As I mentioned a while ago, the holiday season is the perfect time for me to make up for what was not an option before. This is how, for example, I managed to finally play Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order (over which I melted at this point). However, it did not end only with the adventure from the Star Wars universe. Every year, together with my partner, we also start a new game in cooperation – such a small tradition.
And this time it was the title that I passed by indifferently for a long time. In fact, you can even say that I refused. Though it was still on hand and I didn’t even have to payto play for it (thanks EA Play), it was pushing me away. And here is one GOTY award, the second, the third … Well, I couldn’t let go and avoid something that is so loud about it.
So we reached for It Takes Two. A title that has probably been said and written about a lot. A game that got a second life at the end of the year, when, thanks to many smaller and larger plebiscites, it turned out to be the one that most often stole the hearts of fans of the industry. I wanted to find out if it is really that good and how much magic is there. How was it? Well, let the text title be the answer.
What is it about?
It Takes Two is a cooperative adventure gamebehind the creation of the crew from Hazelight. So we are talking about the creators who three years ago gave us the “black horse” of the year – A Way Out. This time, they decided to spin it all around cooperation again and once again create a game that will require total commitment and mutual support from players to achieve their goal.
The project debuted in March this year and already then it received really good and high marks (you can find our review here). It quickly turned out that the creators had once again delivered and actually prepared something even better than the breakout story from a few years ago. This time, the atmosphere is seemingly much lighter and more colorful – but the emotional baggage seems to crush the floor.
In the game, we play the role of a marriage that is just one step away from divorce. Their only child, a little girl, refuses to let this happen at all costs and completely accidentally casts a spell on them that turns the couple into dolls. Only one thing can save them – a daughter’s tears. So the task is simple – make her cry and reverse the spell. Exactly, it is only seemingly easy, because we are faced with a vacuum cleaner, crazy wasps, squirrels, a space baboon or a box with tools …
And as strange as that sounds, don’t be fooled. Everything here – contrary to first impression – makes great sense. What’s more, although of course the plot is really engaging and can catch your heart, the gameplay mechanics are the real foundation of the fun. Although I will be closer to the truth if I write it in the plural. The number of mechanics implemented here is amazing, really.
If I were to find one game that caused me a similar jaw drop due to how many different forms of play were included in it, then I would probably bet on Super Mario 3D World. There, too, each level could require something completely different from the players. And perhaps for many it will be an exaggeration, but I think it has been carried out even better here.
Each stage is a small (although everything is huge from the perspective of the puppets) a playground that makes us feel like we are in many different genres. I have the impression that the creators poured out here not a bucket, but a whole container of creativity and have tried to include small elements from literally every game they’ve ever played. Seriously – there is so much to it that at some point we had the feeling that we were close to the end. Because how much can you stuff it? As it turns out, we weren’t even halfway through.
Thinking about it I have a whole lot of fragments in my head that charmed me… Great levels in space, a perfectly realized duel with a tool box or a fight with a squirrel general on the wings of a Tekken-style plane. One person dueled in 2.5D and the other had to steer. I have never experienced anything like this in my life and I have no doubt that it was a unique experience.
There is no end to delight
At the beginning, I wasn’t able to fully understand why I was so enthusiastic about It Takes Two. Today I understand very well why so many awards in the Game of the Year categories. This is undoubtedly one of the best productions released in 2021 and one that you simply remember for a long time. I know that I will come back to it more than once – especially to my favorite levels. It’s just fun and fun in its purest form.
With all this, it fantastically uses the form of cooperation (to feel that both people simply have to cooperate, and not only “can”) and is sometimes quite a challenge. Seriously – although it may seem trivial, after a while there is a level that you can sit at for a long time. However, it is worthwhile to move the cerebral ganglia a bit, because the satisfaction is then extremely high.
We have here too playing with physics, brilliant sound and a very detailed visual layer. Everything sounded right here and I have no doubt that everyone should play. If you only have someone to check this production with (online or locally), don’t hesitate. Long hours of strong action await you, immersed in a sauce of creativity and served with a pinch of humor. I do not know if this is my GOTY 2021, but I know that it fully deserves all these titles.
It’s been a long time since I played a top-shelf game that would be both so like many and so different from everything else. The great advantage is also that you don’t actually need to be a rain master to grasp it. Check it out for yourself at the earliest opportunity, because nowadays such works are a real rarity. It’s a pity – hopefully there would be more of them.