After nearly two years of regular post-launch support, it seems that Team17 and Ghost Town Games are finally ‘finished’ with Overcooked 2. The developers have provided some excellent additions in the time since launch, and all of it is now being tied together with the aptly named Overcooked 2: Gourmet Edition. For the purposes of this bonus DLC review, we’ll be focusing more on the content introduced in the expansions; if you‘d like to know more about the core game, feel free to read our full review of it here.
In addition to the full experience of the base game, Overcooked 2: Gourmet Edition also includes a few themed mini-campaigns that were added, alongside a slew of new cooks that you can play as across any of the content. One thing we’d like to highlight right away is that all these expansions taken together provide a substantial amount of extra content. Viewing it from purely a quantity standpoint, the DLC content actually doubles the length of the base game, and it introduces several new and cool gameplay mechanics, too. In many ways, one could even view all this extra content as a soft-sequel. It’s all built upon the foundation of Overcooked 2, but the new mechanics that are explored elevate the content higher than ‘just’ themed level packs.
We’ll start this off by delving into the three expansions offered by the season pass, the first of which is called Campfire Cook-Off. Here, the cooks trade in their chef hats for much more functional baseball caps and take their kitchen skills into the backcountry, where campfire s’mores reign king. The deep woods aesthetic presented here looks great, and it’s punctuated by small details like how the knives you chop food up with are replaced by axes. These axes are actually tied to a bigger game mechanic, too, as you must periodically chop up wood to place on the fire so you can keep cooking with it. Additionally, some levels feature heavy backpacks that must be worn at all times by your cooks, each of which contains an essential ingredient for the dish you’re making. Together, these two mechanics sufficiently add some interesting wrinkles to the standard gameplay, as you must now be vigilant of various cooking temperatures and have to basically chase after ingredients.
The next expansion is called Night of the Hangry Horde, and it trades in the rustic locales of the last expansion in favour of much spookier, horror-themed kitchens. Most notably, this DLC introduces a brand new horde mode that introduces light survival horror elements to the standard arcade action. Here, instead of just having one delivery window, there are now three or four, and they are each regularly bombarded by the ravenous Unbread. While the Unbread zombies wait for you to finish their orders, they’ll attack the boards nailed over their window, and you’ll have to regularly spend the money you make from orders to keep nailing new boards in place lest the zombies come in and lower your castle’s health bar. Additionally, Night of the Hangry Horde introduces a couple of other new game mechanics in its main levels, wherein you must regularly shovel coal into a furnace to keep the ovens going and the chopping boards have been replaced by a guillotine that instantly cuts whatever food you place beneath it. The new game mechanics and game mode introduced here make Night of the Hangry Horde the best of the expansions, exemplifying everything that one could ask for out of a DLC expansion.
The final DLC in the season pass is Carnival of Chaos, which sees our cooks showing off their prowess underneath the Big Top. Compared to the previous two expansions, this one feels a little more rote in its execution, but it still introduces some cool mechanics to make life hell for you. The most notable of these is a cannon which can fire cooks across the map. It requires at least two cooks to use – one to climb in, and the other to fire the button – and occasionally must be aimed properly to ensure the projectile cook reaches the correct destination. Additionally, Carnival of Chaos introduces the idea of combo meals to the mix, which often necessitates the usage of new condiment and beverage machines. Though Carnival of Chaos is missing a ‘wow’ factor here to really change up the way you approach your cooking, it still provides some sufficiently challenging levels to grapple with and is a joy to experience.
The next notable DLC is a standalone campaign of equal length called Surf ‘n’ Turf, which sees your cooks donning their swim trunks and providing service at a beachfront restaurant. Most notably, there’s usually no sink to wash dishes here; instead, your cooks must use a nearby water gun to both wash dishes and put out occasional fires. Additionally, fireplace bellows are often used to stoke the fires for making kebabs. You’d be surprised how much these seemingly innocuous tools can affect your performance, and the near-constant presence of water ensures that Surf ‘n’ Turf features some of the toughest level design in Overcooked 2.
Finally, there’s the Seasonal Update content, which was added for free to the base game for all players to enjoy. The first of these is a campaign centred around the Chinese New Year, and it most notably introduces another new game mode called ‘Survival’. Here, you add precious seconds to the clock with each successfully delivered order, and your goal is simply to make it as far as you can before failing. The other half of the seasonal content is called Winter Wonderland and sees your cooks making various Christmas themed desserts in freezing snowscapes. This content pulls together several ideas introduced in all the previous DLC’s, making it a sort of variety pack that keeps you guessing.
In case you haven’t gathered it yet from reading thus far, Team17 and Ghost Town Games explored a lot of cool ideas via DLC content, and ensured that each expansion had unique theming and gameplay mechanics. Considering that all of this is offered in addition to the absolutely stellar base campaign – which already felt complete on its own – Overcooked 2: Gourmet Edition really stands as a no-brainer. Overcooked 2 is one of the very best local co-op games you can currently buy for the Switch, and if you’ve been looking for that next game to play when you have friends over, look no further than this.