Overcooked 2 Video Review! - MojoPlays

Overcooked 2 Video Review! - MojoPlays

VOICE OVER: Andrew Labelle
The original Overcooked really took over our living rooms in 2016. Honestly, the game was a ton of fun, with a few minor flaws, which ultimately added to the chaos. The sequel, Overcooked 2 spent a bit of extra time in the oven, did it come out well done, or did the one need a bit more time to simmer?

Reviewed by Ty Richardson

Fire extinguishers, ready!

“Overcooked” was one of the most delightful surprises to come out of 2016. Thanks to its charming visuals and casual gameplay, developer Ghost Town Games was nominated for a handful of awards, taking home two of their four BAFTA nominations. A couple of years later, we find ourselves back in the chaotic kitchens with “Overcooked 2”. With promises of new mechanics, worlds, and recipes, can the sequel provide an experience to satisfy our taste buds or will this end up like a lump of mystery meat from the school cafeteria? And most importantly, how many food puns can we make before the end of this review?

Much like its predecessor, “Overcooked 2” boasts a story that is quirky, yet charming. After reading from the Necro-NOMNOM-icon, the Onion King unwittingly causes the Unbread to arise. (Yes, we’re dealing with zombified bread.) Frustrated with your team’s lack of cooperation, the Onion King sends you out to strengthen your teamwork while he and Kevin stave off the Unbread.

As you journey across the Onion Kingdom, you and your team of up to three friends will need to conquer over thirty stages, with each stage having their own gimmicks and recipes. One stage may force you to avoid oncoming traffic while another may involve magical staircases and mystical portals. With every kitchen having its own unique layouts, the gameplay never gets tiring. You’ll constantly figure out ways to improve your strategies, which may, in turn, assist you in the more difficult levels, later on. While most of the game’s stages contain new features, “Overcooked” veterans may be able to easily predict what some kitchens may throw at them. There were a few layouts where I could tell tables would be floating or ingredients would be switching sides. It doesn’t exactly dampen the experience, but it does make some areas feel like a cakewalk. Luckily, other levels would make up for this by throwing something completely unexpected.

“Overcooked 2” hasn’t changed too much in mechanics, but there’s enough to make things feel as new as freshly baked bread. The most notable new feature is the ability to throw ingredients to your teammates. It won’t take long before you start thinking thoughts as devilish as a deviled egg. (Really, it didn’t take long for me to start drowning my friend in lettuce during the tutorial.) Antics aside, learning to throw will become key in your endeavors. Some stages may require precise throwing, and you can throw ingredients into pots and pans, which will certainly be handy for any speedrunners.

Speaking of new appliances, “Overcooked 2” has tweaked its formula in a few subtle, yet noticeable ways. As you progress, you’ll learn new recipes like sushi, burgers, and cakes. Don’t let the game’s basic appearance fool you! Some of these recipes will require multiple steps or may have interchangeable ingredients. It’ll be easy to get lost in the madness and mistake a sausage pizza for a pepperoni or make a hamburger instead of a cheeseburger. The same applies for how you use the kitchen as some of them will contain different equipment but also have food that can be prepped in different ways. So, you’ll not only have to be fast in fulfilling orders, but you’ll need to pay attention to everything you use! Time is of the essence, and it could potentially harm your score if you’re not looking while you’re cooking.

I can commend “Overcooked 2” for making things more challenging while expanding with new ideas. Although, that isn’t to say I like everything about the game. The reason I haven’t gone into the story too deep is because there isn’t much. The Onion King tells you the Unbread are getting stronger, but you only see them a couple of times throughout the adventure. It would have been nice to see them as a type of hazard or something. By the time I reached the final level, I completely forgot about the Unbread, and the abrupt ending made the experience kind of disappointing. Needless to say, the plot didn’t feel close to half-baked.

Thankfully, “Overcooked 2” has more meat on its bones to compensate for the thin plot. On top of the main campaign, completionists may feel compelled to revisit levels in order to earn all three stars on every single level. That’s not all! You may also find a few unexplored areas that haven’t unlocked for you yet. This is because “Overcooked 2” provides bonus stages known as the “Kevin” levels. These levels will truly test your cooking prowess, and earning all three stars will prove to be challenging. However, each Kevin level can only be unlocked through secret criteria. So, you might be spending quite a bit of time trying to access these. It might be best to find a walkthrough, as “Overcooked 2” doesn’t provide many hints on how to unlock them.

As someone who is a semi-completionist, I’m happy to report that “Overcooked 2” boasts more achievements to keep you playing. While they don’t ask for anything too crazy, they may be too simple for those looking for a challenge. You can easily nab every achievement just by playing the game. For PS4 owners, this is an easy Platinum trophy.

(Extra section added by Dave:)
We also checked out the Nintendo Switch version, as the original game notably had some performance issues when it launched on that platform. Thankfully this time we're happy to report that this doesn't seem to be the case for the sequel. The game ran at a consistent framerate in both docked and handheld mode with no noticeable slowdown. So Switch owners shouldn't feel like they're getting the weaker version this time around.

“Overcooked 2” delivers almost the same experience without letting things get flatter than one-week-old soda. There’s enough to satisfy returning players while keeping gameplay accessible to newcomers. Unfortunately, the recycled gimmicks and thin plot might leave veterans a bit ho-hum. For anyone looking for a fun multiplayer experience that can be completed in five to six hours, “Overcooked 2” might be right up your alley! Just don’t expect too many new things.