A dish best served fresh
There is no doubt that Overcooked has become one of the most notable new co-op experiences in the past decade. Nearly five years has passed since the original, leaving us with ports, tons of DLC content, and even a sequel. Overcooked! All You Can Eat aims to remaster the entire series and serve all the DLC into one convenient package on Nintendo Switch, creating an essential collection for anyone who hasn’t yet given the series a chance.
While at first glance the compilation looks to be a simple collection of everything Overcooked, there have been some notable improvements to each of the games. The original Overcooked, in particular, has gotten a huge face lift thanks to this remaster. Environments look less blocky and are filled with much more detail and added lighting effects, making some of the original locales, like the jungle, have an extra layer of personality compared to before. Overcooked 2 also got a similar remaster treatment, although it’s not nearly as substantial. The lighting and shadows are much more ambient and textures generally look sharper than before. Giving the original Overcooked such a great remaster is an easy highlight of this package, but Overcooked 2’s updates, while more subtle, should still be commended.
While the graphics got a major overhaul, the gameplay of All You Can Eat is largely identical to the original two releases. The player and their group of friends are still trying to cooperate to cook and serve as many dishes as possible before the timer runs out and you’re left with angry customers. As previously mentioned, All You Can Eat includes both Overcooked games and all their respective DLC packs. As in the originals, the wacky campaign for each game is the standout mode. Whether it be a time-traveling adventure to stop a giant meatball from terrorizing a town or fighting the zombie-like un-bread, the campaigns are fun from start to finish.
With over 200 different levels to work through, each with their own stage gimmicks, there is certainly a lot of meat on this bone. However, like a good meal, sometimes it can be too much. After a few matches back to back, the gameplay loop can get extremely repetitive. As a quick party game, this shouldn’t be much of an issue, but for longer sessions, it can get exhausting really fast. This is a game that is best enjoyed in short bursts, rather than a marathon through all the levels. Thankfully, the game includes full online multiplayer to make playing with others more convenient,when you are up for it. Even the original Overcooked, which didn’t previously have online multiplayer, has been given online support this go around.
While there is undeniable value for newcomers here, veteran players seem to have gotten the short end of the stick. The big draw is easily the three new chefs and the seven new kitchens, which are great additions, but they struggle to justify a second purchase through this collection. In a package of close to 200 stages and dozens of chefs, adding so little new content feels like adding a few extra peas to an already full dinner plate.
There are also some new accessibility modes, such as a color-blind mode, a dyslexic friendly text mode, and a scalable UI. Combine that with the added assist mode for the campaigns that adjusts some of the difficulty settings (like the timer), Overcooked! All You Can Eat is easily the most accessible title in the series. The team’s commitment to making a game that can be enjoyed by everyone is something to celebrate.
There is no denying the incredible value that Overcooked! All You Can Eat serves up. Having two fantastic games and all their DLC packs remastered, alongside a few extra chefs and levels, makes this the definitive Overcooked package. The added accessibility options are a much appreciated addition, and they make the package an even more inclusive party game for everyone. However, for veteran players, there may not not be enough new content here to justify double dipping this chip. If this is your first time in the kitchen, however, Overcooked! All You Can Eat is an essential pickup for some fantastic multiplayer action.