February 1, 2023

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It Takes Two review – delightful co-op tainted by an irritating story

I almost turned it off. Genuinely, after 10 minutes, I’d had enough. A story about a girl’s divorcing parents who are magically shrunk so they can go on an adventure together, and in doing so work out their differences and get back together? Do me a favour. People divorce and families move on. It’s a normal part of life and shouldn’t be construed as anything but. Are children supposed to play this and believe their parents could have rescued their relationship? Are divorced parents supposed to play it and feel bad? It’s a dangerous idea to play with and I wish It Takes Two hadn’t.

Moreover, the story is excruciatingly told. Your daughter finds a book about love at school, and it manifests as some all-powerful, passionate latin love guru, an over-the-top love therapist for shrunken Mum and Dad. All they – you – need to do is to learn to work together again! Rediscover your passion! Hhhhrrr. Pass me the sick bucket. It’s like being pitched a condescending, sugar-powered seminar on marital relations by the Cartoon Network. Every time a cut-scene pops up to tell more story, the game suffers, particularly when that book appears.

However, there’s also a lot about this game to love. Mechanically, it’s wonderful, and one of the best co-op experiences I’ve had in years. It seems like just last week I was lamenting the dwindling amount of local co-op experiences, then along comes this, a game you can only play with someone else (and which gives you ‘Friend’s Pass’ to play online with someone for free). What this means is that the co-op isn’t just superficial, it’s not an extra thing the game offers: it’s fundamental, and the entire experience is designed around it.

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