Overcooked 2 is like that trusty little hole in the wall restaurant you always go to. You know the one, that special spot where they always serve great meals in a great atmosphere. The one you tell all your friends about and try to take them to. When they do come, you quickly get frustrated with each other because they decided washing a dish was more important than chopping some much-needed steak while your other friend is off in a corner throwing onions all over the place. You know, just another day at your local eatery.
Ok, maybe not all places are like that, but the first Overcooked game was a blast with friends. I reviewed that game a few years ago and enjoyed my time with it. Overcooked 2 takes that same game and gives you a second serving. This time they’ve added some garnishments to really accentuate the rich and bold flavors of the already delicious main course. Ok ok, I’m done with the food analogies.
Basically what I’m trying to say is that Overcooked 2 picks up where the first one left off. It’s the same game with more. There’s new kitchens, new recipes, new equipment, a new overworld, and even online play. The controls are still as simple as before with a new throwing mechanic tossed in for good measure. With the newly designed kitchens, recipes, equipment, and the ability to toss your raw ingredients, Overcooked 2 retains all the fun and chaotic calamity that the first game was known for.
Unfortunately like the first title, going it solo can be a downer. It’s not quite as exciting when you’re yelling at yourself you know. Kind of like a lump of Maryland style crab cakes with no butter or Old Bay. Good but a little dull and missing its zing. Sorry, I did it again. You can swap between two chefs in single player, giving you the added option to have a chef on a cooking station while you take the other and do something else. My issue doing this though was getting caught up trying to do too much at once; the environmental hazards would screw me up that much more.
There’s a special Kevin stage, in particular, that was really messing with my head. The kitchen takes place on a street and the stations would swap sides occasionally. Traffic would drive through and if a chef was in the way, they would get reset and I’d have to wait for them to return. The stations faced the road so if I had one chef chopping and switched to my other chef, it was just a matter of seconds before a car came by and killed my progress.
It’s not the levels fault, it’s not really designed to be played solo. It’s not an easy problem to solve though, how do you keep the high levels of exciting chaos going when you’re the only player? Well, one way to do it is to give the player the option of online play. At the time of me writing this review, I wasn’t able to get online but if you read my first Overcooked review, you’ll know that my only blight with the first game was its lack on online play. The fine folks at Ghost Town Games corrected that with its inclusion here.
You may be asking how well a game like this would work online if no one can hear one another like in a couch co-op setting? Included in the game are emotes where you can say things like doing dishes or chopping. It’s another button press and “weapon-wheel” selection but it helps to convey what you’re doing. Is it useful? I’m unsure as I’ve yet to actually use it online. But based on what I dabbled within single player, I’m not sure it’ll be all too useful. It seems like a few steps of extra work when you need your hands to focus on your current task. Plus, if the other players can read your emote of hey I’m chopping, they can probably see that you’ve been doing a lot of the chopping already.
Overcooked 2 brings to the table new recipes and fresh new kitchen’s to test you and your group’s mettle. Overcooked 2’s big draw is in it’s multiplayer so buyer beware if you’re planning to play alone. As I said in my review of the first game, “…be aware that you won’t find nearly as much fun to be had unless you bring together a group who will play in your living room; or kitchen; I’m not one to judge.” This time around though, you can hop into other people’s living rooms through the wonders of the internet. And yes, I’m still not one to judge where you play. But hey, the couch is more comfortable than a kitchen counter, just sayin’.
A pre-release Steam code for Overcooked 2 was provided by the publisher for review purposes.