I have to say, when we started playing It Takes Two, I had pretty mixed feelings about it. I hadn’t heard a lot about the game and we mostly picked it up because it was co-op. I’ve been in need of a good co-op puzzler ever since playing Unravel 2, and this one seems like it could occupy the same space.
The premise of the story is a little problematic and the character, Dr. Hakim, is just the living embodiment of a stereotype that isn’t really funny. The story focuses on a couple (Cody and May) getting a divorce, but they find themselves trapped in the bodies of dolls due to a spell their daughter cast. The characters are rather bland and uninteresting, and the dialogue can be a bit goofy at times. So far, I haven’t found myself invested in the story mostly because I don’t like the messaging it sends. The dead-eyed stare of the daughter, Rose, certainly doesn’t help me root for her parents staying together either.
Rather than navigating how families confront the topic of divorce, the narrative is simplistic and follows the “you didn’t work hard enough to save it” message rather than exploring the complexities of coming to that decision. I personally would’ve preferred the narrative be something less polarizing… Maybe a “two siblings who don’t get along and have to figure out a way to work together” would’ve been a better approach. I’m nitpicking story details though and this isn’t a game I’m playing because I’m expecting to be catapulted into an immersive narrative.
I found myself questioning who the target demographic was as we moved through the story. My first impression is that it is a family game, but as the story progressed, I wasn’t so sure that it was. Surely kids can pick up a controller and learn the mechanics, but the narrative does take some… interesting… turns that might be unsettling for younger players. (Looking at the conclusion of the first boss fight when I say that). They also definitely included some dialogue that made me audibly question who should be playing this game.
Diving into gameplay, most of the time, you’ll see two screens: your own and your partner’s. This allows you to see what your teammate sees and can help you in figuring out some of the puzzles… it also is a great opportunity to troll your partner and watch them die repeatedly (intentionally or not).
While the story doesn’t really speak to me, the gameplay and puzzles are great. New mechanics and zones keep the game from feeling stale. There are some legitimately beautiful areas of the game that made me stop and just take in the artwork.
These pretty pictures juxtaposed with cut scenes that make you legitimately ask what the hell you are playing keeps things interesting and fun.
We are still making our way through the game, but these are my initial thoughts and experiences in it. I’ll keep updating as the story unfolds. Right now? Right now, the game is fun and entertaining. I don’t really care for the story, but I am having fun puzzling and working through the different zones. We will see if this feeling holds up as we get deeper into the story.