It Takes Two is the essential co-op experience, presenting an amalgamation of mechanics and designs originating from the most revered multiplayer genres. It refuses to let the player rest, barraging them with plenty of excellent ideas. Although not every one of these ideas stick, they always feel different enough to justify their existence.
Both narratively and mechanically, the game expects the player to travel a mile a minute as they explore new worlds, gain new abilities and decipher clever puzzles. As a cherry on top, all of this is set to an adorable backdrop featuring a bickering couple pushed along on their journey by an irksome book of love.
It Takes Two takes a head-butting, married couple, Cody and May, and throws them into an unwilling journey full of shenanigans that challenge them to repair their relationship. The two had decided to divorce, and although they seemed dead set on this decision, their daughter is unhappy with the circumstances. She pulls out a love therapy book and wishes on it, asking the author (Dr. Hakim) to help the duo become friends again. She then takes two handmade figures of her parents and roleplays as if they loved each other again, uncontrollably shedding tears that land directly on them.
Cody and May find themselves shrunk down into clay and wooden forms, respectively. This obviously causes the couple to panic, but nonetheless, they work together to reach their daughter and ask for help. However, Dr. Hakim, a living incarnation of the book with goofy arms and legs, causes an enormous amount of trouble. He refuses to assist Cody and May in returning to their normal forms until they repair their relationship, inciting a series of wacky events that take the player through many unique settings.
Cody and May frequently banter and are often quite critical of each other, but as the game progresses, we subtly see their rudeness diminish. And although they dont love each other anymore, these circumstances (and hatred for the obnoxious Dr. Hakim) creates a sense of kinship where they must work together to get what they want. This leads to scenes that are heartbreaking; one in particular seemed as if it were straight out of a horror film. However, to avoid spoilers, I wont go into further detail.
Its hard to identify It Takes Two as belonging to a single genre, as it can be a puzzler, platformer, racer, third-person shooter, stealth game, hack-and-slash, isometric dungeon crawler, fighter, or flight simulator.
The puzzle aspect of It Takes Two is the most prominent, as Cody and May receive a designated gadget depending on the area theyre exploring. These usually synergize quite well, and are necessary for the gauntlet of puzzles present within each environment.
For example, throughout the Clocktower chapter, Cody gains the ability to modify time while May can speedily teleport to clones of herself. With this, Cody plays a supportive role to assist May in progressing through the level. In another chapter, May receives a hammer, which allows her to destroy obstacles and activate buttons that move platforms. Cody finds a projectile nail that lets him keep those platforms in place or create hinge points for May to swing across with her hammer. And when Cody gets a sap gun that lets him spew goop onto enemies, May receives a flame-propulsion rifle that lets her detonate that sap. Cody and May unlock plenty more of these abilities as they travel throughout the chapters.
To top it all off, there are 25 mini-games you can compete against your friend in, including chess, volleyball, musical chairs and snowball fights. To avoid spoilers, I wont reveal every single gimmick in It Takes Two, but with 13 hours of play time, the amount of diverse ideas are undeniably impressive.
Fundamentally, the purpose of these mechanics makes the title of the game relevant: it takes two players to get anything done. The entirety of It Takes Two relies on you and your friend working together to figure things out, as a majority of abilities, battles and puzzles require synergy between Cody and May in order to emerge successful.
Since It Takes Two features a conglomeration of genres and ideas, its unsurprising that not all of them land. In particular, the third-person shooting mechanics and dungeon-crawler portion never match up to the greatness of the platforming and puzzling segments.
The section where Cody attains a sap gun and May can detonate that sap with her rifle is fun, but its one of the less engaging parts of the game. Unlike other third-person shooters, the player is stuck with a single weapon as they battle through waves of killer wasps. This means most fights operate similarly, requiring a consistent use of the same strategy from the player to proceed.
However, the battles do get exciting again when new antagonists and bosses are introduced, as the Wasp Queen has engaging phases which require the player to jump over hazards, target weak spots, and slide across the field to dodge a terrifying amount of enemies trying to smash the duo. And players need to be careful with the Shield Wasp enemy, as their front is immune to sap, which means May needs to act as a distraction as Cody positions himself behind the enemy and strikes.
The puzzle sections of this chapter are far better. With the sap gun, Cody can weigh down objects to assist May in traversing gaps, while May can detonate sap to destroy obstacles in their way. For example, players will face an obstacle involving eight locks keeping a lid in place. To proceed, Cody needs to line up the sap along the side of the lid in a way that allows May to detonate all of them in a chain reaction. However, the sap gun isnt infinite, so Cody needs to be careful in how he positions the liquid. Another section requires Cody to use his sap gun to move wheels that allow May to jump between them. Each puzzle feels different, yet most of the combat sections get old pretty quickly when there arent new elements to keep things fresh.
It Takes Two also has an underwhelming dungeon-crawler level. Although the existence of this idea is exciting, it suffers from the same faux pas as the third-person shooting portions: a lack of puzzles and a focus on repetitive combat sections. Thankfully, the level only lasts about ten minutes, but its one of the weaker parts of the game.
It Takes Two doesnt just present mechanical variety; it also takes players on a rollercoaster as they explore dozens of diverse setpieces. Cody and May will find themselves battling wasps inside of a tree, flying mechanical birds around a clocktower, bouncing atop pillow forts in space, skating around a town inside of a snowglobe, riding spiders throughout a lush garden, exploring the gates of heaven inside a violin, and much more.
All of these ideas are accompanied by staggering environmental detail and a gorgeous array of colors. While exploring the garden, theres an assortment of brown mushrooms, mossy stones, rich green grass, corrupted tree bark, nuts that crack under the players feet, little insects that traverse clear paths, and oversized man-made objects that provide a proper sense of scale.
And when Cody and May take flight upon mechanical birds, the sight of dusky mist dancing around the lifeless forest contrasts beautifully with the soft light emanating from the clocktowers entrance. This atmosphere is unsettling, but it also instills a desire to reach the safety of the light as soon as possible.
It Takes Two isnt a difficult puzzle game. In fact, only once throughout the entire journey did my friend and I get stuck for more than a few minutes. However, puzzles utilize each gimmicks mechanical foundation incredibly well, and considering that both Cody and May need to work together to get things done, finding solutions often feels satisfying.
Traversing hazardous obstacle courses that another player has control of is often hilarious. This creates an amusing tension when one fails the other, and creates an even greater sense of kinship when they succeed. Even when a puzzle isnt remotely challenging, It Takes Two often wows with its cool application of each mechanic.
When Cody and May each receive one half of a magnet, the two can activate them at the same time to slam into one another and reach platforms that were otherwise inaccessible. Cody eventually gets the ability to turn into plants, and as the couple try and stealth past a few adorable moles in the garden, Cody transforms into the grass that May sneaks through. When the couple is falling to their doom, Cody unwinds time and tries to assist May in traversing a gauntlet of platforms to get to safety. All of these moments had me saying, Wow, thats cool out loud.
However, I do wish that It Takes Two had more challenging puzzles that made full use of each mechanic in ways that really test the players skill and knowledge. These wouldnt have to be part of the campaign, instead acting as off-the-beaten-path side quests. It could be similar to the Helltower in the Clocktower chapter, which was a completely optional platforming challenge that took quite a bit of time to get done.
Although It Takes Two has charismatic protagonists, intense story twists and exciting pacing, its finale leaves a lot to be desired. To avoid spoiling the climax, I wont reveal exact details, but a major conflict is unveiled shortly after the last chapter of the game. And when this happened, I assumed that players would have to trudge through another exciting world with new gimmicks and mechanics to resolve the problem.
However, this isnt the case. This plot point finds its resolution only a couple of minutes after its actually revealed, which is strange considering its the most important narrative beat in the game.
Its also quite strange how its delivered to the players. Spoiler warning for the second half of the story: Dr. Hakim sends Cody and May to four different worlds to find the pieces of a destroyed note that their daughter wrote to them. This plot point is delivered to the couple on this note, but only when they return to normal. If the game had delivered this conflict while they were still in clay and doll form, we could have experienced the exciting climax I was hoping for.
It Takes Two turned out to be a bugless experience. At most, there were moments where it felt like the lock-on feature wasnt locking on properly, but this only happened a few times in the Tree chapter. However, I had an issue with the games performance.
It Takes Twos special effects caused stuttering on my PC (even with Effects Quality on Low). Dr. Hakim brings a ton of pink confetti with him whenever he teleports into a scene, and this is often when my PC would stutter. The existence of other effects, from gigantic explosions to magical abilities, would cause similar issues.
I tested It Takes Two on my desktop, which is equipped with an Nvidia GeForce GTX 970 GPU with 4GB of VRAM and an Intel Core i7-6700K CPU. When I initially launched the game with all settings on High, the opening cutscene was full of stutters. After a bit of messing around, I played the game at 1080p with some settings on High, but for the most part, I kept most of them on either Medium or Low. With this set-up, I managed a pretty consistent 45-50 frames per second.
Quality presets can be changed between Low, Medium and High. This alters the quality of textures, shadows, details, effects, shaders and post-processing. Anti-Aliasing can be switched between FXAA, Temporal AA, MSAA 2x and MSAA 4x. Anisotropic filtering can also be put at 2x, 4x, 8x, 16x, or none. Frame rates can go between 30, 60, 120 or unlocked. Theres also a slider available for resolution scale, which goes from 50% to 200%. V-Sync is also available.
The minimum requirements to run It Takes Two includes Windows 8.1 or 10, an AMD FX 6100 CPU or Intel Core i3-2100T CPU, 8GB of RAM, AMD Radeon R7 260X GPU or Nvidia Geforce GTX 660 GPU and 50GB of free storage space.
The recommended requirements to run It Takes Two includes Windows 8.1 or 10, an AMD Ryzen 3 1300X CPU or Intel Core i5 3570K CPU, 16GB of RAM, AMD Radeon R9 290X GPU or Nvidia Geforce GTX 980 GPU and 50GB of free storage space.
It Takes Two is comparable to an amusement park. There are plenty of attractions to engage with, and while not all of them are excellent, the overall experience is enhanced thanks to the staggering number of diverse concepts. The game could not work without its variety, as some of the existing ideas would fall flat if the player were expected to commit to them for more than an hour. On the other hand, some of the best gimmicks could have used further application, perhaps in the form of optional challenges hidden throughout chapters.
However, the narrative needed an extra chapter to solidify the intensity of its finale. Revealing an unforeseen conflict that the couple resolve in only a couple of minutes with no gameplay in between makes the conclusion feel unearned.
Regardless, It Takes Two is chock full of creative puzzles, beautiful environments and unique mechanics. Its one of the best co-op games out there, and its a great choice for parties of two looking for a way to spend 13 hours together.
Read the original post:
It Takes Two review: This is how it runs on PC - Laptop Mag
- New VR Games May 2021: All The Biggest Releases - UploadVR - May 3rd, 2021
- The Easiest Way to Boost Your Gamerscore with New Games and Xbox Game Pass Additions from April 2021 - TheXboxHub - May 3rd, 2021
- New Pokemon Snap Is Missing One Major Type of Puzzle From the Original Pokemon Snap - ComicBook.com - May 3rd, 2021
- Out of Line Hands-on Preview - Welcome to the Machine - COGconnected - May 3rd, 2021
- Solving puzzles as a spy duo in Operation: Tango is fun, but it needs to up the suspense - PC Gamer - May 3rd, 2021
- Outer Worlds DLC teased in a series of cryptic tweets - NME.com - May 3rd, 2021
- Ubisoft Switch Sale Has Deals On Everything From Assassin's Creed To Rayman - GameSpot - May 3rd, 2021
- Tweens and Teens for Mother's Day - Portsmouth Daily Times - May 3rd, 2021
- Puzzling Places to Launch on Oculus Quest Store This Fall - Road to VR - April 18th, 2021
- Eastern Illinois AD part of committee working on FCS playoff puzzle - ChicagoNow - April 18th, 2021
- Puzzle Bobble VR: Vacation Odyssey Will Arrive in May - Siliconera - April 18th, 2021
- Demonoid Allows You To Play Free Games Online on Web - Fortune India - April 18th, 2021
- 'Oxenfree II: Lost Signals' headlines a new crop of Switch indie games - Engadget - April 18th, 2021
- The Electronic Wireless Show Podcast episode 136: the best weather in games special - Rock Paper Shotgun - April 18th, 2021
- Kinda Funnys Blessing Jr. Does an Entire Episode of The Blessing Show From Within Dreams - PlayStation LifeStyle - April 18th, 2021
- 14 free apps and games for Android for a limited time | Technology Explica .co - Explica - April 18th, 2021
- 11 new Android games from the last week: The best, worst, and everything in between (3/29/21 - 4/4/21) - Android Police - April 4th, 2021
- Classic games like chess and Sudoku are now easier to play on iPhones and iPads - TechRadar - April 4th, 2021
- SwitchArcade Round-Up: 'Dungeon & Puzzles', 'Stick Fight: The Game', and Today's Other New Releases and Sales - Touch Arcade - April 4th, 2021
- The Three Best and Worst Games of March 2021 - COGconnected - April 4th, 2021
- Google Play Pass now has over 800 games, apps - HT Tech - April 4th, 2021
- The Easiest Ways to Boost Your Gamerscore from the Xbox Games of March 2021 - TheXboxHub - April 4th, 2021
- Game of the Month: March 2021's Best PS5, PS4 Games - Pure PlayStation - April 4th, 2021
- This Weeks VR Game Roundup: New Archery Game, Kitchen Island VR - VR Fitness Insider - April 4th, 2021
- Best New Android Games This Week: The Wake, Quick Fire, Dual Summoners, and More - DroidGamers - April 4th, 2021
- Pillars of Active Aging - Old School Puzzles And Games To Promote Active Aging Brain Health - LNP | LancasterOnline - March 4th, 2021
- Tvinnr: Basic tips to help you enjoy this relaxing puzzle game - Pocket Gamer - March 4th, 2021
- Maquette is a neat puzzle game that packs an emotional punch - The Next Web - March 4th, 2021
- Our most anticipated indie games of 2021 - Rock Paper Shotgun - March 4th, 2021
- MonkeyBox 2: Cards! is an upcoming puzzle adventure game for iOS from TheCodingMonkeys - Pocket Gamer - March 4th, 2021
- Play with Gravity in Gravifire on Xbox and Switch - TheXboxHub - March 4th, 2021
- Lovin Games Weekly - There is a new Aliens game on the way - Lovin Dublin - March 4th, 2021
- It Takes Two Isn't Focusing on Replayability, Won't Have Collectibles - GameRant - March 4th, 2021
- The Video Games to Play This Month: Get Tiny with Maquette, It Takes Two, and More! - The Portland Mercury - March 4th, 2021
- 50% Kemco RPG and Puzzle Games on PS Store - GLYFE Nation - March 4th, 2021
- Worst Pokmon Spin-off Games Nintendo Should Never Remake - Screen Rant - March 4th, 2021
- Super Rare Games giving immersive puzzle game Creaks a physical Switch release next week - GoNintendo - March 4th, 2021
- Every Uncharted Game, Ranked Worst To Best | Screen Rant - Screen Rant - March 4th, 2021
- 10 Games We Need To See On PSVR2 That Could Actually Happen On PS5 - TheGamer - March 4th, 2021
- PC Review - 'Bridge Constructor: The Walking Dead' - WorthPlaying.com - March 4th, 2021
- The Next Hawks Coach Will Have to Solve the Trae Young Puzzle - The Ringer - March 4th, 2021
- Sponsored: 5 games that make you think like a programmer - Gamasutra - March 4th, 2021
- Inked review - "If only looks were everything" | Articles - Pocket Gamer - March 4th, 2021
- From Portal to Witcher 3: The games people cheat at the most! - European Gaming Industry News - March 4th, 2021
- 5 Best PC Boxing games to play in 2021 - Gameranx - March 4th, 2021
- What Are the Most Popular Types of Mobile Game? | TechQuila - TechQuila - February 19th, 2021
- The Legend of Zelda games ranked! - The Guardian - February 19th, 2021
- Wordsmyth is a beautiful daily word game coming soon to iOS and Android - Pocket Gamer - February 19th, 2021
- Review: She Remembered Caterpillars - Movies Games and Tech - February 19th, 2021
- Artie raises $10 million as it pivots to make instant games - VentureBeat - February 19th, 2021
- Fortnite Creative gets callout for puzzles and platformers - AltChar - February 19th, 2021
- Top 10 games to download and play first on your new Apple iPhone - Gadget Bridge - February 19th, 2021
- Outer Wilds launches this summer on Nintendo Switch - Shacknews - February 19th, 2021
- Steam Developer Banned After Trying to Trick Users About Positive Reviews - VICE - February 19th, 2021
- Global Games and Puzzles Market 2020 Industry Analysis, Key Drivers, Business Strategy, Opportunities and Forecast to 2025 Express Keeper - Express... - February 19th, 2021
- Next 10 Classic Horror Games To Play If You Liked The Medium - TheGamer - February 17th, 2021
- Game stores seeing an increase in new customers since the COVID-19 pandemic - WeAreGreenBay.com - February 17th, 2021
- The First 10 Games Released On The PS2 (In Chronological Order) - TheGamer - February 17th, 2021
- Zynga Expects Its Mobile Gaming Empire to Grow More Than 30% In 2021 - Motley Fool - February 17th, 2021
- 8 Underrated Open-World Games (That Came Out In The Last 5 Years) - GameRant - February 17th, 2021
- The Room 4: Old Sins Is Out For PC, And Prettier Than Ever - Kotaku - February 17th, 2021
- Knight's Retreat Review - Chess but not! - TheXboxHub - February 17th, 2021
- Soapbox: We Were Here, the Free PS4 Game No One Will Play with Me - Push Square - February 17th, 2021
- PS5 : HuniePop 2, another title that joins Twitch's list of banned games - Explica - February 17th, 2021
- 10 VR Games That Don't Give You Motion Sickness - TheGamer - February 17th, 2021
- 10 Things You Never Knew About The Origins Of Tetris | Game Rant - GameRant - February 17th, 2021
- Games of the week: The Medium, Spire Blast, Encodya and Solas 128 - Inverness Courier - February 17th, 2021
- Nokia 5.4 review this ones for the stock Android fans on a tight budget - Business Insider India - February 17th, 2021
- Thorny Puzzle Title Room To Grow Is Coming To PC This Month - Bleeding Cool News - February 14th, 2021
- Imaginative Puzzle Game QV Heading To Steam | TheGamer - TheGamer - February 14th, 2021
- 10 Open World Games That Have No Combat | Game Rant - GameRant - February 14th, 2021
- Schell Games Talks I Expect You To Die 2 And VR's Future - UploadVR - February 14th, 2021
- ConnecTank Is a Multiplayer Tank Battle and Puzzle Game Coming This Fall - SuperParent - February 14th, 2021
- Best Valentines Day games for couples: top titles to play with your loved one - TechRadar - February 14th, 2021
- Outer Wilds And The Best Games That Use Time Loops - TheGamer - February 14th, 2021
- The Most Peaceful Games of 2020, Ranked | ScreenRant - Screen Rant - February 14th, 2021
- Best new mobile games on iOS and Android this February - Metro.co.uk - February 14th, 2021
- PS4 Update: Download This New F2P PlayStation 4 Game - RealSport101 - February 14th, 2021
- The Best Free PC Games of Multiple Category in 2021 - TechnoSports - February 14th, 2021
- The DeanBeat: Has the game industry hit its peak with crazy valuations or just begun its growth? - VentureBeat - February 14th, 2021