Ready, Steady, Cook!
Rage inducing co-op party game Overcooked! is back to serve up a smorgasbord of delights on both Xbox Series X and S. Overcooked! All You Can Eat is a comprehensive compilation containing the original Overcooked!, the much loved second course, Overcooked! 2, alongside all of the previously released DLC in one definitive fine dining experience.
Refined and rebuilt for a new generation
Ghost Town Games, supported by publisher Team17, haven’t simply crammed all the content into one meal deal sized box. Both games have been overhauled and rebuilt from the ground up for the new generation of consoles and now boasts 4K 60FPS performance. The visual design is bright and crisp, even on the S, with a childlike charm that would feel right at home in the latest Pixar offering. Load times on both consoles are lightning quick so you’ll be playing in no time, as you would expect.
Alongside this, a number of tweaks and quality of life improvements have been implemented to round the experience and further expand accessibility with assist mode. The OG Overcooked! now features online multiplayer, a feature that was sorely missing from its inaugural outing. And if all that wasn’t enough, amongst the 200+ levels you’ll even find exclusive stages in The Peckish Rises!, new chefs and an ample amount of modes. The developers have certainly pulled out all the stops to tempt gamers to dig into their pockets once more.
Only the finest ingredients will do.
Underneath all of the additions and refinements, the core gameplay mechanic remains. If you haven’t had the pleasure of playing the series previously the premise is simple, complete a series of set dishes within a given time limit. Sounds pretty simple.
The first job of the day is to check the recipe, locate the key ingredients and prepare them before finally pulling it all together in the oven and serving. Sounds pretty simple still, right? It certainly starts that way at least. The first few levels will ease you into the gameplay with basic dishes allowing you to find your feet. The difficulty soon ramps up and mixes in a whole host of hurdles to overcome, including your own team members. Levels tend to be themed and often have unique layouts adding variety to each round. One day you could be cruising on the back of a lorry or tackling moving appliances aboard a pirate ship. Taking your eye off the prize will end in chaos, missed dishes, burnt food or no clean plates to serve. Thankfully health and safety have given your kitchen the once over and provided fire extinguishers for the inevitable burnt pan catching.
For maximum fun, try to work as a team.
Overcooked! 2 introduced a decent campaign and a handful of new mechanics to already robust foundations. The cast of zany characters, including the bizarre Onion King, drive the narrative along well but multiplayer is where the series really shines. Up to for players can work together via couch co-op, or online, to form a tight-knit team whipping up the required dishes while aiming for maximum points and coveted three-star rating. It can be immensely frustrating playing with friends when things go wrong but that is part of the charm, just don’t hold too much of a grudge in real life. It highlights just how well you and your friends work together as a unit, or not as the case may be.
Solo players can also enjoy the campaign, survival and practice modes by going it alone but it’s just not as fun. Either way there’s plenty of content to keep you busy for a long time, unlocks and character customisations are always a welcomed addition and Overcooked! All You Can Eat is no stranger in this department.
As previously mentioned, this really is the definitive edition of the series and certainly the best version available but it’s not without issues. The same minor issues and gripes that have always been present carry over and can become frustrating when aiming for maximum points. Replaying levels can become a bit of a chore when something unavoidable goes wrong at the last minute.
And if that wasn’t enough content, currently there’s some FREE DLC to pick up as part of a cross-over event so obvious we’re delighted it actually happened, The Swedish Chef from The Muppets.
Overcooked! All you can Eat is all the Overcooked! you need in one perfectly balanced package. The visual, while never pushing our brand spanking new next-gen consoles, is great and looks and performs better than ever. The wealth of content and replayability make this a must-play title for anyone looking for a little co-op fun, even those returning. Just remember not to throw your new controllers across the room in a moment of rage-induced madness.
Review code provided
Platform: PlayStation, Xbox
Release Date: 10/11/2020
No. of Players: 1-4
Category: Family, Party
Developer: Ghost Town Games
Download link: Microsoft Store