It Takes Two is an absolute gem – A co-op masterpiece combining platforming and teamwork!
Console Played on: PS5
Developer: Hazelight Studios
This game floated on to my radar not long before its release, but otherwise I hadn’t even heard the name mentioned – which is an utter surprise. I will never know how such a masterpiece has been kept so under the radar – because let me get one thing clear… this game …. is awesome! I have always been a fan of platforming, especially because I grew up in the N64 and PS1 era of gaming where platforms were more common place. So it has been an absolute joy to play a game that embeds some of these classic platforming elements and to do them at a highly satisfying level.
The game can only be played with a co-op partner, I am lucky my wife was excited to get stuck in, but this game is perfect for any child above the age of 10 (a tiny bit of poor language randomly in a cut scene). If you are a single pringle, then I suggest you find a friend quickly, drag them round and get downloading this game. The story is not the strongest in the world, however it is entertaining enough to hold the game together and give it purpose. The writing is charming and humorous, with the two leading characters bouncing of each other well. The strangest character is the book of love (Dr Hakim) which has tasked itself with sending you through the trails to re-connect a married couple on hard times. He is a little cringe at times, making the hairs on the back of my neck stand up, but he even won me over towards the second half of the game. Alongside his over the top personality, he gifts you throughout the game a range of powers and equipment so it was always a treat when he turned up.
Settings within the game are wide and varied, using normal areas found around the home and turning them into imaginative and vast areas, stuffed to the brim with interact-able objects which sometimes provided a humorous surprises whether they were good or bad. Each new area was a joy to explore and I found myself excited at the beginning, ready to discover what new puzzles were in store or the next fun filled platforming trail. You never knew where you were heading next, with each new area being completely different from the last. The game is also filled with boss fights, which are reminiscent of classic three-part boss fights of the older era of gaming. Each boss fits in perfectly with the settings they are found in, taking advantage of the mechanics introduced.
My favourite part of this game is the puzzle elements, which are heavily reliant on working as a team. Puzzles usually require team work, both characters having their own unique roles in order to solve it. The game does a brilliant job of combing the different powers, abilities and equipment forcing both players to think broadly in how they tackle the next problem. Timing is also an essential part of problem solving which melds well with the platforming elements, but since the game is so forgiving, it makes the trail and error aspects more enjoyable and you never feel like you are grinding your way through.
Considering this game is made my a relatively small studio, the graphics and level design are brilliant – this was highlighted to me as my wife actively pointed out her appreciation for the time and effort it must have taken to make this game. My wife doesn’t really play games so I thought this was an interesting comment, since sometimes I feel people can be under appreciative if games these days don’t look like the most recent triple A title. The game ran perfectly, with no obvious bugs or texture loading issues.
I won’t lie – I could keep writing about this game for even longer, but I am very aware of trying not to write posts that are too long. This game is fantastic and a real triumph for the developer. This is easily my game of the year so far (and will probably come second after the new Ratchet game in June) and would hugely recommend to anyone who hasn’t played this yet! Easiest 5/5 this year!