It Takes Two
Trailer, Gameplay, & Screenshots
About this game
Gamer Reviews135 Reviews
In most fantasy games the plot would revolve around saving the universe from some unspeakable evil. However, in It Takes Two, it revolves around saving a dying relationship between a husband and wife. Under a spell unknowingly committed by their daughter Rose, Cody and May must undergo trials as living dolls to break the spell and perhaps save their marriage.
You never see plots like this more often in games nowadays and it is a breath of fresh air. So, let's begin with controls.
The controls are decent. I wont say perfect. But they are responsive to a fault. I would say your greatest enemy would be the camera during high speed scenarios like slide events. Everything else works good.
The music in this game is ear-candy. From the lush strings during emotional scenes to the eerie themes in darker stages such as the time castle, the music in this game never fails to impress me. If you can buy a soundtrack of this game, I would highly recommend that you do so.
Its strongest element however, would be the amount of game modes you will go through throughout the campaign. I wouldn't want to spoil these game modes. They are definitely worth discovering on your first try. This game truly deserved the GOTY in 2021.
All in all, if you have a friend (preferably a loved one) and want to play games together, I highly recommend you give this game a go. It is definitely worth playing.
It Takes Two is accessible to both hardcore gamers and the normies. The game is forgiving but makes you think on a few of the challenges. The physics in-game rival that of Mario's best. Obviously, the game is inspired by our favorite Italian plumber which many will see later in game with references and directly inspired levels, and they are quite glorious. The game is also amazingly creative. Playing this game based on just the creativity of the mechanics is completely justified. Some game mechanics will make your jaw drop if you're not completely jaded and/or just a bitter person in general using games as an escape.
It's unfortunate that many people won't play It Takes Two over various reasons: It was published by EA, it's only co-op, it looks like a kid's game, or maybe you just don't want to. I would go as far as to say that most people played this game the wrong way. What do I mean? Online co-op anything always requires good internet connections on both sides. If the connection is bad for one party, of course that person is not going to enjoy the game as much, so I would say that this game is best played local co-op split-screen, which I did.
Core Gameplay/Loop of Functions
The gameplay is shockingly super tight and responsive. You can combo your dashes into long jumps and super jumps and back into long jumps if you time your button presses correctly. Sounds a lot like Mario. The gameplay is your typical puzzle-platformer but this game is ridiculously creative, and because this game has an actual story, there is a sense of immersion that you just won't find in a Mario game. Although, if you're kind of immature or just young, the point of the story will elude you and/or you'll feel nothing because its about healing a bad relationship. Ratio of talking to actual gameplay is about 30:70, which is very healthy in my opinion for a story driven game like this. Your average Mario would have a 10:90 ratio, average racing game would have a 5:95, Horizon Zero Dawn would be a 45:55 (they never stop talking and take away my control in game), Uncharted would be 50:50 because there's so little freedom in some sequences I wouldn't even call it gameplay, and Dragon Quest 11 would be a 55:45. I just want to express this because I don't like talking in games, unless the story is meaningful and I know I'm not alone. Hell, I love Returnal (15:85) but wanted the story bits to stfu so I could play the darn game!
After the credits roll, the only thing left to do would be to either platinum the game and/or unlock the minigames that you missed. Right off the bat, I will say that the mini-games are far better or at the same level of great as the best Mario Party games. The mini-games in this game are awesome! They're worth it. This is coming from a gamer who is super jaded and extremely picky with games. Not much to do after the credits roll but you will forever have the mini-games and basically It Takes Two becomes something a family could play casually 1v1. I would argue that the game is more than worth its value. Its like what? 20 bucks? That's a freaking steal. If you have someone that can handle basic 3D platforming mechanics and you both want to play this game, you struck gold playing this.
The philosophy in this game must be that the developers want anyone, and I mean anyone, to play this game and not feel swamped by mechanics. The great thing is that if you don't like the way May's gameplay is going, you could swap controllers with your partner and maybe it will click. This is why this game must be played couch co-op style, in my opinion. My partner is good at racing and rhythm games but awful at shooting and fighting, which I am good at, so at one point when May has to do a Street Fighter style sequence (I'm so serious, hadokens too), I was passed the controller and got us through. Then at one point there was a rhythm based game that I could not complete, my partner took Cody and I took May and we beat the obstacle easily. This game wants you to have fun! WE NEED MORE OF THAT.
Polish/Quality of Life
Easiest category to review. Yes and Yes. Moving on.
The game has some very good music. Surprisingly good, I would argue. The voice acting is also very, very, very good. There's only like 4 main characters but the acting is convincing and I forgot that I was watching a video game at some points. The story has some really original twists and turns, and I like Star Trek which is known for its writing before the Enterprise series, so I have high standards imo. The last chapter in the game is like a celebration of sound with actual working mechanics for certain objects in life that make music. The visuals in-game are also gorgeous. I played on a Series X, so maybe our experiences will be different if you play on a different platform. The only gameplay dips we experienced were during water physics levels, which is kind of expected imo.
The only things holding this game back from a perfect 10 is some very specific decisions. The game doesnt do quick-resume on Xbox. I don't like that, but its not a big deal. Some mini-games and/or puzzles wont click for everyone. There is this one swinging mini-game that I thought was strangely designed and certain obstacles in the main game where I wondered why the developers did things a certain way. It just didn't click. Some games didn't click with my partner either. I would also argue that May is harder to use than Cody. Cody is less a fighter and more stationary, while May is super shooty and slashy a lot. I would recommend the more normie-gamers use Cody and May be left to more active gamers. There's also a specific story sequence that happens at a castle that I just felt was almost disgustingly unnecessary and almost too inappropriate for say a young, young child to watch. I hated the sequence. Hated it. If that was the intention, I would say it was a poor decision because there was no actual redemption for it and it did nothing for the player but make us feel like crap. From a story perspective, that's the only bout of bad writing in the game imo. Also, if you are playing the game online with someone, some puzzles require timing and I doubt that it would feel seamless and smooth over bad internet. So there's that to consider.
There is no other game on the market like It Takes Two. The ending of the game made me feel satisfied and a lot of the writing is funny, clever, and super profound. The story is wholesome and really tugs on your heartstrings if you've experienced a lot in relationships. Again, there is only one It Takes Two, and I wholeheartedly recommend it to anyone who loves games and has someone they love who also loves games. Beautiful experience. Well done! Objectively, a wonderful experience that feels like a true video game during a time where games are feeling less and less like video games and art.
I played this with my 9yr old daughter. The story was very sad at times and we really grew to hate "the book". But the story and characters developed really well. Every "level" or chapter is extremely different with different gameplay mechanics and lots of mini games scattered around. There were definitely some puzzles or bosses that were difficult for us and some of the chapters dragged on longer than we wished. But easily the best coop game, for gamers, that has been made! Highly recommend