There are so many games last gen will be remembered for, from rich, sprawling RPGs, to powerful narrative blockbusters, and even frantic co-op cook-em-ups.
Overcooked shot to fame a few years back, offering a delicious culinary delight for up to four players to work together to fulfill the orders of their demanding customers.
It all started simply enough, putting you in a base kitchen with a chopping board and frying pan, but as the course of the game wears on, the experience takes some wildly unexpected turns, like putting you in a hot air balloon or on a pirate ship.
Overcooked has just become more and more wild over the course of its lifecycle, situating you on scorching hot beaches, in the midst of a carnival, and even in a cemetery as you try to appease a ‘hangry horde’.
Ghost Town Games have taken a well thought out, entertaining core premise and run with the ball so hard, they’re out of sight, happily creating even more wild and unexpected courses. And somehow, the new All You Can Eat Edition has brought it all together in one tidy, well priced, and stunning package.
They even remastered and rejigged Overcooked 1 so that’s it more in line with the features implemented in the sequel and so that it can support online play, opening up the playing field to even more people to experience the original classic.
You might think Overcooked isn’t a game that benefits too much from next-gen power, but one look at the game’s opening cinematics and some of more intense levels where there are earthquakes tearing the land apart or waves thrashing you about and you start to realise the effort that’s gone into this all-encompassing package.
The lighting is more dazzling and luminous than ever as you take part in the Chinese New Year festivities and walk alongside hot lava. The loading screens that take you between both games and all its content whiz you through the process so fast you won’t have time to pick up your phone.
There’s even new trophies and achievements – two for petting Kevin – so, I mean, what more could you ask for?
And on top of the vast amounts of DLC that’s been released for Overcooked 2 – all included, by the way – Team 17 and Ghost Town Games even added a new chapter with some challenging new recipes and some interesting new mechanics and environments. You can now use a guillotine to chop all of your ingredients at once – super useful for solo players, by the way but I’ll get back to that shortly – and you’ll also have to contend with moving apparatus and various other obstacles.
It’s a nice run of courses that perfectly compliments the DLC we’ve already been used to, but it’s a bigger campaign in size, and more robust, with some connections to the game’s narrative.
My main gripe with Overcooked does remain the same, however. Playing solo isn’t much fun and can still be quite difficult. The good thing about All You Can Eat is you now have online play to dive into – though I often struggled to find a game, sadly – and there’s now an Assist Mode.
Moving Out handled this really well, providing a series of options to suit solo players, and it seems some cues have been taken for Overcooked. The Assist Mode is pretty handy as there’s no time limit on getting a dish prepared and sent out, conditions are lowered, and the game often signposts where you need to go and what you need to do.
Ultimately, you’ll still have to be the one to flick between chefs and do the work yourself – commanding a bot or setting up some conditions for a bot to perform would have been ace – but providing you know what you’re doing, you can get through just fine. Having the aforementioned guillotine would have been great for all the levels, but I still pretty much got three stars on every level, which is something I never would have managed in Overcooked before. So, whatever Team 17 and Ghost Town Games have done here has really worked.
What I don’t like, however, is that this does negate you getting some of the Achievements or Trophies. It’s a bit of a shame as some people just don’t have an option to play with others and, as I already mentioned, the online scene isn’t exactly thriving at the moment. For some people, having Assist on might be the only way they can see and do everything in Overcooked, but the game tells you early on that having the mode activated won’t let you unlock everything.
Of course, it’s important to remember that Overcooked was never intended as a singleplayer game – and to be fair, there’s plenty of those to choose from at the launch of these new consoles – which is why I would strongly advise picking this up only if you have some others to play locally or a group of friends to jump into online games with. Long-term online support for the game worries me just a little bit as early signs are it’s not very active.
Where I think All You Can Eat shines is that there’s not too many co-operative experiences available for these new consoles right now, with the absorbing Assassin’s Creed Valhalla and Demon’s Souls very much solo epics. This makes a game that relies on teamwork – or sabotage if that’s your game – like Overcooked All You Can Eat a very welcome inclusion at the launch of these new platforms.
You can play with your partner/flat-mate/buddy on the sofa or your relative you’ve had to be apart from during this tumultuous year, and aside from Sackboy or going yet another round on Fortnite, no other game is really offering you that right now.
All You Can Eat is the definitive edition of both Overcooked 1 and 2. It has everything ever released for the games. There’s a ridiculous amount of chefs to choose from, it has been beautifully polished, the original Overcooked plays better than ever, and it even has new content. There is no better way to play these games than on either PS5 or Xbox Series X, and the way the games have utilized the new consoles has me really excited for the future and what the developers could do for an Overcooked 3.
If you’ve somehow never played either of these games – or even if you have – and you feel like you haven’t rowed enough with your family this year or had too much fun with your buddies, there’s no better alternative to dive into this Christmas. Next-gen and the world needed this game, and Team 17 and Ghost Town Games have not disappointed.
+ The absolute definitive edition of Overcooked 1 and 2
+ A really generous package for the amount of content
+ Games look more stunning than ever and jumping between both titles is seamless
+ Assist Mode helps solo players actually perform better and have more fun with the games
+ New content is some of the best they’ve done
– Difficulty finding a game online is concerning at early stage
– Assist Mode doesn’t let you get all Achievements/Trophies which may prevent some getting them at all.
Overcooked All You Can Eat Edition is now available on Xbox Series S l X and PS5.
Tested on Xbox Series X
Code kindly provided by Team 17