When we think of cooperative games, it is easy to remember simpler games that have mechanics that are easy to learn in a few seconds, like Overcooked. But in most of these games, it doesn’t take long to realize that such a cooperative mode is usually something optional, not least because it is complicated to offer a game that depends so much on you finding someone else to play along for its entire duration.
Fortunately, this is a risk that It Takes Two is not afraid to take and that is exactly what makes your experience completely different, following the formula of A Way Out, from the same developer. It really is a title made to be played only cooperatively, so much that when you buy the game, you get a pass to give to a friend. This way you can play with your copy locally or with the online play pass from a distance. Only it is not just that cooperative experience that makes the game so special.
A narrative told with gameplay
Right from the start, the game begins to tell us the story of Cody and May, a couple who are in the early stages of a divorce process after a few years of unresolved problems in their relationship. When the couple’s daughter, Rose, finds out, she asks for help with a relationship book and cries over two dolls that she had created in the likeness of her parents.
The tears end up having a magical effect that turns Cody and May into these dolls indefinitely. Confused by what happened, the couple is approached by Rose’s book, who introduces himself as Dr. Hakim, an expert in fixing troubled relationships. But Hakim’s methods of bringing the couple back together are far from conventional and he simply puts them both in adverse situations so that they learn the importance of collaboration, respect and partnership.
The story itself is quite simple, but it is familiar enough for most people that they really feel involved in its development. The intention really seems to be to deliver a romantic comedy in the form of a game, which works very well in this case.
The interesting thing is that whenever we hear about a game that has a more developed narrative, there is that fear of the plot overlapping and ending up taking up more space than the gameplay itself. This ends up being one of the main points of criticism of games like The Last of Us Part II, who lose the chance to use the unique methods of video games to tell their story and, instead, just try to emulate what we already see in movies and TV series for years.