Overcooked 2 heads to the beach with its Surf ‘n’ Turf DLC

After finishing Overcooked 2 proper, I didn’t think it could get any more ridiculous. In retrospect, I should have known better, as the Surf ‘n’ Turf DLC that came out last week effortlessly demonstrates Overcooked 2 still has plenty of ideas left in store.

Surf ‘n’ Turf adds 12 new levels and three new chefs to the game, along with a couple new mechanics. New to this expansion are the water gun and bellows, which both aid and complicate matters in equal measure. The bellows is used to help fan the flames when cooking kebabs, which makes them cool faster but can also make them burn faster, while the water gun acts as a replacement for the sink and fire extinguisher in some levels, which doesn’t have any major setbacks so long as everyone knows where it is at all times.

Right from the start, the expansion makes it clear how much more difficult and demanding it’s going to be. The first level, wherein you’re introduced to making fruit smoothies, seems simple enough on the surface. But once the action starts, it quickly spins out of control. The level itself isn’t terribly complex — the two prep stations are separated, meaning you need to throw ingredients back and forth, while occasionally navigating the throngs of conga line dancers crossing the screen below to clean cups — but you need to be fast and very well-coordinated to succeed. Maybe we’re just bad at Overcooked (a very real possibility; though it’s also been a while), but the margin for error felt very small. It took us a dozen or so attempts to clear the level. And it only got harder from there.

This is one of the easier levels, and even then, it can still be very difficult if you and your team aren’t coordinated.

The difficulty lies primarily in earning enough stars to progress. The requirements for each star are high, often asking you to earn over a thousand coins in tips three-star a stage, which you’ll definitely have to do a few times. As the DLC only has 12 levels, the previously lax star requisites for unlocking new levels are gone. You can’t count on a bunch of one-star ratings to carry you, which means, if you’re anything like me and my fellow chefs, you’re gonna be replaying levels a bunch trying to improve your score.

Thankfully most of the levels themselves aren’t too ridiculous. The main source of challenge is often just coordination and communication — the usual obstacles for Overcooked — which means the hard part is mostly just getting back into the swing of things (like remembering that we could throw ingredients). That said, it does still toss a couple of nightmares in, such as one level with very little room and constant fires to put out, but nothing worse than the hardest levels of the main game.

All told, it’s still Overcooked 2, and more Overcooked is never a bad thing. Scrambling to deliver orders and manage the inevitable chaos is still a ton of fun, and a new batch of levels to do that in is very welcome. Any excuse to return to Overcooked 2 is always good.

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