Who’s up for sec­onds? If you can get served...

XBox: The Official Magazine (US) - - CONTENTS - Daniella Lu­cas

“Please sir, can we have some more?” we asked af­ter Ghost Town Games’ first serv­ing of chaotic kitchen ca­pers. Thank­fully, un­like in Oliver Twist, they’re a gen­er­ous sort, and have given us a huge ex­tra dol­lop of co­op­er­a­tive chop­ping and bak­ing with se­quel Over­cooked 2.

This time, the Onion King has ac­ci­den­tally raised the ‘un bread’ af­ter read­ing through an oth­er­worldly recipe book and they’re start­ing to de­vour ev­ery­thing. You’ll have to travel to hone your skills as an ex­pert chef in mul­ti­ple kitchens in or­der to van­quish these yeasty fiends. It’s all very silly and stuffed with over­baked puns, but it’s a cute set-up to start you on your new culi­nary tour. At first you’ll be chop­ping sal­ads in sim­ple kitchens, but even­tu­ally you’ll be jug­gling bak­ing sev­eral kinds of cake in a stage full of con­veyer belts and other haz­ards. It’s ut­ter chaos, but de­light­ful all the same.

The lev­els are even more var­ied than the first game, in­creas­ing in dif­fi­culty as the game pro­gresses. From kitchen rafts where you have to chuck in­gre­di­ents across to each other, to mines full of karts that change up where kitchen el­e­ments are. Our fa­vorite is the hot-air bal­loon caught in a storm that sees you serv­ing sim­ple sal­ads un­til it fi­nally plum­mets into a sushi shop with an en­tirely new lay­out and new re­quests for maki rolls. That sud­den change forces you to mix up your ap­proach as you ad­just to the new dishes you’re ex­pected to make, and re­sults in some fun chal­lenges.

Good mix­ers

How­ever, some of the recipes get quite com­pli­cated, es­pe­cially if you’re on a level that uses mix­ers to beat things to­gether for cakes. You have to throw quite a few things into them be­fore chuck­ing them in the oven to bake, but while most in­gre­di­ents can be thrown straight in, you in­ex­pli­ca­bly need to chop up honey to put in them, which feels weirdly out of place for some­thing that you usu­ally get in liq­uid form. Steam­ing dumplings also feels a lit­tle odd, as you chuck flour straight in the mixer with your meat or fish, which doesn’t sound very tasty to us. They’re mi­nor com­plaints, and it makes sense to do them this way from a game­play sim­plic­ity per­spec­tive, but it does throw you off slightly when the cook­ing process doesn’t al­ways feel nat­u­ral.

To bal­ance out some of the more com­pli­cated dishes the re­quire­ments to reach cer­tain star rat­ings have been low­ered, and the stars needed to un­lock later lev­els are also lower. So while it may be some­thing of a strug­gle to get out much seafood pasta it won’t ham­per your abil­ity to un­lock lev­els and see the rest of the story. It does feel a lit­tle off­bal­ance though. In the first game the chal­lenge came in per­fect­ing your skills over time, some­times re­vis­it­ing older lev­els with im­proved skills to get more stars to un­lock lev­els, but here it’s weighted more to­ward try­ing to get

“A solid se­cond serv­ing of one of the best co-op games cur­rently avail­able”

a de­cent han­dle on the recipes in the first place.

While Over­cooked 2 is best served with oth­ers, you can play it solo. You’ll have two chefs to con­trol that you swap be­tween with a but­ton press, so while you set one chef to chop­ping meat, the other can boil pasta or clean plates to serve up on. It’s a lit­tle tricky split­ting your thought process in two dif­fer­ent di­rec­tions, but it’s work­able.

Va­ri­ety’s the spice

As well as the main story mode to play through, this se­quel in­tro­duces two new modes—ar­cade and ver­sus—to add more va­ri­ety. Ar­cade is great for par­ties, and sees you play­ing a ran­dom level from the game for a high score in quick rounds. Ver­sus re­ally changes things up, though, as the lev­els are de­signed for com­pet­i­tive rather than co-op­er­a­tive play. If four of you are play­ing you’re split into two pairs fac­ing off against each other, and if it’s just two of you to start then you’re each given an ex­tra chef so you have two to jump be­tween.

The ver­sus stages are far more tricksy than any­thing from the story mode—in a wa­ter-based level you com­pete on two sep­a­rate float­ing kitchens that ro­tate around each other, mak­ing it dif­fi­cult to keep track of where you and your in­com­ing or­ders are on the screen. The hard­est we en­coun­tered was in a mine where the area into which you put your com­pleted or­ders switched sides—if you let your at­ten­tion drop and ac­ci­den­tally play your per­fect tacos on the red team’s belt where your blue team one was orig­i­nally they’ll get the credit for your or­der and your points. Some­thing we learned the hard way un­for­tu­nately. It’s won­der­fully mean, and a great op­por­tu­nity to get some se­ri­ously sneaky vic­to­ries in over your friends.

On top of all of that, you’ve also got loads of new chef skins to un­lock, and se­cret lev­els to find on a re­ally cute over­world map while tour­ing in your lit­tle bus. Yes, some of the new recipes are al­most cer­tainly overly com­pli­cated, but this is still a solid se­cond serv­ing of one of the best co-op games cur­rently avail­able, and an ut­ter must if you like play­ing games with friends.

Left You can play solo by switch­ing be­tween two chefs and giv­ing them tasks.Far Left Ver­sus mode gets su­per tough to keep track of if it’s just one of you on each team.

right The Onion King is mak­ing a real hash of things again, so it’s up to you to sort it out.

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