Following up on Hazelight Studios’ prison escape journey, A Way Out, how does this latest release from Josef Fares stand out in 2021’s market?
Let’s find out in today’s review of It Takes Two!
Sweet, Sweet Gameplay
Just like A Way Out, It Takes Two knows exactly how to keep its audience engaged with its 2-player, co-op only approach. The overwhelming variety of different puzzles and gameplay setups never takes its foot off the gas and it somehow retains a consistently high quality from beginning to end. Even topping A Way Out’s great gameplay, in my opinion. All in all, this basically translates to the player literally salivating over what’s around the next bend…
Ok, that was a bit of an exaggeration, but it honestly is ridiculously fun to play.
All in all, this basically translates to the player literally salivating over what’s around the next bend…
We really need more titles like It Takes Two.
There’s something so entertaining about trekking through an adventure that proudly emphasises cooperative aspects. Whilst at the same time providing a tightly packed, virtually glitch-free experience. You don’t see stuff like this every day, that’s for sure.
Breaking down the gameplay, It Takes Two is a very dynamic platformer that throws in a dash of first-person shooting and a masterful assortment of puzzle-solving elements. Switching from ultra-fast, high-stakes action to more slower, thought-provoking sections with ease. One minute you’ll be rail-grinding, wall-jumping, shooting and competing in some highly amusing minigames with your co-op partner. The next, you’ll be carefully studying the environment to solve the plethora of awesome puzzles this game has to offer.
I won’t talk much about specific puzzles and sections, because that might spoil the experience for some people. But just be prepared for a super fun, expertly paced thrill-ride, that never really puts a foot wrong.
It Takes Two’s Masterful Controls
As a matter of fact, I don’t actually have any critiques per se for the overall gameplay, surprisingly… But wait, there has to be SOMETHING off about this game, right?… Right? Well, I guess nothing’s perfect. My co-op partner occasionally had a bit of trouble lining up certain jumps here and there because of depth, though I thought it all worked perfectly A-OK. Great job from the devs here!
Speaking of jumping, let’s talk about the controls. Because It Takes Two honestly has one of the most intuitive control schemes I’ve ever experienced in a platformer. Everything’s just so silky smooth. From the weight of the jumps, to the flowing dash & sprint animations and even the shooting mechanics themselves. It’s simply a joy to run through levels that feel this good and It Takes Two is of the highest calibre in the ‘game feel’ department, hands down.
Focusing On Tasks, Rather Than Character Growth
That being said, what isn’t mega fantastic is the game’s story. From the moment I started playing, I could kinda sense where the plot was going, what the major story beats would be and how the overarching theme of reconciliation would be presented, and it all felt a little too safe.
I had the same concerns with A Way Out back in 2018. When it seemed like the story was almost always focused on problem-solving the main issues. As opposed to drawing out more heartfelt, gripping scenes that would ultimately leave a mark. Unfortunately, the same thing applies here with protagonists’ Cody and May’s relationship.
The ‘Pixar-Like’ Qualities of It Takes Two
On the other hand, the vocal direction and animation of these characters are excellent. It’s almost like watching a Pixar film, but at the same time containing enough of its own unique style and energy that helps the presentation truly shine through. I’m a huge sucker for that squash-and-stretch approach and It Takes Two’s animation definitely knocks it out of the park in both the general gameplay and cinematic cutscenes.
It’s almost like watching a Pixar film, but at the same time containing enough of its own unique style and energy that helps the presentation truly shine through.
Vocally, the performances are also top-tier. The feuding between Cody and May sounds exactly like something you’d hear from your annoyingly loud neighbours and the magic book/Doctor Hakim has a few of the funniest line deliveries out there. Even when the joke is kind of cringe, it still somehow makes you laugh.
So, is It Takes Two a fun time overall? Of course! This game is awesome! When platformer style games can mash up a variety of different genres and deliver a co-op experience as spectacular as this one, you just know the final product will be more than worth the price of admission. Yes, the story beats are pretty safe and sadly predictable but there’s so much else to love here. It Takes Two is definitely worth a look.
It Takes Two contains a plethora of different genres and gameplay styles which work so well together, virtually never putting a foot wrong. The story is on the forgettable side of the things, but the presentation in It Takes Two’s animation, voice-over and design aesthetic is remarkable all round.
This game was reviewed using a download code provided by EA. The Beta Network uses affiliate partnerships, however, this does not influence reviews or any other content published. The Beta Network may earn commissions for products purchased via affiliate links that are on the website.