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Review

Overcooked 2 Review - A Great Second Course

  • First Released Aug 7, 2018
    released
  • Reviewed Aug 7, 2018
  • NS

Couch co-op potatoes.

Following 2016's co-op cooking hit, Overcooked 2 introduces a fresh set of kitchens and recipes to conquer. Like in the first game, simple controls and a cute, cartoony style lend levity to intense dinner rushes where one mistake can lead to culinary disaster. The fun and chaos of playing with friends is preserved in the sequel, as is the far less exciting reality of playing solo. And while the added online play can't compare to in-person antics, the new throwing mechanic and a host of ridiculous kitchen layouts make for a delightfully frenetic follow-up to a couch co-op favorite.

Like the original, Overcooked 2 takes you from one poorly laid out kitchen to the next, tasking you with cooking as many dishes as possible within a set time limit. Whether alone or with friends, each kitchen poses its own set of problems and hurdles; conveyor belts make basic movement more difficult, floating rafts and hot air balloons cause kitchens to shift under your feet, and the sink is usually nowhere near the dirty plates. It can be hard to figure out how to approach each level, but it's very easy for even the best strategies to devolve into chaos.

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Failing is just as fun as success, and Overcooked 2 still serves both the party crowd and more competitive players beautifully. Nothing about cooking is simple except for the controls--each task, like chopping ingredients or washing dishes, requires a single button. The rest is a balancing act that demands precise communication as well as adaptability, because things usually go wrong. The urgent beeping of food that's about to burn can quickly turn into panicked yelling and possibly a fire. It's often a comedy of errors, especially with the max of four people, and successfully serving up dishes at all is a triumph worth celebrating.

Once you get past the initial stress of cooking in a nonsensical kitchen, you can actually start to strategize. With two players, you'll probably put more mental energy toward juggling various tasks, while with more co-chefs, you'll need to be careful not to run into anyone else. There's a very different kind of satisfaction in settling into a groove with your team, timing things perfectly, and maximizing your score. (Plus, calling out "Order up!" just doesn't get old.) It's also an enticing reason to chase higher and higher scores in the arcade mode and challenge another experienced two-person team in the versus mode.

While much of the basic formula remains the same, Overcooked 2 adds the ability to throw raw ingredients. It's a relatively small addition, but it smartly adds to the chaos without overcomplicating it. A block of cheese flying by as you're chopping a tomato makes the kitchen feel more hectic, but it's actually extremely efficient--you can throw meat directly into a frying pan to save time or toss some fish across a moving platform that's blocking your path. Many of the levels take full advantage of the new mechanic, with kitchens split into two parts that intermittently come together. It often makes more sense to station one team member in one part of the kitchen, tossing ingredients over as needed, so you don't run the risk of trapping everyone in one area while things shift.

Overcooked 2 also adds online play, a fine idea that's far less compatible with the best parts of the game. It's a different kind of challenge to cook with limited communication--especially on Switch, thanks to the lack of built-in voice chat--but playing online lacks the urgency of playing with people in the same room. A bit of lag, too, can ruin the flow or cause you to misclick. It's a welcome feature if your co-op partner is far away, though, and better suited for completionists rather than those looking to goof off.

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Playing alone is also the domain of completionists, as it's kind of a chore--you switch between two chefs, and it's a matter of smart task management without the fun of communicating and screwing up with other people. While the more complicated kitchens seem impossible to tackle on your own, a lower score threshold means you can still get the full three stars even if you only served a few dishes. Nothing is out of your reach alone, but success just isn't as satisfying.

Overcooked 2 undoubtedly shines in local co-op and the versus arcade modes. New recipes and obstacles provide a fresh challenge for veterans, but it remains approachable for new players with simple controls and short playtimes. The new throwing mechanic, too, adds a new dimension to both strategy and the inevitable chaos without overcomplicating things. It's a strong foundation, and with the right friends, Overcooked 2 is one of the best couch co-op games around.

Back To Top
The Good
New recipes and kitchen obstacles give veteran chefs a fresh challenge
Screwing up can be just as fun as trying for a high score
New throwing mechanic is a great strategic addition and make things a little sillier in the process
The Bad
Playing solo lacks the excitement and satisfaction of playing with others
Online play can't capture the magic of in-person antics
8
Great
About GameSpot's Reviews

About the Author

Kallie played around 10 hours of Overcooked 2, splitting time between single-player, two-player co-op, and four-player co-op. She was able to get online and try some co-op there as well. A code was provided for the purposes of this review.
27 Comments  RefreshSorted By 
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Avatar image for silv3rst0rm
silv3rst0rm

The new throwing mechanic is a game-changing feature that makes it even more fun!

I feared it would be hard to manage/master but it's pretty well done and easy to use as the landing of the item you throw is a bit "sticky". See it like some kind of "assist" that snaps the thrown item into place on the landing tile.

I totally loved Overcooked and had a blast playing with my GF and daughter but this one is even more fun!

I bought the first game on PS4, then bought it for the Switch to have it on the move.
The Switch gameplay felt lacking tho, the FPS was definately lower which made the game seem much less responsive than the PS4 version.

Could anyone confirm if the problem persists in OC2?
Anyone cared to play the switch version?
Has this "problem" been fixed?
Does the game run better and the actions feel more responsive?

I tought I'd give the switch another "chance" buying it for it instead of PS4 but didn't...
On PS4 it runs perfect but now that it has online features, I'd totally want to have it on Switch as well but if the gameplay is laggy and unresponsive, it'd be a waste of money as I'd play it once and dust it forever. (Like I did for the first title on switch...)

Avatar image for snugglebear
snugglebear

Looks like a great game that would drive me absolutely crazy.

Avatar image for GTR12
GTR12

Not one review site can answer the 1 simple question, can you play local and online co-op at the same time?

eg; 2 people on 1 system locally playing with 2 different online friends. Like rocket league can do.

Avatar image for SheriffDaniel
SheriffDaniel

@GTR12: Dunno if you got your answer yet but I just got done playing Overcooked 2 on the PS4 and can confirm that you can mix local and online. My sister and her friend joined locally and an invite let me join online. It all happens right on the main screen before you choose a play mode.

Avatar image for GTR12
GTR12

@SheriffDaniel: That's only 1/4 of the answer, 2 players locally with 1 invite online.

What about 2 local inviting another 2 local but online (2v2)? or 2 local inviting 1 online and then another online (so 2v1v1)? or all online (1v1v1v1)?

Avatar image for SheriffDaniel
SheriffDaniel

@GTR12:

It works in any combination.

Avatar image for Gelugon_baat
Gelugon_baat

@GTR12: I did some searching about that and oh grud, it's unbelievably complicated.

Here, read Coin-Drop's article on this; for some strange reason, certain permutations of multiplayer works (e.g. 3 local vs 1 online) while others don't (e.g. 2 local vs 2 others online on local co-op). Crazy shit.

That said, this is really technical stuff. I don't expect game sites like GameSpot to actually consider such things, especially if they are staffed with pick-up-and-play people instead of the pick-up-and-take-apart pedants.

(Peter Brown is one that I know that does this, but the others don't - unless there's some new staffer that I don't know about - I haven't been following changes in GameSpot staff for more than half a year.)

Avatar image for GTR12
GTR12

@Gelugon_baat: That article is the reason for my question lol, the article says "No to 2v2" but if you read the next sentence "Yes to 2v1v1" isn't that the same as 2 players local vs 2 other local players connected over the internet?

From my understanding "2v1v1" means 2 local vs 1 over the internet vs another over the internet, isn't that harder to achieve than 2v2?

Avatar image for Gelugon_baat
Gelugon_baat

@GTR12: Dude, I have no idea man. It's so ambiguous; it seems like the dudes in that screenshot already know what they are talking about and had not written their statements with the consideration that other people might be reading them.

Avatar image for Gelugon_baat
Gelugon_baat

@GTR12: Yeah, it should be harder. The only inkling that I have about this matter is that it's a host/guest technical problem, e.g. the 2 locals are the host, and the others who join have to join as guests.

Avatar image for GTR12
GTR12

@Gelugon_baat: Hmm, that's a good thought on host/guest but its so confusing that its putting me off buying it, the reason I got the first one, was because it was simple.

Ah well, time to go ask people that have bought it already to test what works and doesn't.

Avatar image for DarkFrankhs
DarkFrankhs

Annoyingly the first game was almost impossible after the first few levels while with 3 players (it puts you in the same scenarios as the 4 player one)- wondering if this problem has been solved?

Avatar image for silv3rst0rm
silv3rst0rm

@DarkFrankhs: Scenarios are the same for 1,2,3,4 players indeed but the scores asked to clear stages are much much lower/higher.

To me, the game felt fair and the challenge being single / multiplayer seemed similar.

In single player tho you need to learn to manage both chefs and switch like crazy to avoid "Downtimes" during chopping, washing dishes, etc...

I cleared the game 3 starring everyting in single player than cleared my save and did it again with my GF.

Last couple of levels were challenging, expansions were also but all in all, it didn't feel "cheap" in its difficulty!

Avatar image for Ohaidere
Ohaidere

It's beginning to look a lot like wii-iiiiiiii

Avatar image for gamingdevil800
gamingdevil800

@Ohaidere: You?

Avatar image for Ohaidere
Ohaidere

@gamingdevil800: Strong launch, a string of fantastic first party titles followed by a slew of downgraded ports, niche titles (like this), shovelware with major releases few and far between.

Avatar image for sakaixx
sakaiXx

@Ohaidere: its nintendo. The usuals.

Avatar image for Bread_or_Decide
Bread_or_Decide

I wish the first game had a one player mode where you didn't have to switch between characters.

Avatar image for silv3rst0rm
silv3rst0rm

@Bread_or_Decide: It makes the game even more challenging and thrilling to get to do so!

To be honest that's what allowed me to have even more fun in single player than multiplayer!

It's like playing multiplayer with yourself!

It rocked!

Avatar image for juninhotorres
juninhotorres

love the first game! gonna try this one out for sure! =]

Overcooked! 2 More Info

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  • First Released Aug 7, 2018
    released
    • Linux
    • Macintosh
    • + 4 more
    • Nintendo Switch
    • PC
    • PlayStation 4
    • Xbox One
    8.1
    Average Rating8 Rating(s)
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    Developed by:
    Ghost Town Games Ltd.
    Published by:
    Team 17
    Genre(s):
    Action, Arcade
    Content is generally suitable for all ages. May contain minimal cartoon, fantasy or mild violence and/or infrequent use of mild language.
    Everyone
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