Overcooked! 2 is the sequel to 2016's Overcooked (which was a Games with Gold during 2018). When looking at sequels, it's always interesting to see what the developer did to change and possibly improve upon the original. How did Ghost Town Games and Team17 do? They knocked it out of the park!
First, I have one thing to go over about Overcooked 1. I really enjoyed it. The levels are challenging and require a lot of thought and understanding for how to plan out the levels. But it was missing something. MAJORLY missing something. And that was online gameplay. As someone who plays mostly single player, this usually doesn't bother me. But Overcooked 1 and 2 really require you to play with others. It changes the dynamics and some levels really just need that partner alongside you for the 3 star ratings.
And this where I begin talking about Overcooked! 2. The developers put in online features to allow this issue to be overcome. There were some save issues with your progress carrying over if you joined someone else's party at launch, but this has all been taken care of. Now onto the rest of the game.
Overcooked! 2 picks up in a similar fashion to Overcooked 1. You'll start by cooking up some simple dishes that require only a couple of steps to prepare. Chop and cook and plate (or some combination of this). If you're familiar with the original, these intro levels won't be too difficult. They will however show you all the mechanics (as well as some of the new ones). The big one is the ability to throw items. You can't throw everything, but being able to throw uncooked food items really adds a new wrinkle to the strategy.
So how does a round/level of Overcooked go? It's a combination of strategy and pure chaos.
1) Get a dish request
2) Beginning prepping ingredients
3) Put the dish together
4) Deliver a finished dish
From this process it just becomes about how quickly you can continue it. Levels continue to introduce mechanics and obstructions to make this harder. The game also introduces recipes requiring more prep and steps to deliver. And this all goes in line with the multiplayer.
I played mostly in multiplayer. I did some levels solo, but the game is better enjoyed with friends. The laughs I had with some friends from TA - specifically angelsk, failurewarning, Scruffinuff, and LeekyUK was invaluable. The laughs and arguments (all in good fun) really took a good game and made it excellent.
And even after the single player levels were all completed with 3 stars, Overcooked! 2 isn't over. Completing the game opens up the challenge of a 4th star (there luckily isn't an achievement for it). These challenges are insane. Perfect movement and communication is pretty much a requirement to even have a shot. The first levels of the game are even ridiculously difficult to pull off 4 stars.
The multiplayer after this adds even more hours of fun. I'll admit arcade mode is only okay since it's really just random levels in the game. But Versus mode is hilarious. Go into it with 4 people and don't select teams. Just allow the game to divide the players into 2 teams. This random element really allows personalities to clash and see how they can work together on the fly. With my friends from above, each game became an opportunity to communicate and figure out what to do. And how teams sabotage each other (being nice isn't required
While everything up to this point has been about the game, I will briefly mention the achievements. Overall, it's not too difficult. The 1.7 ratio for the game (as of January 2019) though might be because of many people having played online. Having friends makes a lot of the levels easier to complete with 3 stars (even though it adds to the score required for more stars). There are some achievements requiring you to do some tasks many times, but most of these should come through natural play.
Overall, Overcooked! 2 is one of my favorite games from 2018. Even after getting all of the achievements, I've come back to this game just to play a few rounds of Arcade or Versus with friends just to have a good time. The game doesn't require tons of skill to just jump in and play a little. Anyone can learn it and have a go. If you liked Overcooked 1 but thought it was missing something because of the local only multiplayer, then Overcooked! 2 will be the perfect game for you. Don't miss this game!