All you need is Love. What a big piece of lie! If it were that simple, the world would be completely different. International conflicts would be solved with a handshake; Violence would be eradicated with hugs and there would be no love affair that would go down the drain.

It matters little if John Lennon deliberately lied to us about the hit he wrote for The Beatles or if he really had such a simple view of things. What is a fact is that it is something that many of us would benefit from forgetting. Love is a valuable resource, there is no doubt about that, but it is of little use if it is not accompanied by effort and the willingness to understand the situation we are in.

To steer you toward emotional maturity, Josef Faress and Hazelight bring It Takes Two. A cooperative experience that will teach you the importance that hard work and communication have in the success of any relationship. This with a story and mechanics that explore the concept.

With a romantic comedy style that has a Pixar soul, It Takes Two tells the story of Coady and May. It is a relatively young couple who already have a young daughter; a house and many responsibilities to fulfill. The latter has been responsible for them forgetting to work on the other and the price to pay is the stability of their relationship.

When they see that things are not working, they make the most sensible decision: to divorce. It is news that her daughter does not take it well and she refuses to accept that her parents threw in the towel. In her desperation, she turns to a book on love affairs for help, who decides to do her a favor in strange ways: she transforms Coady and May into dolls and the only way they can get back to normal is by fixing their relationship. Saying it is much easier than doing it. The dysfunctional couple will learn this by going through a lot of challenges that will test their communication and lead them on the path that will rekindle the flame of their love. It will be up to them to achieve it or forget about the other forever.


"Since Portal 2 we didn't see an adventure designed for 2 players where teamwork was so important"

On your journey to fix this broken heart, you and your partner will go through levels that bombard you with new mechanics. It feels like in It Takes Two you're doing a little bit of everything, from fighting a squirrel on the wing of a made plane, to taking out a kraken that wants to sink your ship, or going through a dungeon like you're playing Diablo. It is drenched in surprises that will make you smile every so often. All this as part of sequences where cooperation and coordination is key. Since Portal 2 we haven't seen an adventure designed for 2 players where teamwork was so important. We want more games like this!

Most of the levels follow a design philosophy where each mechanic is first presented in a simple way, then presents elements that make it a little more complicated or completely shake expectations. This makes It Takes Two feel fresh for much of the journey and motivates you to keep playing to find out what's ahead.


My conclusion

Despite its flaws, It Takes Two is a special and highly polished game. In the roughly 12 hours it took me to finish it, it surprised me at various points, gifted me with smiles, and reminded me how much fun it can be to finish a game side-by-side with someone. Especially when it comes to one where the cooperative section is from the core and not simply as an option added to the ride.

The main detail that keeps it from being among the definitive cooperative experiences is that it is not one of those games that you will play over and over again, as you may have been doing for years with games like Contra or Streets of Rage. That said, in a world where few have the time to finish games, that's not a major problem.

Anyway, Fares and the Hazelight team are slowly learning and refining the type of experiences they want to achieve. So if you had a good time A Way Out or Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons, It Takes Two is a title that you read you should give a try sooner or later.

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