It Takes Two Is Co-Op Gameplay at Its Best

It Takes Two from developer Hazelight Studios and publisher Electronic Arts has a relatively simple premise: a feuding couple, Cody and May, are magically turned into dolls by their kid and must work together in order to try and return to some sense of normalcy through the shepherding of a talking book while encountering things like militaristic squirrels and a menacing toolbox along the way. It's a co-op title through and through, much like previous video games from game director Josef Fares. recently had the opportunity to play the earliest levels of It Takes Two on PC, and while the abundance of mechanics it introduces might seem like too much on paper, it's hard to say that it was anything but a charming experience.

As you can see in the captured gameplay from our session above, It Takes Two quickly gets into the thick of things, and none of the areas we experienced during the preview overstayed their welcome. That said, the speed with which it brings new gameplay mechanics into play does mean that there was more than one time that it took a little thinking to accomplish the task at hand. What you won't hear in the video is the constant communication between myself and another member of the press via Discord as we played in order to figure out how to best achieve our goals. Even so, it should be clear that no single puzzling platform situation took us all that long to figure out.

it takes two screenshot 2
(Photo: Hazelight Studios/EA)

It's obvious from playing the game for a couple of hours, and hearing from Fares prior to the preview event, that It Takes Two is all about a single core tenet: we're better together. This is easily apparent in the ways in which Cody and May have to traverse the newly large world as each of them has unique mechanics and paths they must take. In the first section of the preview, for example, Cody could throw nails in order to do things like pin bits in place while May had a hammer which could... well, hammer things as well as allow her to swing across the aforementioned nails. While the difficulty of these tasks ramped up over time, it never felt overwhelming, and the fact that my buddy was always necessary was underscored at every opportunity.

It's hard to say based on our time with the title whether the narrative truly sticks the landing. While there is every chance that therapy and counseling or simple reconciliation can save a relationship, the potential moral of the story here being that if a kid tries hard enough, their parents can get back together seems... tricky to navigate, at best. Whether it manages to delicately thread that needle is impossible to tell from just a couple of hours. For now, we are cautiously optimistic that the rest of the game will continue to provide delightful mechanics, but nervous about the implications of its story.

it takes two screenshot 1
(Photo: Hazelight Studios/EA)

It Takes Two is set to release for PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S, and PC on March 26th with a next-gen upgrade included for PS5 and Xbox Series X|S. You can check out all of our previous coverage of the upcoming video game right here.


What do you think about what we have seen of It Takes Two so far? Are you excited to check it out when it releases? Let us know in the comments, or feel free to reach out and hit me up directly over on Twitter at @rollinbishop to talk about all things gaming!