Pots are burning, pans are on fire, a raw steak has just hit another chef in the face, and a customer has possibly eaten a clump of floor dirt in their burrito because I dropped it. Overcooked 2 is a great sequel that actually feels like an extension rather than a whole new game.
Ghost Town Games have taken what was an already crazy, wacky title and turned it into something far more wackier and insane. The method for Overcooked 2 is the following,
One dash of smaller kitchen spaces
Four tablespoon of moving platforms
Several grams of new recipes
100g of online multiplayer
Put that in the oven to develop, pop it onto the publisher plate, and you’ve got Overcooked 2 ready to serve piping hot.
While the game isn’t really suited for single-player —unless you are, of course, a boss at it— it does shine marvellously in multiplayer which I’ll touch on later. I did run an article on the single-player experience with Overcooked 2 earlier this week, so I won’t focus too much on being a loner for this review.
So let’s get down to the nitty-gritty. The kingdom is in danger because the King recites an ancient spell that causes dead bread to rise from the ground as the Unbread. The players are tasked with the challenge of travelling the world to learn new recipes and then return to fend them off.
Lettuce focus on the gameplay now, which keeps the core features from the original game and adds some new additions to Overcooked 2 that change the pacing of the game rather drastically. The biggest addition I felt was, of course, the shifting levels. The kitchens can now suddenly change or are split by large gaps with environmental struggles to confuse players. It works well as it requires players to actually work together and perform certain tasks that are out of reach for another chef.
The other addition —and one that compliments the shifting levels— is the throwing feature that allows chefs to launch raw ingredients across the level. It not only looks cool but increases productivity if done tastefully. Obviously, this is mainly designed to get food over the gaps of levels that are split apart, but it can also be used to throw ingredients into pots and pans like some badass Michelin chef.
Outside of the cooking, players have to travel the world in an RV type vehicle in which they’re given full freedom to travel the isometric map. However, levels that are still locked are hidden away, only coming up from the ground when the current level has been completed with one star or more. When unlocked the tiles of that area will flip and sometimes the player will have to navigate the RV to a switch that raises a ramp.
I don’t really understand the point in this world travelling element, but I imagine it’s more for a younger generations imagination.
A large part of where the online play falls apart is communication. If you’re playing with no communication then it’s a chaotic mess that relies on people asserting their roles seconds into the round
Players can play the game locally as the original title allowed, or they can now play against others online. I gave the online modes a go, trying out both Arcade Mode and Versus Mode but ended up confused about what was going on.
Essentially, if you haven’t completed the campaign then you’ll end up playing levels that feature recipes you’ve not learnt yet, and as a result, I just ended up spinning around in confusion. Other players are all running around doing their own thing, pushing past me as if I’m just a nuisance, and many times I ended up apparently getting kicked by the host. And that was even after I was doing quite well!
A large part of where the online play falls apart is communication. If you’re playing with no communication then it’s a chaotic mess that relies on people asserting their roles seconds into the round. There is a quick text system where you can hold Y and choose an icon that will display a message, so you’re not entirely mute.
With the new level design, it appears that Overcooked 2 has had to reduce the playing size for some reason. Counter space seems less than the original title in most levels, and cooking items feel too close together as a result of that. Particularly annoying when playing online with inconsiderate players that block the way.
As for how it looks, it still retains its comical, cutesy feel however it’s a lot more vibrant with some lovely detailing. The choice of comical chefs can be grown by unlocking them by progressing through the campaign, giving you pre-created chefs to choose from, but I’m surprised that there isn’t some type of “chef creation” feature.
the throwing feature that allows chefs to launch raw ingredients across the level. It not only looks cool but increases productivity if done tastefully.
The UI is still as simple without being too in your face, but the order notifications do become overwhelming, which in truth does work in conjunction with the upbeat music. Especially when the clocks running short and everything gets a lot more insane and rushed.
The one concern I have with Overcooked 2 is the loading times between everything. It feels like an unnecessary amount, or at least it feels like they’re too long. Choose a game mode option, loading screen. Choose a level, loading screen. Restart the level, loading screen. Win the level, loading screen. I understand the game needs to load everything, but the frequency is a bit tiring.
Overcooked 2 seems to be a really enjoyable experience online providing you team up with the right players. It might be a mess if you don’t communicate, but that’s what drives you on to work together more…or have other players get pissed off at you. It certainly seems to require vocal communication to be the best experience but it isn’t a requirement.
All in all, the game as a whole offers a lengthy campaign, chefs to unlock, offline and online multiplayer, hidden levels, and the same crazy gameplay with great additions to make for a more challenging experience. It feels more like an extension of the original title rather than a sequel and has a good amount to offer.
The real magic lies in how fun the game is with friends, and how little it’s changed from the sequel. More features probably wouldn’t have gone amiss, but at least hours of fun can still be had. Overcooked 2 is available for Xbox One, PS4, PC, and Nintendo Switch. The version reviewed here was an Xbox One version.
An Xbox One code was provided by the publishers to complete this review.