It’s been almost two years since developer Ghost Town Games released Overcooked, one of the most fun couch co-op games ever, which got saucepans and tempers boiling over alike. Philipp’s test from back then gives you an overview of the premiere of the kitchen battle series. Part two has now been released for Xbox One, Playstation 4 and Nintendo Switch and makes the hearts of digital, stress-tested amateur cooks beat faster again. You can find out in my test whether Overcooked 2 is a worthy successor to the famous first part.
Crazy story without a common thread – the attack of the unemployed
The story is just as crazy as in the first part of Overcooked this time. The Onion Kingdom is in danger when the Onion King awakens a horde of unbread by reading from an old cookbook. Um, unbread? Yes, exactly from zombie breads. They have an insatiable hunger and it is up to us to satisfy this hunger. For this we set off in story mode on behalf of the onion king in a food truck to learn new recipes and improve our cooking skills. Unfortunately, while we drive from level to level on the map, there is no trace of the story. Every once in a while we’ll revisit the Onion King for a light-hearted chat about the zombie bread threat. Here the story could have been given a little more space, even if it seems a bit crazy. It’s always funny and made me smile during the intro. It’s a shame, because the story mode isn’t called that for nothing.
New recipes and levels – still (k) old coffee?
As in the first part, Overcooked is still about processing incoming orders as quickly as possible and satisfying the hunger of the restaurant guests. You learn a recipe before the start of a level, which you then have to cook quickly. Cook rice, fillet the fish and wrap it in seaweed – the portion of sushi is ready. The respective architectural conditions in the form of shifting kitchen parts make preparation considerably more difficult. In addition, the orders appearing at the top left are sometimes different and you have to be careful whether the next portions of sushi were ordered with salmon, surimi or purely vegetarian with cucumber. If you hand out dishes that weren’t ordered or if you dawdle and don’t serve the guests within a certain time, it tears a hole in the cash register. Because the aim of each level is always to achieve a certain turnover in order to reach the next level. As the game progresses, the recipes become more and more complicated and the physical laws of the kitchen seem to be abandoned completely. Then there are also stressful elements such as a lack of plates because you forgot to wash them up again or cooking pots that were burning and the fire quickly spread throughout the kitchen and had to be extinguished. In combination withWith the still rather spongy controls, the potential for freaking out and having fun is very high. All in all, Overcooked 2 has remained true to its predecessor and differs only in that it is now also possible to throw raw food to bring even more speed into the game and save walking distances. The old recipes such as burgers, pizza and co. are now joined by sushi, cakes, pasta with meat sauces, pancakes and steamed dishes.
New game modes – finally sink into the kitchen chaos online
As with part 1, Overcooked 2 can also be played alone by using a button to switch between two chefs, but the whole thing is only really fun in co-op with 1-3 friends. While in the first part you were limited to the couch co-op, which still has the greatest potential for fun, you can now finally compete online to simmer. Because in addition to the story mode, there is also an arcade and versus mode. Private online sessions with friends are available, but both modes can also be played with total strangers. In order to communicate with them, the possibility of emojis was introduced. However, these are not enough, especially for private sessions, and the lack of a reasonable voice chat on the Nintendo Switch is painfully noticeable. Nevertheless, the online mode is an important innovation that allows you to play the game even when no one is available to play along.
Fader aftertaste – faulty localization, frequent loading times & manageable scope
Unfortunately, Overcooked 2 is not perfect and has one or the other bland aftertaste. The partly faulty and incomplete localization is a little less annoying. So some words have not been translated correctly. This catches the eye right at the beginning when the controls are explained in an overview and also appears from time to time as the game progresses. The sometimes very frequent loading times have a much greater negative impact. It somehow worked better in the previous version. Both in the online and in the story mode you can admire the light blue loading bar again and again and too often for my taste. It is also not possible to directly repeat a level that has already been played without waiting patiently. In terms of scope, this isn’t a lavish feast, but more of a manageable snack. In the story mode, the game comes with a total of 36 different levels – that sounds like a lot at first – but for die-hard overcookers like me, these are quickly played through. A professional or endless mode would have been nice here.
Overall, Overcooked 2 is in no way inferior to its predecessor. With the new game modes and the option to finally let the cooking pots boil over online, one of the biggest criticisms of the first part is gone. Nevertheless, the whole thing is a little lacking in scope and innovation in the overall concept. Here we can perhaps still hope for a funny DLC like in part 1. However, fans and novice cooks with a fable for crazy and insane multiplayer action can again reach for the wooden spoon without hesitation.