If you’ve ever wanted to test the strength of a relationship with your partner, family, friend or foe with a video game then you’ve hit the jackpot, because Overcooked 2 is the ultimate relationship litmus test. Mark my words though, you will be called names, swear words will be more common than a Jim Jefferies show and cracks will appear in even the sturdiest partnership. But boy will you have a blast in the process, as Overcooked 2 delivers an impressively chaotic and entertaining sequel that reinforces its status as an exceptional couch co-op experience.
Lean, green grillin’ team
For those familiar with Overcooked’s recipe don’t expect major changes to the formula. It’s largely a reheat of what made the original such a hit, and as they say, ‘if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it’. This time around our culinary heroes are making their way across the Onion Kingdom to stop the rising of the Unbread, unlocking new chefs (including some old favourites) in the process. Making this gastronomic resistance more challenging is the fact that the architects who designed the kitchens appear to have never studied architecture, or at least finished it, with their sole purpose seemingly to create extreme levels of stress and panic for chefs (or cooks – depending who you’re playing with).
Players will have to battle shifting landscapes, portals, conveyor belts, spot fires and giant holes in the ground as they prepare and cook meals, and thankfully Overcooked 2’s menu has been overhauled, with a number of new recipes for players to cook…and burn. Whether it’s chopping fish for sushi or grilling cheese and patties for burgers, Overcooked’s simple control scheme helps mitigate the pressure and mayhem as orders start to pile in, and once the pressure starts to rise and frustration takes control it can make for some hilarious moments, with food, cutlery and utensils strewn across the kitchen’s surfaces. The only negative is that the recipes can become a bit repetitive when playing long sessions.
Table number 45, your dim sims are ready
If you’ve ever watched Gordan Ramsey tear shreds off one of his cooks then you can imagine the spray you’ll cop from your partner if you fall into the abyss with a hamburger with the lot and cost your team three stars
One addition that is a welcome boon to the game is the ability to throw raw food. Need a chicken cut but can’t get to the chopping board because the floor has shifted and blocked your access? Well throw it to your partner and get them to cut it and pass it back. It seems simple but it can save precious seconds and allow you to focus on the rice that is moments from burning the kitchen down. Learning to multitask is part of Overcooked’s fun, and sometimes you’ll need to be the bigger person and take one for the team and wash the dirty dishes, because much like real life everyone forgets about the bloody dirty dishes, only wondering where they are when there’s none left.
Once you become accustomed to Overcooked 2’s mechanics and a kitchen’s dangers, your team of cartoon chefs will become a well-oiled machine, serving and preparing meals with ease and racking up the points. However, due to the madness that Overcooked can create it means that a costly calamity is never far away, and if you’ve ever watched Gordan Ramsey tear shreds off one of his cooks then you can imagine the spray you’ll cop from your partner if you fall into the abyss with a hamburger with the lot and cost your team three stars.
The game’s campaign can be played solo or with up to four players, and the more chefs you add the more hectic things can become as players themselves become hazards. There’s also a versus mode for players to cook off against one another at home for ultimate glory and players can take their talents online see if they stack up against the Iain Hewitsons and Geoff Janszs of the digital cooking world. While it is a neat addition to duke it out with others around the globe, the online doesn’t quite capture the same level of chaos as the game’s couch co-op fun.
Sponsored by WellPlayed
Overcooked 2 takes everything that made the original so loveable and garnishes it with a few added features, a new menu, and some whacky new kitchen layouts that create some hectic and hilarious co-op fun. It’s a testament that such a basic concept can generate hours of entertainment and laughter, and one that will test even the strongest of bonds.
Reviewed on PS4 Pro / Review code supplied by publisher