LadiesGamers It Takes Two

It Takes Two Review (Xbox One)

Game: It Takes Two
Genre: Adventure, Action, Puzzle,
System: Xbox (also on Steam,PS4 and PS5)
Developer|Publisher: Hazelight Studios | EA
Age Rating: EU 16+ | US Teen
Price: US $39.99 | UK £34.99 | EU € 39,99
Release Date: March 26th, 2021

No review code used, purchased the game myself

Better Together

So many developers have forgotten the importance of a good co-op game, often forgetting that many gamers live with other gamers that surprisingly want to play together. Thankfully Hazlelight exists. They are best known for their titles Brothers – a Tale of Two Sons and A Way Out. But you may also know them for their rather animated director Josef Fares who has rather colourful opinions about the Oscars that are unsuitable to share on a family friendly website.

It Takes Two  is a game that you can only play with another human being either locally on the same TV (which feels the ideal way to play) or online. The best part about the online is only one player needs to own the game for you both to play it. If you need a great co-op game to share with a friend or loved one It Takes Two is an absolute must buy. I know, not a handheld game…but I couldn’t resist! So go do that now but if you need more read on.

LadiesGamers It Takes Two
Are you ready for therapy?

A Unique Type Of Therapy

It Takes Two is a story about May and Cody a couple that have decided to divorce. Unfortunately, this has taken quite the toll on their daughter Rose who has misinterpreted their arguments as being her fault. After May and Cody poorly announce their divorce to Rose, she runs into the shed and requests help from the Book of Love by Dr Hakim, to help her parents become friends again. Moments later Cody and May wake up as little dolls that Rose has created to resemble her parents.

To break the spell May and Cody are led by the now animated and cheesy Book of Love Dr Hakim, who guides them through a wild adventure through their shed, garden and house learning the importance of collaboration. While they think the solution to all their problems is simple they do learn they need to look a little more at the bigger picture to set things right. The story is quite wonderful. You may play as Cody and May but the real star is Rose. As you progress through the game you witness her utterly heart wrenching attempts to make her now asleep parents happy again. But this game isn’t all emotion, there are also plenty of laughs to be had. Throughout the game Cody and May are constantly commentating about the absurd situations they end up in. The Book of Love by Dr Hakim, while silly, was quite endearing, making fun of Cody of May through the experience, whilst occasionally offering some very wise guidance. 

LadiesGamers It Takes Two
Pick your character

The Art of Collaboration 

The game is an action platformer. Each player gets to choose whether to control May or Cody. The game plays on a vertical split screen but every now and then the screen will fuse together to emphasize certain segments, like when you are driving vehicles together.

Cody and May explore seven gigantic segments which all feel like individual indie games in themselves. Each section is set in an area of the couples house. One segment has you explore the shed, where you need to defeat an evil old broken vacuum cleaner that the couple forget to repair. Next, you’re in the trees helping squirrels take down a nest of aasps Cody forgot to remove. Each segment gives Cody and May a unique ability, like Cody using nails that you can throw on designated walls which May can swing off of with her hammer head. Then in the nest Cody has an amber gun that shoots goo that sticks to objects and will explode when May shoots it with a matchstick gun. Every segment requires cooperation from both players encouraging you to work together to make it through. 

LadiesGamers It Takes Two
You need to learn to collaborate

Nothing ever feels like it outstayed its welcome. Each segment feels like it plays out as long as it needs to before moving onto something new and different. I have to say, for a game retailing at this price, this is incredible value for money. There was honestly never a point in this game where I felt bored. In fact after, playing through this over ten hour adventure I was pretty keen just to start again from the beginning and go another round. 

LadiesGamers It Takes Two
Stop the clocks

The Mini Games 

There are no collectibles in the game. Instead there are 25 mini games to discover as you explore the worlds, which involve Cody and May competing against each other. Examples of this are racing each other, shooting targets in a gallery, arcade games, playing chess, riding a bull, a dance off, there is a lot to enjoy. You can replay these games as many times as you like with some even showing variations if you try them again.

The achievements you unlock for this game are also very amusing to discover. Usually acquired by just messing around in the game, with the thought of ‘what if we tried that?’ This was a game my wife and I were constantly smiling at.

LadiesGamers It Takes Two
Fluffy cute spiders are ok

Attention to Detail

The graphics are colorful and vibrant. Considering the game is set in a person’s house and garden, the world has some impressive attention to detail. Explore the trees and you will see little ants crawling around in single file. Look at the books and you will see individual titles for each. There are also lots of NPCs just walking around in various segments that made each area have its own personality and feel. There were so many moments where I just had to stop to admire some of the details on display. It’s a game that most certainly doesn’t push the graphical boundaries AAA developers are far too obsessed with but instead takes the simple style and makes something detailed and memorable. 

LadiesGamers It Takes Two
This is no friendly mole

The Sounds of the Feels 

The musical score is also great, particularly coming to life in the games’ more emotional segments. It is also home to one of the few niggles I had. Sometimes it just felt the music wasn’t quite at the right volume when interesting things were happening on screen. It’s a tiny niggle but I guess I had to find something to nitpick. We also encountered a single bug where the audio just didn’t present in a cutscene but fortunately on reload it worked.

It Takes Two is not a hard game. There’s a challenge but if you make a mistake your characters respawn instantly or at a very close checkpoint. With the gameplay ever changing and verging in the puzzle platform territory this is something designed for you to finish. 

LadiesGamers It Takes Two
The ultimate evil, a broken vacuum cleaner

It Took Two

If you have someone else to play with I can not recommend this game enough. Heck this is a game I would go as far as to say it’s worth getting a console or PC for. The game pushes video games forward in the right direction and it’s a darn shame others haven’t taken note of this. A wholesome co-op experience that is guaranteed to entertain.

No DLC, no microtransactions, no exp, no bugs and utter gaming rubbish we so often see in games these days, just a good video game.

It Takes Two is not just one of the best games I’ve played this year. It’s one of the best video game experiences I have ever had, period. 

Final Verdict: Two Thumbs Up

Two thumbs up

This review was created with the assistance of my wife. The best co-op partner I have taken on any gaming venture. 

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