Cooking isn’t stressful enough for you? No worries, let’s SPLIT YOUR KITCHEN IN TWO WITH AN EARTHQUAKE.
Chances are, you’ve played an Overcooked! game by now – or at least heard of the series. From Team17 and Ghost Town Games, the first Overcooked! released in 2016. It’s a party game designed to be played by up to four local players where you must work together to prepare and serve food.
This is no Diner Dash, though. You’ll not be working in any ordinary kitchen. Perhaps you’ll be cooking on the back of a moving lorry, or an earthquake will rip through your cooking area, preventing you from getting where you need to be. Or maybe you’ll be in the middle of an erupting volcano. Or in space. Or on the back of a sinking pirate ship. You get the picture. Overcooked! isn’t easy.
But it is popular, and that’s why it was followed up with Overcooked! 2 and a whole host of DLC expansions. Now, both games and all of their additional content have been brought together in the ultimate in stressful cook-offs. Overcooked! All You Can Eat, available on PS5 and Xbox Series X/S, is the biggest Overcooked! bundle yet – and it benefits from crisp and shiny 4K visuals and 60fps framerates. So it looks and plays fantastic, too.
If you’ve played an Overcooked! game before, you’ll be able to jump straight in. You can choose to start from Overcooked!, Overcooked! 2 or any of the multiple DLC packs. All characters from the series have been brought together, too, so you can play as anyone you like right off the bat. There’s also new content especially for All You Can Eat, including three new chefs and seven new levels that you won’t be able to play anywhere else.
There are multiple ways to play each level in Overcooked! All You Can Eat. You can move through each campaign as normal, or you can opt to play a level in practice mode, or survival. Perhaps the best feature of the game, though, is the brand new Assist mode. Overcooked! isn’t a walk in the park – it requires serious co-ordination and patience, especially on the later levels. Assist mode takes some of that stress away by giving you more time on each level, having recipes time out slower, and even allowing you to skip the most fiendish of levels altogether.
Overcooked! All You Can Eat also gives you the ability to take the madness online. It’s ideal in these Covid-19 times where getting friends around for couch co-op might not be possible. In Arcade mode you can match with anyone, but if you want to play through the campaign you’ll need to invite friends. It’s a very welcome addition, though, as it’s the first time Overcooked! has been playable online.
You can play Overcooked! All You Can Eat by yourself, simultaneously controlling two chefs. But you’d need to have a death wish to want to play it that way. It’s a fast-paced game that’s designed to be challenging. Trying to tackle everything by yourself is a recipe for failure, but it’s fun to try. It’s when you have multiple chefs in the kitchen that the game really shines. It’ll begin with you arguing amongst yourselves over who tackles which job, and ultimately it’ll descend into chaos as you get in each other’s way, prepare orders wrong, and undoubtedly set your kitchen on fire at some point or another.
Having too many chefs in the kitchen can be an obstacle enough, but when you throw in the environmental hazards found within Overcooked! All You Can Eat‘s many levels – over 200! – it can be really tough. Narrow corridors mean you’ll undoubtedly bump heads a time or two, and kitchens with moving parts mean you constantly need to keep a tab on where everyone is.
This chaos is what makes Overcooked! All You Can Eat so much fun, however. It’s a true test of teamwork, and when you do get a workflow going like a well-oiled machine, it’s a real rewarding feeling. Teamwork makes the dream work, as they say.
Undoubtedly, Overcooked! All You Can Eat is the best way to play Ghost Town Games’ excellent co-op party game. There’s a ridiculous amount of content here, and the new features make it a truly impressive package. It’s just a shame that it’s only available on PS5 and Xbox Series X/S, and there’s no discounted upgrade if you own any of the games on the previous generation. But if you’re lucky enough to have a next-gen console and want something to play with friends, you won’t be disappointed with this co-op extravaganza.