It Takes Two shows that certain formulas, even if they seem beaten, can yield good moments and situations that go beyond mere gameplay. Involving a lot of feeling, the PC game, PS4, PS5, Xbox One and Xbox Series X | S. It may sound corny, but it is always important to remember how such an interactive medium can still thrill a lot, even after countless games “appeal” to the resource.
The most curious thing is that, in the case of It Takes Two, these emotional moments come from one of the most controversial and unusual minds in the industry, according to some. Producer Josef Fares became famous after releasing the acclaimed Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons, but it only reached worldwide stardom after cursing the Academy Awards, at the The Game Awards, in 2017, while preparing for the release of A Way Out.
With It Takes Two, Fares and his team follow the same formula that has worked in the previous two: a game focused on cooperation, always with two characters on screen. Yes, it is necessary to play with someone else, either online or locally. This is a game that doesn’t give you many choices in this regard, but it’s for the best, I guarantee you.
Simple and captivating story
Telling a good story is for the few and telling it in a short time is for even fewer people. It Takes Two it takes place nowadays and shows how a possible separation of a couple, Cody and May, can affect the life of their daughter. As he tries to turn things around, something magical happens and his parents are transformed into rag dolls – and now they need to work together to be human again and win their daughter’s trust.
The most impressive thing, however, is that the situation is fully explained in the first five minutes of the game.
And it’s not just any explanation, it’s something with details, that makes you care about the characters, that creates feeling connections between the player and the game, that puts you in a situation of empathy in relation to what happens on the screen. In a mere five minutes. This is something that few narrators do in entertainment, but it happens here – and it works.
“Simple and captivating story” is even a great simplification. It Takes Two throws you into a constant whirlwind of emotions, throughout your adventure, with the narrative developing as the stages progress and as we discover more of the life of the protagonist couple and their daughter.
One thing that I want to highlight quite vehemently in this little opinion about It Takes Two is in the gameplay. It is not as simple as it looks, but at the same time, it is simple enough to make players happy.
It Takes Two it is friendly to any type of player, of any skill level. Having a second person next to you can help when exchanging tips and everything, especially due to puzzles that come along the way – and that need to be solved by the two users, together. It all starts very simple, but the difficulty curve goes up fast and the game demands more skill, and agility, in many cases.
Even so, mechanically, It Takes Two makes life easier for those who play. Your commands are no more varied than running, jumping, double jumping or grabbing things, for example. It gets a little natural to do all of this after a while and it will be easy for players to feel themselves in the body of the dolls themselves while doing pirouettes through the air or trying to solve an obstacle together.
Meanwhile, the game alternates between moments of action with others calmer and even some filled with good humor. A character who takes the form of the book of love teaches players what to do in each scenario and challenges people to complete their goals within the levels.
All of this is watered by graphics that are well matched to what the game proposes. There is a “Pixar” feel to it here, even if it’s not exactly realistic or extremely detailed. The cloth dolls that serve as characters work very well and the visual effects, at least in the new generation, were very beautiful.
I played the entire game on PS5, accompanied by the local cooperative and also through the online cooperative – and both functions behaved very well. Playing online may work better for some people, since locally the screen is always divided, which bothers those who are not used to this type of visualization.
However, in online multiplayer, the game works without gagging and behaves like a real-time cooperation title should behave. Fluid, friendly and effective.
The Friend Pass
Finally, another novelty that It Takes Two presents and can be very interesting: we mention online multiplayer, which usually requires each player to buy a copy of the game, but here there is something called a Friend Pass.
With the Friend Pass you can invite anyone on your list of friends on the console or platform on the PC to play online. The invited person will download an “initial copy” of the game and will be able to play it in its entirety with you, who bought it. If neither user has purchased the game, it is possible to play the first phase and try it out, as if it were a demonstration.
It is a smart and interesting solution, for those who expect to play without spending so much and can count on friends for it – you can even share the cost, if you wish.
It is worth it?
Much. It Takes Two it is sensitive, different, unique and beautiful. It’s really worth checking out what EA, Hazelight Studio and producer Josef Fares brought to players this time around. Who ever liked Brothers it’s from A Way Out you will feel at home in terms of gameplay, but here the mood is different, more dramatic in family terms and with many puzzles to solve in each phase that lies ahead.
It Takes Two deserves your attention and can be a good choice for anyone who wants a game to enjoy the good old comfort of the sofa, especially in a time when we are not able to leave the house.