GOTY #8- Overcooked 2. Overcooked was a fantastic game that revived the long-lost feeling of cooperativity in games. I played it with my brother and loved every second of it. The sequel is more of the same, and that’s all it needs to be. I haven’t completed it yet, due to a plethora of other games having my attention, but it continues to provide a multiplayer experience that I have been wanting for a long time. The one thing that I love in Overcooked 2 is that it is a cooking game where the game does everything it can to make you not cook effectively. For a game about cooking in kitchens, its kitchens are poorly designed to cook in, and that’s a great thing.
In Overcooked 2, you and your chef friends enter odd kitchens and try to fulfill every order that you receive from your customers. The kitchens may have moving parts, portals, and are sometimes completely transformed during the level. These are certainly not things you normally see in a kitchen, and that is what makes Overcooked 2 so dang good. It is wacky and causes situations for you to yell “THROW ME THE CARROTS. NO, NOT THAT FOOD, THE CARROTS. GIVE ME THE CARROTS GEORGE. NOOOO, WHERE IS THE PAN? WHAT IS HAPPENING? RESTART THE LEVEL! ABORT THE MISSION! Okay, let’s do better this time.” Having 10/10 content like this pour out of my mouth is what makes Overcooked 2 full of memorable experiences. Overcooked 2 is great because it’s not about cooking, it’s about adjusting.
Overcooked 2’s cooking mechanics, much like the first Overcooked, lack any enjoyable depth. The cutting of the lettuce, the cooking, the plating, all of it is very simple and do not create any interest. This is why Overcooked 2 has so much emphasis on new kitchens, new level mechanics, and the ability to throw food. The combination of all of these new aspects keeps Overcooked 2 feeling extremely fresh despite its mechanics being very basic.
You are never prepared for what Overcooked 2 throws at you. Locations change, portals appear, and kitchens are constantly shifting. When you see something about the kitchen change, you have to adjust, and that is what is so thrilling about the gameplay.
When the levels change you must look at all of the new possibilities. If ground disappears, you could throw food to your chef friend, and if you need to enter a portal to gather food, you could have your friend throw them to you instead. You need to pay attention to where every item is and know how to obtain every item you need in the fastest way possible. Without doing this, you will get a lower amount of stars on each level, and may not be able to unlock the special Kevin levels where you enter a new kitchen at higher difficulty because Kevin the Dog tells you too.
The thrill of adjusting is something I love about Overcooked and an aspect of gaming that I admire. This is the same reason that you will see Tetris Effect on my GOTY countdown as well. The thrill of improving when situations change gives me a rush of excitement, and when everything goes right, I feel enormous success. This, added with the bonding that Overcooked 2 provides, makes it one of the top ten games of the year.
When things go wrong, Overcooked 2 tries to make a fun situation out of it. When my brother throws food into the trash when trying to hand it to me, it makes me laugh extremely hard, and ask him why on Earth did he throw it in the trash. These are moments that have a warm place in my heart as I look back on gaming in 2018. Moments that make me cry with laughter, and give me the joy of yelling about random food items, can only be found in this game. This is why it is on my list; because Overcooked 2 makes the best moments out of its basic mechanics.