After Overcooked! launched and won a whole host of awards, including two BAFTAs, it’s no surprise that Ghost Town Games collaborated yet again with Team 17 to bring their adoring fans a sequel. A main course if you will. There are so many special things surrounding this title; the two man team of Phil and Oli, the focus on multiplayer and couch co-op, the sheer charms that oozes out of every ounce of the game, but that’s why I’m reviewing it. To tell you all about what makes Overcooked 2! so special. Or not. Lettuce see.
Phil and Oli have set out to challenge even my ability to make puns with their story here. The dreaded (breaded?) Unbread are rising and they’re very hungry. They’re causing chaos for the Onion King’s kingdom. Together with Kevin the Dog he must form a plan to stop the madness, so he summons his best chef. Or chefs. Orange you glad it’s you? The story only really sets the background to the gameplay but it does so in a fun way that has you working towards an objective. The many food references will put a smile on your face while you make your way through each level. You travel from level to level in a very versatile bus, the overworld is explorable with some hidden switches such as secrets or hints towards hidden levels.
The meat of the package. I am incredibly egg-cited to inform all you budding chefs out there that Overcooked 2 is in every way as fun, hectic, intense, crazy and addictive as it’s predecessor. With 36 levels plus special Kevin levels to play through, each with high scores to beat to reach 3 stars there’s a lot of creativity on show. Environments are unique and hazards make each level exciting. Some levels will feature paths that sink and change as time ticks onward. Some will have bridges that will be challenging to cross due to wind pushing in certain directions. Other will require you to launch ingredients across gaps using the new throwing mechanic.
The above screenshot shows one of the new Sushi levels. The mixing of raw ingredients with cooking rice, combined with various of the aforementioned hazards such as the above conveyor belts really changes the way you think in comparison to the original game. It’s a nice twist on the Pizza and burger building recipes from the original. If you loved those recipes there’s no reason to fret or stew, they make triumphant returns throughout Overcooked 2!
The ability to throw is an absolutely marvelous addition. A true secret ingredient in a recipe for success. In a level like the one above, you can stand on one side of the gap and simply launch ingredients to the other side. We start the round with one person throwing ingredients across while the other chops, eliminating the need for back and forth. In terms of back and forth, another new mechanic comes into the pot. Portals. If you look at the top you’ll see four colored doorways. Yes, the colors connect allowing you to travel from side to side. These portals are used in numerous ways throughout the levels, sometimes if you step through one you’ll simply fall to your death as it moves from side to side.
Another new addition is the moving platforms. These can be used to put the co-op relationship under further strain, move your partner around. Do as they ask, or put them in the corner and laugh while they boil over. This game will really test your relationships, my brother and I completed every level to near perfection. Universal three stars. We still tried to chop each other up. Literally. The game is berry intense and you’ll get competitive. The slightest mistake or slow reaction could be met with a tirade of abuse. Or maybe you’re a nice, well adjusted human and you’ll encourage your teammate. We’ve all bean there though. The upcoming gameplay video shows off another new addition. Dynamic environments! This makes some of the bigger levels, world enders, more exciting and intriguing.
There are a few other modes outside of Campaign. There’s both Arcade and Versus; Versus uses stock levels to test your ability with up to four players. Arcade chooses a random campaign level and does the same. Yes, you can separate into teams and play against each other. Yes it is absolutely, amazingly intense and nuts. Honestly, olive it. Online works well, I had no server issues. The option of playing online extends the package’s content nicely, but it isn’t a selling point like the campaign. There’s also an egg-cellent variety of playable chefs on offer. From robots to aliens to my favorite, the wheelchair bound Raccoon, it’s really fun and charming.
Graphics and Sound
The colors are the stars of the graphical side of Overcooked 2! If you pear too closely at the screen you won’t notice any blurring, it’s a sharp game that has updated from its predecessor nicely. Especially in terms of ingredients and images. Everything is nice and defined, you know what each item is at a glance. This won’t set a new industry brand standard for graphical quality but it is perfectly pleasing and enjoyable to look at. The graphics do work to enhance to charm of the game. Sound is an even better story, especially as levels ramp up to the last few seconds. The menu music is relaxing and suits the tone. The overworld music is more upbeat and goes nicely with the game’s content.
So did olive Overcooked 2!? It’s a resounding yes on all fronts. Team 17 and Ghost Town are on a roll with this franchise. This won’t be a game that’s here today, gone tomato either. Thanks to online play it’ll be a pick up and play option for weeks if not months. It won’t go past its sell by date. Please, wok into your local video game store and give this a chance! If you like puzzle games it’s for you. If you like co-op it’s a must own. There is one issue with single player being nowhere near as fun as co-operative play but it really is intended to be a co-op title. I can safely say, this is my jam. I even managed to beat the full campaign solo. It is fun, it’s just not as fun without the co-op experience. Want one more fact to leave you totally s-peach-less? I was the first person in the world to get the platinum trophy in Overcooked 2! Gordon Ramsey watch your back, I’m on my way.