Overcooked has been a game that I have overlooked in the past. Mainly because I wasn’t overly keen on multiplayer couch games due to friends being online only gamers. I thought it’d be interesting to see if Overcooked 2’s new systems suit a single-player experience.
I’ll have a full review on Overcooked 2 later this week because I want to really experience the online multiplayer, but for now, I want to indulge myself into the single-player. I want to see if the game can be enjoyed alone, because there are bound to be times when no one is on hand to help, and your internet has cut out. So, without getting too deep into explanations, let’s chef up.
Overcooked 2 lets me pop on a white puffy hat as I attempt to manage a frantic kitchen that now moves around, a new addition to the game that causes a great deal of confusion to make cooking harder. There are a bunch of new ingredients as well and there are new steps to take as I attempt to create only the finest of recipes to prepare to fight the Unbread.
Like the first title, I still control two chefs that I can switch between, but this time I can lob raw ingredients back and forth to reduce the amount of movement needed. The downside to the throwing is that my aim sucks. As a result, some poor customer is going to get a steak seasoned with floor dirt and possibly end up on Hell’s Kitchen.
Considering I booted the title up in single-player mode, I found the number of recipes to cook at a time a little bit too much. It starts to feel overwhelming with a mass of recipes in the top left area. Suddenly in that moment it becomes apparent that Overcooked 2 has been designed mainly for more than one player.
Throwing food seems like it will only work providing someone else is controlling the other chef and ready to catch it. Trying to keep up with multiple things seemed to lead me to control one chef and dashing around, forgetting the other chef existed. So instead of looking like the classic Overcooked’s frantically-but-organised kitchen antics, I ended up looking like a clumsy oaf.
There was something about the kitchen layouts as well that worked against me. Everything seems to have become a lot more crushed together with playing areas being a lot smaller, pan’s and ingredients being too close together causing accidental selections, and a lack of counter space in most levels. You’d think for a single-player experience the more compact kitchen scene would aid you, but really it’s a mess that is actually hard to control.
I want to blame the single-player toughness of Overcooked 2 on the fact that I’m just an inexperienced fool, but when I invited my partner to join me we absolutely smashed it. Pans didn’t burn, plates were clean, food was thrown with success, and we racked up three stars. For some reason, I just can’t multitask on my own!
Tapering off to multiplayer here quickly, I’m glad they kept the split controller system in place as it does allow for quick games with someone else. I even tried to control both chefs at the same time but my brain nearly melted trying to comprehend everything.
While the actual gameplay is rather tough, it doesn’t seem to stop you progressing through the campaign rather quickly. Providing you earn a star or more, the next level seems to unlock rather easily. This certainly does make Overcooked 2 more enjoyable in the fact that you know you can just half-ass a level, get one star, move on, then return to it later.
I’ll go into more details about the game in my review, but sadly I really don’t see Overcooked 2 working as a single-player experience because of how it seems to assume you’re playing with a friend. Perhaps a dynamic system that reduces the number of recipes depending on the player count would have worked wonders here.
It is still fun to play alone though, and I really do mean that. It just sits on the edge of being too challenging for some players —me…of course— if they don’t want to play with anyone else. Local multiplayer though is perfection, and online is just as good. You’ll have to read the review to find out how well the game as a whole plays though, so keep your eyes peeled here for that.
A code was provided by the publisher to complete this piece
While you’re here, you may want to check out my thoughts on The Quiet Man and why I’m worried about how deafness will be portrayed.