Thanks to the base game of Overcooked, I quickly became a bit of a dab kitchen hand. Team17 and Ghost Games originally taught me how to make soup, how to best prepare a burrito and how to ensure that the diners in my restaurant would always leave feeling good about themselves. It made me something that I never thought I would be. A chef of the highest calibre.
But that was a few short months ago and now Overcooked is back with The Lost Morsel DLC add-on. Arriving as part of the physical Gourmet Edition of Overcooked, or as a standalone digital add-on from 15th Nov 2016, The Lost Morsel is priced well enough to ensure we’ll want to be grabbing for the aprons again.
But is it an essential purchase?
Well no, it’s not. But the rather short experience you’ll have back saving the Onion Kingdom is reflected in the minuscule price tag.
The story goes that the time portal is on the blink once again and so the Onion King needs your help in sorting out some rather tricky kitchen situations. This time round however there is no easing into things, and unless you’ve mastered the way of Overcooked life within the main campaign or versus mode, then you’re really going to struggle. Being thrown in at the deep end is nothing new with extra content, but this time round you really will start to feel a bit hot under the collar.
You see, The Lost Morsel comes complete with just six new levels and six new chefs, and that’s about it. Sure, you’ll also get a new jungle theme to whizz around with your gleaming new helicopter in, but I’m not sure you should be buying the content on the back of those few seconds of joy.
You should however be buying it for the new levels, as once again they have been very well created. Veterans to the game will be instantly at home with the clever cooperative play that is needed to succeed in all six arenas, as we’re once again tasked with creating chicken burritos, pizza and hamburgers like we were Gordon Ramsey – albeit, an even crazier version. From the get go we are thrust into a kitchen that moves at will, whilst the ever tricky conveyor belt system can quite easily see your masterpiece end up in the bin. Phantom pots and pans are also a large part of The Lost Morsel’s draw and you’ll find yourself chasing chopping boards around the arenas as that tight time limit constantly ticks down.
You’ll also find that the pesky rats which inhabited the kitchens in the standard game are back and will happily pinch any food left on the side without a care in the world. When you combine these elements with touch pads that open secret doors and a crowd of diners who want their food there and then, only paying for the highest quality grub, you’ll quickly get to see how difficult this extra Overcooked portion is to handle. It’s not impossible though, and with you only needing one solitary star on each stage in order to see the next, won’t find too much hassle in checking out everything that it contains. But should you wish to sit and master it, you’ll find a huge amount of practice and stunning cooperation is needed.
Grabbing three stars on each of the stages is, you see, very tricky. In fact, I’d hazard a guess to say that unless you are able to team up with three other chefs who are as equally adept at sifting through the kitchen chaos as each other, then you’re really going to struggle to max out The Lost Morsel. Sure, the sliding success scale that was in place originally is still here, and that allows for a solo or couple of players to at least enjoy what they are doing, but to get the full complement of stars is going to take some doing.
With new chefs on hand to take on the hard work, The Lost Morsel is definitely a visual delight, but yet again, I have to question the real need for a few new skinned chefs. Granted, each of the Dinosaur, Robot, French Bulldog, Panda, Pig and Bear are lovely characters, and the chance to use them in the standard campaign and versus mode is appreciated. In fact, you’ll probably find yourself using them for humours sake a ton more than you would the standard characters, but in the end, it matters little which chef you decide to jump into the shoes of.
It’s also a shame that The Lost Morsel is set away from the main area of Overcooked as I would have liked to have seen it contribute more to the overall tale, instead of being left as a tacked on addition. Because of this, it is sorely lacking any real motivation to be played, because once you’ve had a go at beating each of the six kitchens, will struggle to find too much enthusiasm to go back in for more. That problem could have been easily solved by adding in a couple more achievements and Gamerscore to reward those spending time with the extra content, but as it is, will probably only be of any real use to those experiencing it as part of the full Gourmet retail package.
As I initially mentioned though, it’s priced well enough and if you feel the need to step back into the manic kitchen world, will find it a fairly enjoyable, but brief, playthrough.