If the dish works, don't go messing with the recipe.
Overcooked 2 is Overcooked with a series of quality of life improvements, and I’m very okay with that.
Available on Windows PC, Xbox One, PS4 and Switch, the latest from Ghost Town Games takes the familiar cooking chaos of the original and adds several improvements including online play, emotes, more chefs, dynamic levels, new actions and recipes. Best yet, Ghost Town seems to have gotten my memo about ridiculous, random-numbered Gamerscore in the original Overcooked and has reined it in for the sequel. There’s nothing but 0s and 5s to be had, Xbox players.
For those unfamiliar to the franchise, Overcooked 2 is a party game for 1-4 players where co-operation is key. Controlling adorable chefs that range from alligators to cats to aliens, your goals are simple: follow recipes across a range of kooky kitchens to create meals à la carte. If you follow recipes, work well with your co-chefs and deliver several meals in a set time, you’ll score big points. A story mode requires high scoring to progress through, while other modes can be played with friends to find out how dysfunctional you are.
Playing with friends in casual levels, either standard or remixed, is where Overcooked 2 shines rather than a weird story mode that involves zombie baked goods, aka (and wait for it…) the unbread. While online multiplayer is a nice touch, the point of Overcooked is to have multiple people sitting on a couch mucking about. It’s as true now as it was when the original was first released.
To those returning, little tweaks and additions as welcome. A dash button provides a little extra boost of speed, as useful trying to cross a moving platform as it is getting from a burner to a plate. Chefs now can throw ingredients too – as designated by a spotted line that shows your trajectory – useful to hand-off goods but also to deal with dynamically shifting kitchens that suddenly present gaping holes where kitchen floor once stood. If you fail – or succeed – chefs can now express frustration or joy with fun little emotes.
Just save the emotes for the end of the level, boys and girls.
Playing Overcooked 2, it’s evident that Ghost Games understood what worked and what didn’t in the original. New mechanics feel like an evolution of core gameplay rather than the likes of a DLC pack that adds a couple new chefs or kitchens. Even new recipes like different varieties of sushi feel fun and fresh, with different components that need to be left raw or cooked.
We played the sequel on Nintendo Switch, and it has equal amounts of positives as negatives. We found the smaller screen presented in handheld mode made it easier to focus on tasks in single-player mode, though it did require pixel-perfect moves that meant the difference between grabbing, placing and chopping or nothing at all. While players can huddle around the Switch’s screen in a pinch, couch (or online) co-op works best on a TV.
For the low, low price of $49.95 AUD, you can’t go wrong with Overcooked 2 – though be aware that the Switch version is oddly $10 AUD more (at least when talking about physical copies at retail). If you fell in love with the original or love a good party game, be sure to place your order for this spicy meatball now.
Overcooked 2 was reviewed using a promotional code on Nintendo Switch, as provided by the publisher. Click here to learn more about Stevivor’s scoring scale.