It Takes Two gives a show of creativity and does not stick to conventions

When we think of cooperative games, it’s easy to remember simpler games that have easy-to-learn mechanics in a few seconds, like Overcooked. But in most of these games, it doesn’t take long to realize that such a cooperative mode is usually something optional, not least because it is complicated to offer a game that depends so much on you finding someone else to play along for its entire duration.

Fortunately, this is a risk that It Takes Two not afraid to run and that’s exactly what makes your experience completely different, following the formula of A Way Out, from the same developer. It really is a title made to be played only cooperatively, so much that when you buy the game, you get a pass to give to a friend. This way you can play with your copy locally or with the pass for online matches remotely. It’s just not just that cooperative experience that makes the game so special.

A narrative told with gameplay

Right from the start, the game begins to tell us the story of Cody and May, a couple who are in the early stages of a divorce process after a few years of unresolved problems in their relationship. When the couple’s daughter, Rose, finds out, she asks for help with a relationship book and cries over two dolls she had created in the likeness of her parents.

The tears end up having a magical effect that turns Cody and May into these dolls indefinitely. Confused by what happened, the couple is approached by Rose’s book, who introduces himself as Dr. Hakim, an expert in fixing troubled relationships. However, Hakim’s methods of bringing the couple back together are far from conventional and he simply puts them both in adverse situations so that they learn the importance of collaboration, respect and partnership.

The story itself is quite simple, but it is familiar enough for most people that they really feel involved in its development. The intention really seems to be to deliver a romantic comedy in the form of a game, which works very well in this case.

The interesting thing is that whenever we hear about a game that has a more developed narrative, there is that fear of the plot overlapping and ending up taking up more space than the gameplay itself. This ends up being one of the main points of criticism of games as The Last of Us Part II, who lose the chance to use the unique methods of video games to tell their story and instead try to emulate what we’ve seen in movies and TV series for years.

At each stage, the game surprises you moreAt each stage, the game surprises you moreSource: Electronic Arts / Reproduction

It Takes Two it does have a story to tell, but the conventional scenes and dialogues are there more as a bonus for us to know more details of the characters and the situation in which they find themselves. The rest is really developing in the gameplay, in the scenarios in which they find themselves, in the puzzles they need to solve and in the new mechanics that are being presented.

This is exactly what makes you more involved with the characters, since you are the one who performs all the actions manually and nothing is left to be seen in cutscenes. We are not even talking only about the main characters, but the secondary ones that appear throughout the story as well.

There are many times that Cody and May need to take actions that make them happy, scared, uncomfortable and even sad. As we, the players, who control all of this, we also feel the same emotions in a genuine way. There is no feeling that we have to care about something because a random dialogue showed us that the protagonists care.

Charisma is not lacking

We have no doubt that Dr. Hakim will also win you overWe have no doubt that Dr. Hakim will also win you overSource: Electronic Arts / Reproduction

Since we mentioned a little bit about how easy it is to get involved with the characters of It Takes Two, it is more than valid to delve into the subject. Right from the start, you will be aware of how everyone can be charismatic, especially our dear Dr. Hakim, whose capture of body movements was carried out by the game’s director, Josef Fares.

With each new chapter we get to know even more secondary characters and none of them disappoint or give the impression that they are there just to occupy an empty space. Not only do they make the plot move and give chance for new types of puzzles, but they also give us important details about the lives of Cody, May and Rose.

An important compliment to be made here is about the dubbing of the characters, since the whole cast did an excellent job in giving life and a personality to each one of them!

No time to relax

You can’t deny that there are certain games that after a while make you very comfortable when you have learned all the main mechanics. You can even say that many of these titles end up doing more of the same from the middle to the end and you only carry out your actions almost on autopilot. This can be a positive point if you just want to relax and not have to think too much about your actions, but it is still frustrating for those who wanted something more complex.

What we can guarantee is that It Takes Two it will not give you a moment of peace when it comes to its gameplay. Each new scenario introduces you to unprecedented mechanics and new types of problems to be solved. This means that you can never really reach a comfort zone where you can just stop thinking about what you are doing.

The best thing is that there is also the feeling that they are just playing different things all the time to impress you. There is really a reason behind the mechanics and they make a lot of sense with each scenario presented, after all, they change a lot in each chapter.

Some of these mechanics are typical of It Takes Two while others pay a very cool tribute to other game genres, such as fighting games, ARPGs, platform and more. Basically, you never know what to expect and in many instances you will be excited to find out what kind of surprise has been prepared for the next area.

All this creativity is one of the reasons why it is difficult to drop the game, even when you have been in the same game for hours without stopping. There are those who may find it bad that this is a difficult game to feel like repeating after you reset it for the first time, after all, there will be no more surprises or anything new to do.

Except that considering its uninterrupted experience of content and a duration that can reach 15 hours, we do not see this as a negative point. Other than that, it is entirely possible that you can enjoy it a second time when introducing it to someone else, just as we usually do with a movie we love.

Puzzles, Puzzles and more Puzzles

It Takes Two will not let you relax for a secondIt Takes Two will not let you relax for a secondSource: Electronic Arts / Reproduction

Another factor that could not fail to have a deeper mention are the puzzles that the game presents all the time. As well as the mechanics, they are also very varied and creative, depending a lot on each scenario and situation that Cody and May find themselves in.

They can start off simpler at the beginning of each area, while you are still getting used to the place and its new powers. But as time goes on, they become more challenging and complex, requiring you to have the creativity to solve them yourself.

The positive point that we can mention is that even when they are on a more difficult level, puzzles never leave you with the feeling of not knowing what to do. You will always have the right knowledge and skill not to spend too much time thinking about what to do next. You just need to always be smart, as some of these puzzles may require a certain amount of agility in decisions.

The important thing to note is that this is not the type of game that you can present to someone who is not used to video games. It demands a certain mastery of how to deal with typical game situations, so someone who doesn’t know how to control the characters well, who has no notion of traditional mechanics or who is not easy at solving puzzles can feel very lost.

Exploration rewarded

Don't be afraid to explore every corner of the sceneryDon’t be afraid to explore every corner of the scenerySource: Electronic Arts / Reproduction

Anyone who is used to games that offer some level of exploration of their scenarios knows that you can always expect some collectibles or hidden items to reward the player’s curiosity. But we can say that It Takes Two it goes the other way entirely.

Josef Fares himself had already mentioned in interviews that the game would have nothing collectible and that other reasons would make players explore the scenarios of the title. The interesting thing is that it doesn’t take long for you to be aware of this yourself, since each area in which you find yourself is rich in details and this naturally stimulates your desire to go out looking at everything.

The game’s story is told in chapters that also divide the scenarios to be explored by Cody and May as they try to return to their original bodies. Only while they are in the form of dolls, the world around them consists of simple objects on the land where the couple lives. Whether in the hut with tools, in the big tree in the garden, in the child’s room or even in the snow globe. Of course, due to the tiny size of the characters, everything looks huge in a very similar way to what we saw in the films of the franchise. Toy Story.

Only It Takes Two takes everything to a higher level and is not content to just make large versions of everyday objects. The game really creates super interesting scenarios and full of paths that you can explore. As we mentioned, you will not find items to collect, but you will really want to see everything simply by the rich details.

In addition to rewarding you with this level of detail, it is clear that Fares also prepared some interesting surprises in the form of mini games and easter eggs in each stage. These fast games break the cooperative pace, as you and your partner have to face each other in super fun and very different challenges. It’s a great chance to have a healthy rivalry with the person you’re playing with It Takes Two.

The only thing that can bother certain players is that some chapters end up lasting longer than others. This is not really a problem, but there is a feeling that some of these long chapters could be slightly shorter. Fortunately, none of them last so long as to become tiring.

An experience that really needs two

We recommend that you do not ignore the mini games you findWe recommend that you do not ignore the mini games you findSource: Electronic Arts / Reproduction

At the end of my adventure with It Takes Two, I was really surprised by everything that a game that seemed unpretentious at first sight had delivered. Not only is it a cooperative experience that I haven’t had with other titles, but I also consider it one of the best multiplayer games I’ve played in years.

In no time did I feel that I could do everything myself, just directing my game partner with what he should do next. It has always been necessary for us to think together and take actions together to proceed.

The funny thing is to remember that in a question and answer session with Josef Fares and some journalists at the beginning of the year, the director commented on everything the game would have to offer and guaranteed that he really believed in his project and was sure that people would like it. in It Takes Two. He even said the following phrase: “Play the game and, if you don’t like it, you can come and talk to me!”.

Usually, such bold promises are often difficult to keep, but the game surprised me so much that I really have nothing to complain or talk to Fares about. I can only give him the same advice: play It Takes Two and you will not regret it, otherwise you can even come and talk to me.

It takes Two was kindly provided by Electronic Arts to carry out this analysis.

Strengths

  • Scenarios very varied and rich in details that stimulate exploration
  • Mini games that break the cooperative rhythm in a fun way
  • The plot really involves you and unfolds with gameplay
  • The characters are all memorable and captivating
  • Creativity in the mechanics and puzzles presented in each new chapter
  • A truly cooperative experience not found in other games today

Negative points

  • Some phases extend for longer than necessary
  • It can be difficult for people without the habit of playing video games

Voxel score: 95

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