26th March 2021
Unlike A Way Out, the colourful visuals and fantastical setting of It Takes Two keeps both the puzzle solving, exploration and traversal firmly in the realm of the 3D platformer. Think Mario and you’re on the right track – with the overall controls and movement feeling precise, spot on and fluid in all the right areas. And in that sense the many surprises, twists and turns, and forays into various themes and genres are often the real star of the show. We’re talking switching up mechanics and introducing some wild and fun ideas on the reg.
Playing the game, that is exploring a new environment and a new mechanic, often sits opposite the characters and the borderline obnoxious sentient love book that pops up from time to time to point out that two people working together to jump over a wall is like two people in a relationship doing just that. That is, the metaphorical wall that’s keeping them apart. So, work together in this inventive sci-fi setting where a stuffed animal called Moon Baboon is hell bent on intergalactically keeping you from the real world – and here’s a fun mechanic that lets you shrink or grow at will – and maybe that will mean no more divorce.
From developer Hazelight, the studio behind the also co-op A Way Out, It Takes Two has been designed from the ground-up as a two-player experience. From the dynamic split-screen presentation to the mechanics and the story -- it’s co-op through and through. In terms of how it plays, well it’s something of a platformer with the finesse of Super Mario Odyssey and the art-style of a high end animated feature. It’s chock full of puzzles, traversal, and the story is presented in a fantastical and humorous style that also packs in underlying themes and dialogue that skirts the line between on-the-nose Cheeses of the World Fest 2021 and being genuinely sweet and funny.
It Takes Two is also endlessly surprising and inventive, with set-pieces ranging from battling a sentient vacuum cleaner to overthrowing a dictatorial squirrel found on a backyard tree in a war against wasps.
And all of this comes from spending a couple of hours with the game ahead of its launch later this month.