31:45Z
2024-06-13T11:31:45Z
3.0
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
arranm6 It Takes Two 2024-06-13T11:24:39Z
2024-06-13T11:24:39Z
4.0
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
SereneVendetta It Takes Two 2024-06-13T00:11:20Z
2024-06-13T00:11:20Z
3.0
1
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
Flipsz It Takes Two 2024-06-11T12:57:17Z
2024-06-11T12:57:17Z
4.5
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
ecitsloSretniW It Takes Two 2024-06-08T20:25:39Z
2024-06-08T20:25:39Z
4.0
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
rottnepatoto It Takes Two 2024-06-07T06:04:31Z
2024-06-07T06:04:31Z
4.0
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
americanflotsam It Takes Two 2024-06-05T14:24:13Z
2024-06-05T14:24:13Z
4.0
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
Slomuk It Takes Two 2024-06-04T13:59:44Z
2024-06-04T13:59:44Z
4.5
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
Player modes
2 players
Media
Download
Multiplayer modes
Cooperative
Multiplayer options
Local, Online

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  • Previous comments (49) Loading...
  • Revolution666 2024-01-11 00:24:03.709548+00
    This totally feels like a Pixar movie premise. Having a lot of fun playing this with my girlfriend!
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  • rainstorm 2024-02-07 17:13:49.16924+00
    Would be improved with an option to "Auto-skip all cutscenes"
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  • hashbrowns 2024-02-11 14:53:05.621108+00
    for me, this one suffers from limp writing and overstretched gameplay. my partner and I weren't engaged enough to finish it. probably would've worked better if it had a smaller scope.
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  • ryanccraig 2024-02-18 21:36:52.970247+00
    this was pretty miserable honestly, would’ve been so much better if they actually got a divorce. sometimes separation is the answer
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  • ryanccraig 2024-02-18 21:37:23.467418+00
    cody doesn’t deserve rights most of the game honestly
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  • ... 2024-05-17 01:24:52.184578+00
    hahahaha what the fuck are these secondaries
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  • JillSandwich390 2024-05-18 08:19:24.859398+00
    Science fiction, volleyball, naval combat
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  • Ali5ia 2024-06-13 11:32:28.180408+00
    Way too fkn long
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