It Takes Two
Publisher: Electronic Arts
Genre: Co-Op, Adventure, Platformer
Platform: Xbox Series S (Also available on PC, PS4, PS5, Xbox)
Age Rating: PEGI 12
Release Date: 26/03/2021
A code was provided for review purposes.
For years, my younger sister has been forced to a secondary position when it comes to couch co-op experiences. From playing as Mario’s Cap to a mere Star Pointer, when she saw the equal gameplay from the initial trailer of Hazlelight’s latest game It Takes Two, it was my sister who asked to play the game for review. Find out our thoughts in this Rapid Review.
Never before have I begun a game by being shrunk into a clay doll thanks to a magical Book of Love. This experience of total bewilderment remained true throughout the entirety of It Takes Two – constantly full of surprises and innovation. The game began by choosing between two dolls named May and Cody who just so happen to also be a couple in the process of divorce. What follows is a ten-hour predominantly platforming experience across all manner of settings and varying interactions with characters. Though the story is full of surprising moments that made us experience all manner of emotion, the overarching plot didn’t personally resonate with me. In fact, this overall narrative is the only part of It Takes Two that feels remotely predictable.
With May and Cody appearing in their own rectangle of the split-screen, It Takes Two is a joy to control. The platforming controls are perfectly unnoticeable, responding exactly how I imagined. A failed jump was never down to the game’s wrongdoing but was in fact due to my own misjudgement or the incorrect timing of a button press. Traversing across the many supersized household locations felt fluid and we never became frustrated with movement; well, my sister let out a sigh of disapproval when we reached the underwater level but she’s never enjoyed those sections in any game.
Twisted Version of Reality
Speaking of locations, the game itself describes them as “some twisted version of reality”. Never being restrained by a single size scale, the supersized objects and environments constantly impressed us, full of rich detail. It may seem like a small aspect to mention but the fact that I could get up close and personal to the readable high-resolution textures of food labels or storybook pages made the world incredibly immersive. The game also manages to maintain a steady frame rate on the Series S though, in the more explosive sections, the frame rate suffers. With a world full of such detail and action, the frame drops can be easily overlooked.
At first, the locations of garages and gardens may seem mundane but HazelLight has added its creative flair to make the world far from boring! Wandering off the beaten track, there’s plenty of easter eggs and minigames. From whack-a-mole to Garden Swings, I loved exploring every millimetre of the world to see what secret minigame or gaming easter egg I’d next discover.
It Definitely Takes Two!
The co-op gameplay is essential in It Takes Two. Unless you have another pair of hands or are particularly skilled at using two controllers at once, there’s simply no way to play this game single player. It Takes Two relies on cooperative play – and by that, I mean genuinely helping each other. Equipped with varying gadgets and gizmos, my sister and I played off the strengths and weaknesses of our equipped tools. One of our favourite sections put us in the centre of a war between wasps and squirrels. I was equipped with a cannon full of sap and my sister had access to a match-loaded sniper.
When put together, these weapons spell disaster. In one evening, a flurry of explosives is unleashing on the poor unfortunate wasps that stand in our way! Sap is weighing down on platforms, pulling open closed doors. In another session, I’m firing nails Kratos style with the correct timing whilst May’s hammer leaps across them. And at all times we look at each other with a big smile on our faces.
It Takes Two is very generous with unlimited respawning and plenty of checkpoints. In boss encounters, repeatedly tapping the A button quickly brought me back to life. Whilst some may consider this ease of access overly generous, I believe that it removes the frustration, replacing loading screens and backtracking with creative and fun gameplay!
The Perfect Match
It Takes Two has quickly become not just my favourite co-operative experience, but one of my all-time favourite games. Constantly innovating and surprising, It Takes Two is the perfect co-op game.
Rapid Reviews Rating
5 out of 5
You can purchase It Takes Two for £34.99 on the Microsoft Store
You can find and read our reviews on OpenCritic.