After Overcooked’s surprise success on Nintendo Switch, Team17 and Ghost Town Games have brought forward Overcooked 2, a sequel to the chaotic cooking game. In this review, we take a look at Overcooked 2 and find out whether it’s able to survive in the kitchen.
Whether you’re playing alone or with a friend, the mechanics in Overcooked 2 are simple. Follow the orders that come on the top portion of the screen and complete them by picking ingredients, slicing them, and cooking them.
Someone wants a sushi? Cook the rice, slice the fish, grab some seaweed, and put them all together on a plate and serve it up. You earn coins for serving each order successfully, and lose coins if a order is not fulfilled. You’ll be rewarded with either 1, 2, 3, or no stars depending on your performance.
Of course, it’s not that simple. Certain kitchens contain mechanics such as rollers, movable platforms, disappearing platforms, and conveyor belts, all of which raises the difficulty of the level. Some kitchens may require you to make two different types of food, and it can become a headache real quick.
The best way to get into Overcooked 2 is by playing the game’s Story Mode, where recipes and mechanics such as dashing and throwing are slowly introduced to the player without much hand holding.
While playing alone, you have to control two chefs at once. In my first hour, controlling two chefs at the same time and keeping everything in check felt really overwhelming. A few hours later, I got the hang of it so it became seamless.
There are a total of 36 stages (and 6 bonus kitchens) in Story Mode to complete, and to unlock each stage requires a certain number of stars. On average, each stage lasts between 2 to 5 minutes. There’s a lot of pressure to perform so much in a few minutes and that’s what makes things fun, fresh, and challenging.
One of the subtle features that add on to the experience is HD Rumble, which many other developers overlook or have not gave much thought. In Overcooked 2, HD Rumble is used as an important indicator, especially while playing alone.
For instance, you can have one chef cutting up a potato, which generates a really nice but subtle HD Rumble slicing effect. You’ll know when the chef is done when the vibration stops, so it kinda frees up your other chef for performing other tasks and you know when it’s time to throw that potato into the deep fryer.
HD Rumble is also used in other ways, like when there’s a fire in the kitchen or during the famous hot air balloon crash level. Each HD Rumble effect feels unique and amazingly done.
You can enjoy Story Mode alone or together with friends on the same Switch. Arcade Mode is playable alone, locally, and online, while Versus is playable locally and online.
At its core, Overcooked 2 is a party game that’s meant to be played with others. Something that I really appreciate is the multitude of options for multiplayer.
On a single Nintendo Switch, you can enjoy multiplayer with up to 3 other players. Control schemes can be mixed and matched – 2 people may be playing with a single Joy-Con, while the rest have their own Pro Controllers and Joy-Con.
Playing with family and friends in the same living room is a wonderful experience. The more people there are, the more chaotic and fun it becomes. Imagine screaming at the top of your lungs when the time is about to be up!
A highly requested feature added to Overcooked 2 is none other than online multiplayer, where players can play with strangers in a public lobby or with friends.
Communication and cooperation are very important to successfully complete a match in Overcooked 2. Due to the different level of skill and experience among players you don’t know, you’ll either have a very enjoyable run or one whereby the rest of your teammates are lost and confused.
While Overcooked 2 will support voice chat through the Nintendo Switch Online app in the future (Team17 confirms all platforms will support voice chat), the only current way to communicate with other teammates online is through emotes. Using emotes, you can signal to other players what you’re doing. Some people get it, some don’t.
I’ve battled other strangers in Versus Mode, but sad to say, after completing one match, the losers will quit just because they lost. It’s pretty disappointing to see it happen too many times. I’d also like to mention there is no point system or online ranking system in Overcooked 2 – you’re essentially playing “for fun”.
Playing together with friends online is a smooth and swift process. You can either host or search for a friend’s room right from the menu. The process takes about 30 seconds.
My biggest complain about Overcooked 2 and its online multiplayer’s performance. While the frame rate is generally smooth, I’ve encountered myself falling into the abyss, unable to pick things up, or picking up the wrong thing while playing online. I’ve also seen my chef moving on its own (yes – I’m not kidding!).
This doesn’t happen while playing with people I know locally so I’m pretty sure it’s not a matter of skill. I’m not exactly sure what the problem is, but overall it hasn’t affected the outcome of online matches yet.
Nevertheless, despite the flaws in Overcooked 2’s online multiplayer, it’s still playable and generally fun for players who can’t find anyone to play with in real life.
The game also supports local wireless multiplayer with up to 3 other Nintendo Switch consoles, but we didn’t test that out yet.
Artwork, Music, and Performance
When I started playing Overcooked 2, I immediately fell in love with its artwork and graphics. It’s nothing overly complicated but pretty to look at.
The overworld that appears in Story Mode is one great example of how much attention and thought they’ve put into designing it. It’s simple but beautiful to look at.
Every single kitchen in the game has a unique layout and one of seven different themes. Each kitchen felt like a “moving painting” to me. It’s very easy to tell apart the food, stove, chopping board, and other parts of the kitchen from each other and the theme itself, which is important in a game like Overcooked 2. The UI is simple to use and understand.
As for the game’s sound effects and music, there’s nothing much to write home about, they are pretty standard and help to get the job done.
There are no noticeable differences in terms of frame rate and performance whether you’re playing in TV Mode or Handheld Mode. With the exception of one kitchen, I have not encountered any frame rate issues while playing alone.
Overcooked 2 is a really fun party-action-cooking game. I’ve enjoyed it thoroughly whether I’m playing offline, with people I know at home or outside, or with strangers online.
Honestly, I haven’t played a multiplayer game that’s as good as Overcooked 2 for a very long time. I was really immersed in it! Despite its flaws in online multiplayer which I believe will be fixed in due time, I think it deserves full marks. Overcooked 2 has the polish of a Nintendo game at an affordable price.
- Many ways to play multiplayer
- Lots of control options
- Beautiful artwork and graphics
- Challenging kitchens
- Anyone can pick up and play
- It’s really fun
- Online multiplayer seems a bit wonky
Soup Verdict: Best Onion Soup Ever!
A review copy was provided by the publisher for the purpose of this review.