It Takes Two (video game)

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It Takes Two
It Takes Two cover art.png
Developer(s)Hazelight Studios
Publisher(s)Electronic Arts[a]
Director(s)Josef Fares
Producer(s)Aimar Bergan
Programmer(s)Lucas de Vries
Artist(s)Claes Engdal
Writer(s)Soni Jorgensen
Josef Fares
Composer(s)
EngineUnreal Engine 4[1]
Platform(s)
ReleaseMarch 26, 2021
Genre(s)Action-adventure, platform
Mode(s)Multiplayer

It Takes Two is an action-adventure platform game developed by Hazelight Studios and published by Electronic Arts. It was released for Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X/S in March 2021. Like Hazelight's debut game A Way Out, it does not have a single-player option. It is playable only in either online or local split screen cooperative multiplayer between two players.

It Takes Two received generally favorable reviews from critics and won multiple year-end accolades, including the Game of the Year at The Game Awards 2021 and the 25th Annual D.I.C.E. Awards. The game was a commercial success, with more than 5 million copies sold by February 2022.

Gameplay[edit]

It Takes Two is an action-adventure video game with elements from platform games. It is specifically designed for split-screen cooperative multiplayer, which means that it must be played with another player through either local or online play. The game features a large number of game mechanics from various video game genres.[2] These gameplay mechanics are connected to the story and the theme of the level. For instance, in one level, Cody gains the ability to rewind time, whereas May can replicate herself. Players have to cooperate with each other and utilize these abilities in order to progress. The game also features a large number of minigames.[3]

Plot[edit]

Cody and May, a married couple, are planning on getting a divorce. After telling their daughter Rose the news, she takes her hand-made dolls, which look like her parents, into the family shed and tries to repair their relationship by play-acting. The parents find themselves trapped inside the dolls' bodies as a consequence of Rose's tears landing on the dolls. Dr. Hakim, who has assumed the anthropomorphic form of his relationship therapy book, tells May and Cody that he has been given the job of trying to fix their relationship as they try to reach Rose.

At first, Cody and May are more focused on trying to reach Rose, who they hope knows of a way to return them to their human bodies. However, Hakim continually interferes with their progress, often putting obstacles and tests in their way to force them to collaborate to progress. They also come across magically anthropomorphic versions of their old possessions, who criticize Cody and May for their mistreatment and negligence of both their possessions and Rose. As they travel all around their property, Cody and May are reminded of the positive memories they had together, as well as what originally drew them together to become a couple, and learn to work together and collaborate to move forward in their journey.

In a final series of obstacles, Hakim encourages Cody and May to rediscover their passions and support each other. This first takes them on an adventure through Cody's overgrown, abandoned garden and greenhouse, which May helps him to restore. They then work together to help May rediscover her passion for music and singing.

Meanwhile, Rose continues to do her best to mend the relationship between her parents, but both Cody and May's real bodies have fallen unconscious and will not respond to her. Thinking her parents are ignoring her, Rose comes to believe that she is the reason their marriage is falling apart and decides to run away in hopes that will make them stay together.

After a long journey, Cody and May finally complete Hakim's final test, gathering an orchestra and audience for May to perform in front of. As May sings, the relationship between her and Cody is at last fully healed, and they kiss, which reverses the spell on them. They reawaken in their real bodies and are shocked to learn that Rose has already run away. Fortunately, they are able to find her at a nearby bus stop and assure her that she is not the cause of their arguments and that they will always love her no matter what happens. The trio then returns home with a new perspective on their relationship.

Development[edit]

Josef Fares, the director of Hazelight's previous game A Way Out (2018) and Starbreeze's Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons (2013), returned as the game's director. After releasing A Way Out in 2018, the team decided to create another co-op only video game because it had a more experienced and refined team and the team felt that they could further improve and expand the gameplay concepts introduced by A Way Out.[4] The development team worked to ensure that the gameplay had connection with the narrative, and that as the story unfolds, the game's mechanics will change accordingly. Fares pushed his team to include as many mechanics and setpieces as possible since he believed that if a gameplay mechanic is used repeatedly, it will become "less special".[5] Fares described the game as a "romantic comedy". Fares provided motion capture for Dr. Hakim, one of the key characters in the game.[6] The game was written mostly in AngelScript, which was implemented into the Unreal Engine by Hazelight through their own plugin.[7]

Like A Way Out, It Takes Two was published under Electronic Arts' EA Originals program. The program allowed Hazelight to retain full creative control while receiving most of the game's profit after development cost was recouped.[8] EA first announced that it had signed a publishing deal with Hazelight in June 2019.[9] The game was officially revealed during EA Play in June 2020.[10] EA and Hazelight introduced Friend's Pass for the game, which allows the player who purchased the game to send invitations to their friends who can then play the game for free with the player.[11] The game was released for Windows, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One and Xbox Series X and Series S on March 26, 2021.[12]

Take-Two trademark complaint[edit]

After the game was released, Hazelight Studios attempted to file a trademark for the name It Takes Two, but Take-Two Interactive filed a trademark complaint, arguing it was too close to their trademark on the words "take" and "two". Hazelight abandoned the trademark application of the name, making it difficult for them to engage in certain types of marketing, but the developers said they are "hopeful it will be resolved".[13]

Reception[edit]

According to review aggregator website Metacritic, It Takes Two received "generally favorable" reviews.[14][15][16][17]

Sales[edit]

More than 1 million copies were sold a month after the game's launch.[26] By June 17, 2021, over 2 million copies were sold.[27] By October 2021, 3 million copies were sold.[28] By February 2022, 5 million copies were sold.[29]

Accolades[edit]

Award nominations for It Takes Two
Year Award Category Result Ref
2021 Golden Joystick Awards Best Multiplayer Game Won [30][31]
Ultimate Game of the Year Nominated
The Game Awards Best Multiplayer Game Won [32]
Best Family Game Won
Best Narrative Nominated
Best Game Direction Nominated
Players' Voice Nominated
Game of the Year Won
2022 Game Developers Choice Awards Innovation Award Nominated [33][34]
Best Design Won
Best Narrative Nominated
Social Impact Award Nominated
Game of the Year Nominated
25th Annual D.I.C.E. Awards Outstanding Achievement in Original Music Composition Nominated [35]
Outstanding Achievement in Audio Design Nominated
Adventure Game of the Year Nominated
Outstanding Achievement in Game Design Won
Outstanding Achievement in Game Direction Nominated
Game of the Year Won
18th British Academy Games Awards Best Game Nominated [36]
Animation Nominated
Artistic Achievement Nominated
Game Beyond Entertainment Nominated
Game Design Nominated
Multiplayer Game Won
Narrative Nominated
Original Property Won
EE Game of the Year Nominated

Adaptations[edit]

In January 2022, it was announced that adaptations in the form of both a feature film and television series were in development from Dimitri M. Johnson's dj2 Entertainment studios.[37]

Film[edit]

A feature length movie was officially in development beginning in January 2022, with Pat Casey and Josh Miller slated to be working on the screenplay for the movie; while a multi-studio bidding war for distribution rights was ongoing. The project will include collaborative input from the video game's creative developer, Hazelight Studios.[37] By April 2022, it was announced that Amazon had landed distribution rights, as part of a first-look deal between the company, dj2 Entertainment, and the screenwriters. The plot was confirmed to follow the basic premise of the game with lead characters May and Cody, a married couple considering divorce, whose daughter inadvertently through magic transports their respective lives into two dolls that she hand-made. Together the couple must learn to work together, and regain their bodies. Dwayne Johnson, Dany Garcia, and Hiram Garcia joined the production in producing roles, alongside Dimitri M. Johnson and Dan Jevons. The project will be a joint-venture production between Hazelight Studios, dj2 Entertainment, Seven Bucks Productions, and Amazon Studios. Intended to be released via streaming as a Prime Video Original Film, Johnson is also being courted to star in the movie.[38][39][40]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Published under the EA Originals label.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Jimmy Thang (March 17, 2021). "It Takes Two lovingly marries story and gameplay together". Unreal Engine. Retrieved November 29, 2021.
  2. ^ Gilliam, Ryan (December 10, 2020). "The new co-op game from the A Way Out team lets multiplayer pals play free". Polygon. Retrieved January 20, 2021.
  3. ^ Borthwick, Ben (February 23, 2021). "It Takes Two offers a look at its co-operative gameplay in latest trailer". VideoGamer.com. Retrieved March 17, 2021.
  4. ^ Skrebels, Joe (January 15, 2020). "'Not Even EA Thought A Way Out Would Sell' - Josef Fares on Why He's Making Games in a Genre He Had to Invent". IGN. Retrieved January 20, 2021.
  5. ^ Skrebels, Joe (December 15, 2020). "It Takes Two Could Take 15 Hours to Complete and Should Win a World Record for Mechanics, Says Josef Fares". IGN. Retrieved January 20, 2021.
  6. ^ Watts, Steve (December 10, 2020). "It Takes Two And The Relentless Positivity Of Josef Fares". GameSpot. Retrieved January 20, 2021.
  7. ^ "Hazelight/UnrealEngine-Angelscript on GitHub". GitHub. Retrieved September 15, 2021.
  8. ^ Fares, Josef (June 11, 2017). "A Way Out creator Josef Fares: 'If you don't like it, you can break my legs'". VentureBeat. Retrieved December 11, 2020.
  9. ^ Dring, Christopher (June 8, 2019). "EA signs fresh indie publishing deals with Zoink, Glowmade and Hazelight". Gameindustry.biz. Retrieved January 20, 2021.
  10. ^ Lee, Julia (June 18, 2020). "New co-op game from A Way Out creator, It Takes Two, launches in 2021". Polygon. Retrieved January 20, 2021.
  11. ^ Yin-Poole, Wesley (December 11, 2020). "Here's our first look at It Takes Two gameplay". Eurogamer. Retrieved January 20, 2021.
  12. ^ Devore, Jordan (December 10, 2020). "It Takes Two is an out-of-control co-op adventure from the makers of A Way Out". Destructoid. Retrieved January 20, 2020.
  13. ^ Phillips, Tom (December 3, 2021). "Josef Fares' It Takes Two hit by Take-Two claim". Eurogamer. Retrieved December 3, 2021.
  14. ^ a b "It Takes Two for PC Reviews". Metacritic. Retrieved February 16, 2022.
  15. ^ a b "It Takes Two for PlayStation 4 Reviews". Metacritic. Retrieved March 24, 2021.
  16. ^ a b "It Takes Two for PlayStation 5 Reviews". Metacritic. Retrieved April 15, 2021.
  17. ^ a b "It Takes Two for Xbox Series X Reviews". Metacritic. Retrieved March 24, 2021.
  18. ^ "It Takes Two Review". GameSpot. Retrieved March 25, 2021.
  19. ^ "IT TAKES TWO REVIEW: "A CO-OP EXPERIENCE UNLIKE ANY OTHER"". GamesRadar+. 24 March 2021. Retrieved March 25, 2021.
  20. ^ "It Takes Two Review". IGN. 25 March 2021. Retrieved March 25, 2021.
  21. ^ "It Takes Two : Un jeu coop indispensable par les créateurs d'A Way Out". Jeuxvideo.com. Retrieved March 25, 2021.
  22. ^ "It Takes Two review: Together forever". Shacknews. Retrieved March 25, 2021.
  23. ^ "IT TAKES TWO REVIEW". PC Gamer. 24 March 2021. Retrieved March 25, 2021.
  24. ^ "It Takes Two Review – The Joys And Heartbreak Of Love". Game Informer. Retrieved March 25, 2021.
  25. ^ "En ufattelig variasjon og sømløs plattformspilling". Gamer.no. 24 March 2021. Retrieved March 25, 2021.
  26. ^ Bankhurst, Adam (April 24, 2021). "It Takes Two Selling 1 Million Copies Shows That Players Want Co-op Only Games, Josef Fares Says". IGN. Retrieved April 25, 2021.
  27. ^ "Hazelight Studios on Twitter". Retrieved 17 June 2021.
  28. ^ van der Velde, Issy (October 13, 2021). "'It Takes Two' sells three million copies". NME. Retrieved October 14, 2021.
  29. ^ Dinsdale, Ryan (February 7, 2022). "It Takes Two Sells a Huge 5 Million Copies". IGN. Retrieved February 8, 2022.
  30. ^ Tyrer, Ben (October 19, 2021). "Golden Joystick Awards 2021: see the full list of nominees and how to vote today". GamesRadar+. Future plc. Archived from the original on October 19, 2021. Retrieved November 17, 2021.
  31. ^ Tyrer, Ben (November 23, 2021). "Here are all the Golden Joystick Awards 2021 winners". GamesRadar+. Future plc. Archived from the original on November 23, 2021. Retrieved November 23, 2021.
  32. ^ "The Game Awards Nominees: 'Deathloop,' 'Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart' Lead 2021 List". Deadline. November 16, 2021. Retrieved November 16, 2021.
  33. ^ Van Allen, Eric (11 January 2022). "Nominees for the 2022 Game Developers Choice Awards have been revealed". Destructoid. Retrieved 13 January 2022.
  34. ^ Staff (23 March 2022). "'Inscryption' Wins Game of the Year at GDCA 2022". gdconf.com. Retrieved 24 March 2022.
  35. ^ Fanelli, Jason (January 13, 2022). "Ratchet & Clank Leads 2022 DICE Awards With 9 Nominations". GameSpot. Retrieved January 29, 2022.
  36. ^ Purslow, Matt (March 3, 2022). "BAFTA Games Awards 2022 Nominations Announced". IGN. Retrieved March 6, 2022.
  37. ^ a b Otterson, Joe (January 31, 2022). "'It Takes Two' Developer Hazelight Studios Teams With dj2 Entertainment to Adapt Game for Film, TV (EXCLUSIVE)". Variety. Retrieved April 21, 2022.
  38. ^ Grobar, Matt (April 20, 2022). "Dwayne Johnson's Seven Bucks Productions Boards 'It Takes Two' As Video Game Film Lands At Amazon". Deadline. Retrieved April 21, 2022.
  39. ^ Otterson, Joe (April 20, 2022). "'It Takes Two' Movie Lands at Amazon, Seven Bucks Productions Joins dj2 Entertainment as Producers (EXCLUSIVE)". Variety. Retrieved April 21, 2022.
  40. ^ Lang, Brad (April 21, 2022). "Dwayne Johnson in Talks For It Takes Two Movie". Comic Book Resource. Retrieved April 21, 2022.

External links[edit]