When co-op games are hardly seen this day and age, Josef Fares’ studio Hazelight brings that important aspect of gaming as its main gameplay focus. We mostly see competitive eSports games like Counter-Strike, Dota 2, Apex Legends, and the like, and co-op games are in a form of either an MMO or just an added option to have players take control of a companion AI. Hazelight crafts the ideology of what “couch” co-op means and made it as its core gameplay mechanic starting with Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons.
It Takes Two is a spiritual successor of A Way Out. The game surrounds itself in teamwork, collaboration, and to further develop ones’ relationship with another. A Way Out carves the relationship between two highly different individuals and how they should look out for each other, with It Takes Two, the game looks at piecing back together of what was once a treasured relationship.
The narrative concentrates on how May and Cody set their differences aside and work together to overcome the obstacles they encounter in this whimsy magical world. As they slowly begin to collaborate and further complement one another, they eventually realize the importance of their relationship and what they might have to lose.
These “obstacles” are wise, cleverly thought of puzzles, and they have to be solved by the two players behind the controller. Hazelight is able to further flesh out the co-op mechanics, making it a tad better than A Way Out; and we’re lucky enough to play the first two and half hours of It Takes Two on PC; we were also advised to play using a controller over a Mouse & Keyboard.
Josef stated during the press preview event that the mechanics highly depends on the situation you’re presented. And I can confirm 100% it’s true after playing the first two chapters. There were instances where the gameplay shifts from a third-person adventure into side-scroller, even into a fighting game. It Takes Two is a game inspired by many game mechanics from other titles, and the way it was added surprisingly doesn’t feel forced. The director also mentioned when you progress throughout the story, every mechanic will be different, and we can also attest that this is true. There are times when you will have weapons but then you’ll lose them when the need is gone. Meaning, in each level or chapter, you will experience something else entirely, and how the game transitions the player to that new mechanic feels natural.
Players will also have enjoyable mini-games that you and your buddy (or partner, or wife) gets to play like whack a mole or tug-of-war. They usually are the type of mini-games where you’re against one another that’s not entirely related to the story.
There’s still a lot chapters for us to finish once we get our hands on the full game, but this quick taste of It Takes Two makes me want to fast forward time to March 26 so I can finish it with Kim.
It Takes Two will be available on PS4, Xbox One, and PC this March 26 and it’s backwards compatible on the PS5 and Xbox Series X|S.