“Surf ‘n’ Turf continues Overcooked 2’s positive vibes in style.”
Overcooked 2 was a fabulous follow-up to its predecessor. The brightly coloured, light-hearted and sometimes slightly stressful co-operative cooking game built upon the original’s mechanics but stayed true to its attitude and atmosphere. Surf ‘n’ Turf, the first DLC package for Overcooked 2, seems to achieve the same again, albeit on a smaller scale, by serving up an appetising side dish which adds to the fun, excitement and chaos of the main course.
Surf ‘n’ Turf adds an enticing flurry of new content to Overcooked 2, including new chefs, recipes and both co-operative and competitive levels. There are also new mechanics for players to get their heads around; most notably the addition of a water pistol into the mix. This handy new utensil allows you to wash dishes at range; a lifesaver in the eyes of some players for sure. In competitive play, it can also be used against your opponents, causing yet further mischief and mayhem in and already flustered kitchen. It is a small addition which makes a big difference to the way that you play each level, and as such the levels have been built with a more challenging layout to match…
As is usual in the Overcooked franchise now, every level in Surf ‘n’ Turf brings a new set of challenges to the table, but is equally as bright, colourful and interesting as the last. Surf ‘n’ Turf’s levels largely find interesting ways to keep players separate, forcing communication to the forefront as you work to complete your share of the specific tasks set out before you. Que the usual shouting at friends and family across your living room, but that is simply part of the dynamic, and Surf ‘n’ Turf strikes up the well-loved Overcooked atmosphere with perfection.
In this addition to the main game, players are rewarded with a new parrot chef; perhaps the most colourful character in the game to date. Continuing a popular theme of inclusion in the game, the parrot chef is joined by a firey island chef; a character distinguishable by their facial tattoos and unique garb, making them stand out from the other characters already in the game. The additional chefs will no doubt excite players, but the message which the game continues to send about being inclusive to all kinds of players from a variety of background only adds to the already abundant air of positivity that Overcooked offers to players.
The only problem which arises with Surf ‘n’ Turf is that the beach-themed levels require an overwhelming number of points to fully complete. Playing as part of a duo, it is hard to see this any other way than the game having been optimised for more players, with the maximum stars being almost unobtainable no matter how hard you push or how few mistakes you make. Given that you need a set number of stars to progress few the levels, this is likely to pose a barrier which some players will not be willing to put in the time and effort to progress beyond. This would easily be fixed with a balancing patch, of course, but as it stands right now the game is HARD to do well at.
Despite this hitch, Surf ‘n’ Turf is easy to recommend to Overcooked fans as long as you are up to the challenge. If you have 3 or more players in your squad, you may find that you are good to go. If you are playing with a single friend or partner, however, be ready for what will inevitably turn out to be a difficult, but rewarding, time.