It Takes Two - Review

It Takes Two - Review

Meet our (un) happy couple, Cody and May, parents who knelt on the foundations of a successful relationship. Cody thinks May is never home and works too much, while May resents Cody for being home all the time and not caring for the family the way she does. After a short conversation, the parents decide that everyone should go their own way, that is, that the only solution is divorce. Their daughter Rose follows the whole argument from the window playing with dolls, one clay that resembles Cody and one wooden that resembles May.

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Moments later we observe a somewhat awkward scene of parents trying to explain to their daughter how mom and dad continue on their separate paths. Rose accepts the whole situation incredibly well at first glance, but after asking her parents to go play in her room, we witness a painful truth. Little Rose desperately wants the two of them to become close again, and with tears in her eyes, she turns to a magical book about love, relationship expert Dr. Hakimu. With a little help from magic, her tears revive the dolls in which her parents are now. Mentioned Dr. Hakim explains to them that together they must find a way to return to their bodies.


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So the game is a cooperative adventure - and without the ability to play with a computer partner, which means you have to find someone to play the game with you, whether online or locally. If you opt for the online option, there is no matchmaking that would connect you to a player who is on the same part of the story as you. 

You need to have a target person among your contacts with whom you want to play the game, and invite them to join you. The positive thing about this is the so-called "Friends Pass" with which the person you choose does not have to buy a game to play it with you. If you decide to play locally all you need is a comfortable couch and two controllers.

Whatever you decide, It Takes Two is mostly played on a split-screen, while at some point the split-screen disappears and both players are in the same frame. What initially causes discomfort and confusion, because sometimes you just inadvertently stare at someone else's part of the screen, through the game becomes completely normal and even very useful in moments when, say, you need another player to connect the platforms on which he climbs.


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Already at the beginning of the game, each player has the basic mechanics; jumping, dodging, hitting the ground, and special mechanics related to a certain part of the story as well as the character you are playing with. The hammerhead that May gets and the three nails that Cody can use are the first examples of special abilities you can handle. As in A Way Out, the previous game of Hazelight Studios, only by working together can you overcome certain obstacles. All the mechanics are very easy to understand and there are almost no problems in mastering them even if you are not an experienced player.


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With the introduction of new mechanics through further play, everything remains very natural, simple, and extremely fun, and the controls are very responsive and precise. The game teaches you at the beginning of a certain level how to use the new ability, and it is up to you to practice using it until the next boss fight that will test what you have learned. The abilities you get always work in pairs say Cody sprays an obstacle with flammable gel, and May gel ignites with a rifle with matches. In the second case, May can be cloned and Cody can manage time by turning it backward or forwards, depending on what you need to overcome obstacles. One of the strengths of this game is precisely those unique abilities of the characters that make gameplay so interesting and diverse. 


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And what makes this game even more attractive is the continuously new content, beautiful animations, and fluid cutscenes. If you’re one of those people who can get bored of games very quickly because most levels look similar, or because boss fights have repetitive mechanics, It Takes Two will be brilliant to you in that regard. Each new level has a different theme, starting from the tool shed where the game begins, through the tree where the war between squirrels and wasps is waged, to the interior of the colorful kaleidoscope. At one point you are in a normal platformer environment jumping on the bowels of a vacuum cleaner, and at another from the perspective of a fighter like Tekken you try to beat a squirrel on the wing of a spacecraft made up of Cody's lost boxers.

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Whether you're jumping on mini-balloons in a sea of plastic balls, climbing pillow towers, swinging like a Tarzan on a rope on a tree canopy, or grinding on cable ramps - you'll never be bored. Lots of small details such as a photo camera, moving books, or battery-powered dog toys, as well as a few easter eggs, will often bring a smile to your face. Each level is interspersed with attractive, but not too difficult puzzles and varied and sympathetic boss battles.


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Boss fights are another hidden gem of this game, they’re not too heavy so you probably won’t get stuck permanently on any, but each is special and indescribably fun. You don’t have to worry that the game will punish your every mistake because as long as one of the players is alive you won’t die permanently. Even if you happen to die at the same time, the game quite often remembers your progress so in most cases brings you back very close to where you died.

It is worth mentioning the mini-games that you can find at certain levels, in which you can try and satisfy your competitive appetite. Mini-games, like most things in It Takes Two, are quite diverse, so you can find yourself in some simpler ones like pulling a rope, Rosa's mini rodeo, to those a little more demanding like shooting targets or hitting baseballs. Nothing overly difficult that you can’t master with a little practice.


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The voice acting is otherwise fine, and the casual conversations between Cody and May are a complete hit in addition to immersing yourself in the story. Throughout the game, Cody and May proved to be not only bad parents but also selfish people. Trying to get back into their human bodies, parents will do nothing to succeed in their plan, so their first idea to undo the spell is nothing but to make their child cry. Lies and false promises are the main weapons by which we approach the main goal, whether they are petty lies or the slightly bigger ones Cody and May have no problem with the morality of their decisions. Sometimes it’s hard to be on the side of Cody and May because some of their decisions might just disappoint you.


Our Rating

Either way, 10 to 12 hours of unforgettable fun is guaranteed, and maybe even a little longer if you’re not successful at solving puzzles quickly and if you die a few times in boss fights. As much as some characters may not sit well with you, and the story will be very shallow at times, it all falls into the background because the fun and satisfying gameplay will make you forget about everything else. And another positive thing that adorns It Takes Two is that the whole story, though mostly linear, can be replayed if you swap roles, exploring different mechanics and unexplored parts of the level that you didn’t encounter in the first game.
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