We have all had our close calls in the kitchen, whether it’s something as small as burning a slice of toast or… well, burning the house down. It’s a common thing that most normal people wouldn’t call fun. At its core, Overcooked! 2 is a game that portrays those experiences in a more enjoyable, less life-threatening way.
Overcooked! 2, developed by Team17 and Ghost Town Games, is a simulation game that sees you and/or a group of up to 4 friends serving complicated dishes in even tougher kitchens in a variety of game modes: story, arcade and versus. Overcooked! 2’s story sees your army of chefs fighting against a new rising threat, possibly the puniest enemies I’ve ever seen in a game to date, “The Unbread”. Your goal is to get in the kitchen and make enough food to keep the enemy from eating everyone in the Onion Kingdom. Arcade mode has you working as a team either online or locally to get dishes out quickly and rack up points in the process. Finally, versus mode sees you working against other player(s) to come out on top, again, either online or locally.
Now, every mode within Overcooked! 2 pretty much throws you in at the deep end, making it more difficult for newcomers of the series to become familiar with the controls. However, as with anything, with a little bit of perseverance, the controls of Overcooked! 2 will be familiar…but far from easy. If you hadn’t already heard, Overcooked! can be an extremely frustrating game that can often see more kitchens on fire than buildings in 1666 London. Surprisingly, this doesn’t make the game any less fun, that is providing you have the patience to not throw your controller out of a window whenever something goes even slightly wrong. After all, who doesn’t like a challenge?
The story provides a good few hours’ worth of content and is the mode that most players will be playing through to improve their skills so they can dominate other players in the other two modes, arcade and versus. Arcade is probably the best mode you can play to improve your skills as it gives you a variety of different stages that differ in difficulty. Once you’ve spent some time in arcade, you may well be brave enough to play versus mode online. This could be especially difficult if you’re a newcomer to the series as it is probable that you will be playing against someone who has been around since the first Overcooked! released.
The area where Overcooked! 2 shines the most is in its local multiplayer. The game was pretty much designed to be played with a group in couch co-op; it’s an obvious fit for this title. In my opinion, due to its design, the Nintendo Switch is the ideal console for this game. The Joy-Con controllers are ideal for any kind of local multiplayer, and the controls aren’t impaired due to the small controller size as the controls for this surprisingly complicated game are only mapped over a few buttons. It’s not only the multiplayer that makes the Switch the ideal console for this game, the portability is great for Overcooked! 2 due to its pick-up-and-play gameplay structure and short match durations.
The few issues I have with Overcooked! 2 are minimal but significant. My first issue is that when playing the online game modes, it only takes one person to mess the whole thing up for the team and ultimately cause a failure and waste some precious time. This issue is more about the online community than the game itself, but I feel it needs to be outlined to prepare you. You’ll know how this feels if you have ever attempted a Grand Theft Auto Online heist with strangers. There is also very little you can do to communicate with random players in online modes which made it even more challenging than it already is. These issues really showed the limitations of the overall online experience in Overcooked! 2, although it was never going to be as fun as the local multiplayer that fans have grown to love.
Developers: Team17, Ghost Town Games
Platforms: PS4, Xbox One, PC, Nintendo Switch
Release Date: 7th August 2018
For more information on Overcooked! 2, click HERE
For more competitive goodness, read our review of Sushi Strikers: The Way of Sushido HERE