In the most creative and best “game together” of the year, two gamers have to work together to save a marriage.
(PS4 / PS5, XB1 / XSX / S & PC) “Only together you are not alone”, sing the Fantastischen Vier: “Come on, let’s stay together a little longer.” That’s what “It Takes Two” is all about: A separation and “finding each other again”. This extraordinary action game packs this into an innovative package of cute comic graphics, romantic comedy and creative co-op gameplay. The result is a game with a heart that can only be played in pairs (split-screen or online) and that will be remembered for a long time.
Couple therapy for play – such a scenario is rare in games. What is it about exactly? Cody and May have grown apart and want to get a divorce. Her daughter refuses to accept that and with the help of a magical couple therapy book, she turns them into dolls. Now miniaturized, Cody and May have to learn to work together again in their surprisingly lively giant home if they want their normal life back.
The highlight of “It Takes Two” already reveals the title: Two have to play with each other – be it on a split screen or online. There is no single player mode. The game feels like a classic romantic comedy when you start together with the quarreling but lovable duo. In every line of text, the two review their relationship with a lot of charm and humor and look through the old problems. Despite all the gags, the game never loses sight of its actually serious core topic. Attention: Unfortunately there is only the original English version, but at least with German subtitles.
We either steer Cody or May through the diverse giant landscapes. As expected, there is a lot of running, climbing and jumping. Since there are challenges waiting around every corner that can only be mastered through coordinated actions, communication is the key to success. At first you just have to press the switch with the right timing, but soon you control planes together, pave each other’s paths or shoot with two different weapons in order to fiercely fight targets. Our guide is the clever “Book of Love” (with a Latin touch). The book gives Cody and May new skills or tools with each level that complement each other. This means that the gameplay always remains exciting and surprising even in the more than ten hours of total playing time. Seldom has one seen such innovative use of two-player mechanics. Toy car races, arithmetic tasks or top-down action in “Diablo” style – there are always the absolutely unexpected.
Conclusion: “It Takes Two” is probably one of the most beautiful gaming experiences that you can have in front of the screen as a couple – with extremely innovative and diverse gameplay, a friendly presentation and a nice message. It was worth it that mega-publisher Electronic Arts gave the small Swedish studio Hazelight (after the successful 2-player prison escape “A Way Out”) a free hand in the implementation. But be careful: Despite the rather childish look, the game is not that easy and requires both team play and a healthy amount of experience on the controller. This is not necessarily the ideal game to introduce your loved one to gaming in mixed doubles. If in doubt, just try the free trial version. According to the fantasies: “Come on, we’re celebrating together today!”