Traditional co-op gaming experiences can sometimes feel like solo play: another player picks up a controller, and a new avatar appears on your screen that works almost exactly the same way you do. This can be a boon for people with limited time to play, but it can mean that your partner’s impact on the larger experience is minimized. Recent collaborative game It requires two do things differently.
Josef Fares and the team at Hazelight Studios have used It requires two to build on some of the collaboration from their previous release, A resort. In both games, your partner is just as necessary as you, and there is no experience without both of you being involved. Where It requires two excels above A resort is the way it applies its game design logic to the story.
When you get through It requires two, each action is delimited by an underlying message of teamwork. While Cody and May, the playable characters, realize that the root of their relationship problems lies in their inability to be on the same page. Momentum going forward in the game translates to momentum going forward in the story. Because these two elements continuously feed each other, a tangible harmony is present throughout the game, one that is felt almost every moment.
Although It requires two stumbles here and there and tries to nail down a steady tone, those moments are easy to ignore because of how fucking fun it is to play and how varied the experience can be. The large amount of different mechanics present in the game means that players always rediscover how to work together, much like the story the Cody and May ask them to do.