It Takes Two has you play Cody and May, husband and wife not on the greatest of terms. Rose, their daughter, has made charming, totally not voodoo dolls of them, and has them get along in her narrative, or so she tries. The real world does call unfortunately for her, when they announce a divorce. Her tears and her wish to see her parents reconcile seems to have given life to the dolls, with Cody and May now forced to navigate a world much larger than them as they bicker their way through challenges to reach Rose.
While this game has to be played in co-op, it’s incredibly strange that it doesn’t have an in-game chat option, so you’ll have to fall back on your platform’s overlay, or an external service (probably Discord). That seems like a major oversight… you can’t even drop a ping or marker.
You can pick up where you left off with a friend on the Friend Pass, or select specific chapters. It shows you how many mini-games you’ve discovered and how many are in a chapter / section, so if you happen to miss any, you can hop in to the relevant area and look it up.
The game offers Accessibility options, but it’s more of a miss than a hit. The only options you have are for the menu narration, subtitles, closed captioning and subtitle backgrounds. Spoken dialogue is not colour coded nor has the character name attached. Cody is coloured green to May’s blue, and this is also reflected in certain prompts and the character outline, but you can’t change the colours they show up as in the event you are colourblind. That’s not even mentioning easier timing or single button prompts / automatic actions. It’s a shame that the game can end up much harder than necessary with a less abled partner.
IT TAKES… TWO!
I was honestly curious if they would let you randomly match with a person who also has the game, but no, that is not possible. You will have to invite someone on your friend’s list to play with you. If your friend doesn’t have the game, you can simply get them to download the Friend Pass so that you two can hang out in marriage therapy simulator. If you were wondering about the split screen, it’ll happen when you play online too, not just local. If either one of you pauses the game, it will also pause for the other player. I have to point out that playing online had little to no ping issues, which can often be a problem for online matching, so feel free to have a date with your other half who may be across the world, once they download the 43GB game, of course.
The game plays around with the camera angles a whole bunch, which doesn’t interrupt the gameplay too much. It serves to enhance the experience, but I will admit it trips up my motion sickness a bunch, so watch out if you’re especially sensitive.
In general, you’ll be doing a lot of platforming, with double jumps, air dashes, wall jumps and grappling available to you from the get go. You’ll obtain tools here and there depending on the level, with your other half getting one with different functionality. Collaboration is key, and it’s in the name, after all.
You will come across combat sections where you’ll gain HP bars. Dying isn’t so bad; you’ll need to mash the button to fill the heart bar to get back into the fight, and you’ll be briefly invulnerable to get back your bearings. The bosses will have their own gimmicks and move from phase to phase, to keep the frenetic action going. It’s not just camera angles the game messes around with, it’s game genres too! It’s especially evident in the challenges, essentially mini games you’ll find scattered around, marked by a floating tambourine. These mini games are scored per challenge area, and will come with their own sets of rules.
Both me and my friend played with a keyboard and mouse. Personally, I felt the controls could feel a little clunky at times when it came to aiming. For the game segments, a match gun I had had lock on, but that was only if my friend had used his goop gun to stick on surfaces. For the mini games, there isn’t a lock on, and the controls felt especially “heavy” and unresponsive. Since the challenge mini games are optional, I guess I can’t gripe too hard about them.
IT TAKES… DR HAKIM!
Cody and May start out pretty one-dimensional; the apparent house husband and the go-getter mom are at odds due to some reason or other, picking at each other’s faults and have thus concluded a divorce is the best option. Rose is not enthused about this, as you might imagine: a divorce can be a pretty shit thing to go through even if you can see it coming, and for a young kid? Yeah. She’s a precocious one, buying a self-help book to try reconcile her parents.
You’ll have to suspend your disbelief as the dimensions are definitely not of this world. Is this just Rose’s imagination going wild? We see her trying to talk to her parents who are asleep, even as they’re in their doll bodies which can never die, but can still feel pain? I’m not so sure about that, but that’s not a problem for me at all. The whole sucking out the vacuum’s eyes is pretty messed up though, dream or no dream.
It can feel rather cliché at points, but what is life if not a bunch of clichés tacked together? As long as I don’t actively hate the leads and they can work together and not constantly antagonize each other on purpose, Cody and May are fine as flawed persons. I guess my problem is that one moment they’re praising each other during the gameplay, then in cutscenes they remember that they’re supposed to pick fights. Relationships are weird huh.
I did have fun with my friend, as the mechanics are made to have two of you complement each other. Voice chat is definitely recommended. You’re not locked in to playing one character or the other, so feel free to swap in your next session.
IT TAKES… RM159 OR YOUR REGIONAL / PLATFORM EQUIVALENT
If you so wish, you can just play the mini games with your friend once you’ve cleared the game. It Takes Two really is an enjoyable romp as you hop along the colourful worlds, perhaps coming to an understanding of how relationships work. Rose is right idea to get Cody and May to be friends again; if you don’t have that foundation, how do you expect to fully trust the other party?
Some gripes aside about the controls, get someone to play marriage therapist (?) together. It takes two to have fun.
It Takes Two
A fun and often colourful romp that plays around with genres.
- Plays around with genres and camera angles
- Honestly good fun with a friend
- Occasional clunky controls
- Cody and May's characterization can be hit or miss
- No in-game chat despite being a co-op game
- Lacking accessibility options
Two to tango.