Hardcore gamers generally don’t like playing with anyone but themselves, so when It Takes Two comes along and demands a second player be part of the fun just to start the game, it was always facing an uphill battle. Good job many overcame those fears of interacting with another person, though, because Hazelight Studios’ spiritual successor to A Way Out is the most creative game you’ll play all year.
Designed entirely around co-op, the title’s magic comes from its ability to keep you constantly on your toes and guessing about what comes next. Across numerous puzzles, open-ended areas, and combat encounters, It Takes Two never repeats an idea. One minute you could be taking on an army of wasps, the next it turns into a fully-fledged fighting game.
And the incredible thing is that the game keeps this up throughout the entire 12-hour campaign. Never will you find yourself bored by the title — it really does have that much to offer with unique encounters and wonderfully distinctive sequences. Once one idea has run its course, it’s onto the next one. Oh, and did we forget to mention you’ve been shrunk to the size of a china doll the entire time? Wonderful stuff.
With a friend always along for the ride, you’ll need to work together to solve puzzles and draw closer to returning to normal size — as well as working on healing the relationship between the two protagonists. It Takes Two lives up to its name with brain teasers that can’t be solved without the unique ability of wife May, or the weapon only husband Cody can wield. This sense of companionship fuels the narrative (even if it’s not very good) as well as puzzle-solving, and it’s a joy to engage with. Figuring out how the two of you can come together to progress is super satisfying, and the solution is always something new.
It Takes Two revolves around creativity and enjoyment; you’d be hard-pressed to find a game this year that put more smiles on people’s faces. Taking seventh place in our overall Game of the Year ranking, the position does its actual accolade a bit of a disservice: It Takes Two is one of the best co-operative games ever.
You can read our full It Takes Two PS5 review here.
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