Overcooked 2 builds on what its predecessor did best. It’s not revolutionary by any means. Within 20 minutes of my E3 gameplay demo, it felt like I had known my fellow cooks for ages despite the fact we had just met. Even though both were from England, the frantic gameplay of Overcooked 2 quickly melted any barriers. We were having a blast.
My demo began innocently enough with sushi. All we needed was to steam the rice, get a layer of seaweed, and cut fish or cucumber. Two of us had played the original game, so we were already used to screaming instructions two one another. Our third partner was just getting used to the concept. For now, the game was easy. We closed out the second level of the game with a perfect three-star rating. We were on top of the world! Unfortunately, that feeling didn’t last too long.
We skipped around a few levels, but it wasn’t long before we were getting our asses handed to us. We hopped into one dynamic level where one part was divided in half, and about every 30 seconds it would move 90 degrees to cut off part of the level’s frame.
We were constantly dealing with the shifting environment, carefully ensuring that at least one of our cooks was on each side. We weren’t always successful. At one point we could reach a boiling bowl of rice on the opposite side. Whoops. A few seconds later I was running around trying to put out a fire that had spread across our entire kitchen. Thank god for the fire extinguisher, but unfortunately, it couldn’t save us from getting zero stars. The second time around, we were much better off, managing to secure a one-star rating! I’m pretty much a world class chef at this point.
Not revolutionarily different, but an improvement
Overcooked 2 has new features as well. The most important is probably the online multiplayer mode. It’s an interesting choice. The game lives on its local cooperative play, so it will be interesting to see how the game works online. Although, I’m particularly concerned about having voice chat as it could detract from the overall experience if it’s not there.
In the past, however, Nintendo hasn’t been too fond of letting developers use voice chat in their games. I’m hopeful that Fortnite (having native voice chat) has changed this. If Overcooked 2’s online mode is to be successful, it is going to need to have that feature as well. I don’t want to put up a stupid phone dongle and an app. I want voice chat to work natively in the game.
I absolutely loved the original Overcooked. I remember playing with a buddy for five hours straight on a random night. Before starting each level, we would pause, examine every part of the level, and then strategize how we could maximize our productivity. Without fail, we would devolve into shouting. “Go chop the onions!!!” or “Sausage, sausage, sausage!!!” It might have been an awkward scene if the shouting was taken out of context, but at the moment we were both having a spectacular time.
Overcooked 2 launches on Switch on August 7. The game will cost $29.99. Will you be picking it up?