Games as art. (Gaming)

by cheapLEY @, Monday, September 12, 2022, 11:51 (682 days ago) @ Cody Miller

I’ve been playing The Last of Us Part 1 recently. And, of course, we just finished It Takes Two. Playing the two rattled some not-fully-formed thoughts loose.

Lots of folks uphold TLOU as the pinnacle of games as art. I won’t debate that (or even disagree with that). But it is also the pinnacle example of sort of movie as a game. The things people talk about for TLOU is the presentation, the characters, the story. While I truly love the gameplay of The Last of Us, the things I always see being talked about as the art part of the game are things that could have been a movie. While I won’t dive into the additive (and even essential to the experience) nature of the gameplay, it’s interesting when compared to It Takes Two.

Because It Takes Two is the exact opposite, but I would hold it up as Games-as-Art just as much as The Last of Us. The story is fine, maybe good even, but it’s not the thing that makes the game what it is. It Takes Two is truly one of the best video games I’ve ever played, full stop, no caveats. It’s as close to a perfect game as I’ve ever experienced. It’s just fun. Moving the characters around feels good. The sprint, the jump, the air dash, even the different abilities we’re given all feel damn near perfect to control. The game never seems to run out of ideas (save for the garden at the end, which I think was a fairly weak area in almost every regard). It’s constantly putting players in new environments with new abilities, and they’re all fun. The mini games are all fun, bite sized things, and it’s neat to suddenly be competing with the person you have to cooperate with during the normal gameplay. The writing is funny in a way that most games aren’t, even when they’re trying to be. I sort of laughed when this game won a bunch of game of the year awards, but I was wrong. It Takes Two is Art, based purely on how fun it is as a video game to be played. It’s not thought-provoking like The Last of Us, it’s just a fun video game that feels magical in a way that not many do anymore.

I wish I was better at articulating this stuff, because I think it’s a fascinating comparison. And I cannot quite find the words to describe how good I think It Takes Two is.

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