Hazlight Studios’ A Way Out might not have been a flawless experience, but it was certainly unique. With its focus on co-op gameplay and storytelling, it delivered a kind of experience that we don’t see a lot of in video games, if at all, and with their next game, Hazelight are looking to continue down that path. It Takes Two’s launch is right around the corner, and here, we’re going to talk about ten crucial details you should know about the game.
Like A Way Out before it, It Takes Two’s story is going to put the focus on two leading protagonists. Players will be stepping into the shoes of Cody and May, an estranged couple who’ve been going through a bit of a rough patch. After they find themselves transformed into dolls, they must work with each other, and with the help of a magical book named Dr. Hakim, turn themselves back into their human forms, and find a way to fix their relationship.
A “GENRE-BENDING” EXPERIENCE
Hazelight Studios are describing It Takes Two as a genre-bending experience, and based on what we’ve seen and heard of the game so far, it seems to be taking that description to hear. Platforming seems to be a big focus, of course, but we’ve also see plenty of puzzle solving, shooting, and all manner of other gameplay mechanics being thrown in. It definitely looks like there’s going to be a lot going on here- speaking of which…
VARIETY, VARIETY, VARIETY
Something that Hazelight Studios seem to be emphasizing a lot with It Takes Two is variety in gameplay, which doesn’t come as much of a surprise, given that that was something they did with A Way Out as well. Speaking to GamingBolt in a recent interview, the famously outspoken and passionate Josef Fares – the director of It Takes Two and founder of Hazelight – went as far as to say that It Takes Two will “take the world record in actually how much variation is in game.”
He went on to elaborate on that in typically enthusiastic fashion, saying: “I can guarantee you, I’m ready to give you $1,000 if someone genuinely thinks that they get tired of It Takes Two. It’s impossible, because there will be something new around every corner for a story reason, or for what [Cody and May] go through. So, whatever happens, or whatever they meet, you’re playing it, which I think is awesome. And yes, from a production perspective- you know, my team is not always happy about this, but they’ve gotten used to this because I love variation. And of course, it takes time. However, we’re used it, and we love it. This is the kind of game that we want to do.”
MARRYING NARRATIVE AND GAMEPLAY
Fares has also gone on record on multiple occasions to talk about how there needs to be less of a schism between gameplay and narrative in games. Good old ludonarrative dissonance is something that games have been struggling with for a long time, after all, but it seems Hazelight are going to continue to try and fight against that with It Takes Two, just as they did with A Way Out. Depending on what’s going on in the story, players will be contending with different mechanics and gameplay segments, which will tie in one way or another with the narrative elements of that section as well.
In our recent interview with Fares, he described one particular example, in which a particular section of the game talks about how May feels there isn’t enough time in her life to do everything she wants, while Cody, on the other hand, feels time is limitless. And that translates to unique mechanics particularly for that part of the game, with Cody being able to control the flow of time, and May existing in two places at the same time.
Exactly how long can players expect It Takes Two to be though? Well, it seems like it’s going to be a pretty meaty adventure. Fares confirmed to us that the game will be about 14-15 hours long, which is quite a leap from Hazelight’s previous outing. A Way Out was a 6-8 hour-long game, and that didn’t feel shorter than it needed to be by any means, so having a game that’s significantly meatier is an exciting prospect, especially if it can keep up the level of gameplay and narrative variety that’s being promised.
MINIGAMES AND ACTIVITIES
Across that 14-15 hour runtime, players are going to be doing a lot of stuff. According to Fares, there are about 25 different minigames spread out throughout the game, though it remains to be seen what form they will take, and whether they will be recurring things, or just one-off affairs. Meanwhile, though there aren’t going to be any collectibles, Fares does say there will be side content and secrets for players to discover.
It Takes Two is launching as a cross-gen game with it releases toward the end of March (as most games releasing nowadays are), but it seems like players can be assured of solid performance regardless of what platform they play on. Fares told us that even though It Takes Two will benefit from the improved hardware of the Xbox Series X/S and PS5, it will run well on all platforms, and target a frame rate of 60 FPS on both the PS4 and Xbox One.
Like A Way Out before it, It Takes Two will also come with a Friend’s Pass. What exactly is a Friend’s Pass, you may ask? In a nutshell, if you buy the game, you can invite a friend to play it with you via online co-op for free, even if they haven’t purchased the game themselves. Friend’s Pass can be used as many times as you want, with as many people as you want, though, of course, only with one friend at a time. Meanwhile, just like A Way Out, on Steam, It Takes Two will use Remote Play Together instead of Friend’s Pass.
Friend’s Pass is an excellent initiative, but it’s not limitless. The one restriction it will impose will be through lack of cross-play, which means someone who purchases the game on, say, a PS5 cannot invite a friend who’s playing on an Xbox Series X. That said, Friend’s Pass will support cross-gen (so a PS4 player can invite a PS5 player, and vice versa), while cross-gen saves will also be supported.
NO PLANS FOR A SWITCH RELEASE
“Okay, but is it coming to the Switch?” is a question that many of us have asked countless times about a ton of games. In It Takes Two’s case, the answer is- probably not. When we asked Fares about a potential Switch port, he told us that Hazelight have no plans for that, and that getting the game running on Nintendo’s platform might not even be possible, owing to its split-screen co-op nature and, how, in his words, “there’s a lot of stuff going on” in the game at all times (except he didn’t say “stuff”).