Josef Fares is one of the most talented directors in the current industry, and that his games are always, at the very least, very remarkable, original and fresh. Not surprisingly, we are talking about the creative mind behind Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons and A Way Out, two fantastic adventures that, for one reason or another, have managed to leave their mark on all those who have dared to give them a chance. Now the developer is back with It Takes Two, a hilarious, exclusively cooperative 3D platforming title with which we have had a great time and that we can recommend without hesitation.
A forgotten love story
The first thing that will catch the attention of any player is its plot premise, it presents us with a kind of romantic comedy in which May and Cody, a married couple about to divorce, end up trapped in the bodies of a couple of dolls. After the initial scare, they meet Dr. Hakim, a rather extravagant magical book that has prepared many adventures for them as couples therapy to recover the spark of love that exists between them, this being the only way they have to return to normality.
From here, a fantastically narrated story begins to develop in which we will delve into both characters, their problems and how their constant arguments end up affecting their daughter, although all this always from a very light, fun and entertaining tone who knows how to capture crazy and very spectacular situations just as well with intimate, tender and moving moments.
As we say, the narration is excellent. The direction of the scenes is impeccable. In the end, it is impossible not to become fond of its two protagonists and the subtle and well-managed evolution they have as the hours go by. Also, the topics it deals with are very atypical in the industry, since here our ultimate goal is not to save the world but to avoid the separation of a couple who have always loved each other. However, now they have forgotten it, which gives it a certain freshness.
However, and despite its constant presence throughout the title to give context to our adventures, It Takes Two is, above all, a video game, something that embraces without any concealment to make its main strengths and attractions. We will have to advance in the company of another player through a series of levels in which countless surprises await us as we jump, slide down rails, solve puzzles, avoid traps and play with lots of unique mechanics.
When we put ourselves at the controls, the first thing that stands out is how refined and satisfactory its controls are, making the simple act of moving our character and jumping around the stages a fun, precise and rewarding experience, something that we think is essential in a genre like this. But if there is something that makes this game shine, it is its development, a complete waste of creativity and good ideas that turn each of our steps into a constant surprise, encouraging us to continue playing to see what new madness awaits us after the next corner.
As soon as we are facing a giant vacuum cleaner that manipulating time, stealthily infiltrating a burrow full of moles, skating on ice, entering a dangerous dungeon in the purest Diablo-style or fighting a Street Fighter combat against a squirrel on a plane, to mention just a few and anecdotal examples of the many there are.
It is a title that does not stop for a single second, and that is always proposing something new and unique that is not repeated throughout the adventure, which also translates into a completely huge variety of settings and environments that makes a very intelligent of the fact that we are little dolls in a world of real proportions.
Of course, the vast majority of situations are focused on proposing cooperative mechanics that force us to work together with our partner to advance, with exclusive sections and abilities for each of the two characters, making the game experience unique. Slightly different depending on who we control.
A striking detail is that, despite being a 3D platform, there are no items or collectibles to collect. However, the scenarios reward exploration by proposing to discover endless small and curious interactions with the environment. Although they are useless (at most to unlock an achievement or trophy), they are fun to discover in a company. Also, there are 25 competitive minigames hidden throughout the title that, once we find them, we can enjoy from the main menu. Most of them are very simple and perfect for taking a dip, although it has also surprised us with some unexpectedly elaborate ones. In fact, one of them allows us to play complete games of chess.
As we say, it is a very varied and fun game that does not let go of the accelerator in the 12 hours it lasts, which has a lot of merits and shows the enormous work that has been behind it. However, this also has its counterpoint, as it focuses so much on proposing new ideas that it never manages to finish delving into any of them, leaving us with a good handful of sections that convey the feeling that they have not taken full advantage of them. It is a straightforward and simple game that does not penalize deaths, and that you can see that it is designed so that everyone can enjoy it, something that seems perfect to us.
Another aspect that has very pleasantly surprised us has been in its audiovisual section, a true marvel in which even the smallest detail has been taken care of. The textures, the lighting, the modelling, the effects, the animations, the drawing distance, the number of elements that the scenes have, the artistic design … Everything is at a very high level, and there have been many times that we have had the feeling of being before a great interactive animated film. Perhaps the fact that certain parts of the environments we can go through makes the whole look a bit ugly and takes away a bit of interactivity. The human characters do not look as good as everything else, but we can get few drawbacks.
Similarly, the performance is exemplary and moves with exceptional smoothness, regardless of whether the screen is divided or unified, something that varies depending on the situation in which we play. It should also be noted that the player can enjoy it both locally and online and that we have not had any connectivity or lag problems.
The sound, for its part, leaves us with a very ambient soundtrack that rarely takes center stage and that is mainly dedicated to accompanying us during the adventure to emphasize the tone of each of the moments that we will live. The effects are varied and of quality. The voices are superb thanks to their magnificent performances that perfectly capture the personality and what the characters feel, helping to give them credibility and empathize with them.
It Takes Two is a great game. One of the most pleasant surprises that 2021 has left us, proposing a purely cooperative adventure with a lot of charm and a fun and varied development until saying enough that it turns each of our steps into a constant surprise. It is a title with a devilish rhythm that is always experimenting with new ideas and looking for a way to get a knowing smile from the player while enjoying his favourite hobby in good company. And, as if that weren’t enough, above all, it delights us with a beautiful audiovisual section and a meticulous narrative in which they tell us a simple story, yes, but very human and with which it is easy to connect. If you have someone to share this trip with, do not hesitate and give him a chance: we assure you that you will not regret it.
We prepared this review with a digital code for the PS5 version of the game provided by Electronic Arts.