If there’s one positive thing that has cropped up from this damn pandemic is that a lot of people seemed to have improved their cooking skills. Whether that’s learning to bake for the first time or figuring out how to make an awesome lasagne, being stuck at home has forced us all to appreciate the kitchen a bit more. Or you can always order a pizza in grab your Oculus Quest and play Clash of Chefs VR, the mess-free way to test those culinary skills.
Frantic cooking titles are nothing new in the world of virtual reality (VR). Trying to see how fast you can put a burger together whilst defying the laws of physics with a tower of ten patties and way too much cheese. However, a lot of these types of videogames tend to be one-trick wonders, usually involving one cuisine and hectic gameplay so you don’t notice straight away.
Flat Hill Games’ Clash of Chefs VR on the other hand is a welcome addition to the genre because it is packed with content, and most importantly four world cuisines for you to try your hand at. American, Italian, Japanese and Mexican flavours are all available for budding VR chefs to try their hands at, some slightly more complicated than others. Everyone’s flipped a burger at some point in their lives but have you tried rolling sushi or spun your own pizza base above your head?
Ok, so first and foremost Clash of Chefs VR isn’t some cooking simulator, it isn’t going for high accuracy on the culinary front. Workstations are designed for speed and some artistic cobbling together of ingredients. As you might expect, over in the American diner you’re going to be grilling patties, cooking up some fries, slicing onions and pouring beverages. In fact, all the cuisines have some variance on this setup. Rather than frying, the Japanese kitchen has you boiling noodles and serving tea whilst the Mexican restaurant is all about frying up nachos and carefully rolling a tasty burrito.
Initially, each kitchen doesn’t look like it has a massive variety of components but rest assured once those orders start flying in the cooking process soon becomes taxing; especially if you want to keep those customers happy. Orders come in via a nice easy to read screen just under the counter, with a colour coding system indicating when customers are about to go from happy to really pissed of that they’re waiting so long (none of them is very patient). Provide a speedy correct service and you’ll get more points that all tally towards a global leaderboard.
As mentioned, Clash of Chefs VR has plenty to keep you busy because not only are there multiple cuisines to master but also modes aplenty. Each kitchen has its own Campaign mode with 20 levels to try and bust a sweat through, and it does get intense! So heading to the Casual mode certainly helps as there’s no time or customer pressure, orders come in and make them as fast as you like. It’s also a great way to learn some of the nuances if you’re one of these people who ignores all the tutorial info.
Flat Hill Games has stuffed Clash of Chefs VR with tutorial videos so there’s no introduction whatsoever, dive right in and learn on the job. Although, the videos were handy when it came to learning how to make a damn burrito, who knew it could be so technical! And that’s one of the main points to understand in Clash of Chefs VR, sure it’s a frantic arcade-style videogame but it has those kinds of Job Simulator elements everyone loves. Plus, because you’re nestled in one cosy kitchen location there’s no locomotion, most players should find the whole experience super comfortable.
On top of the Campaign and Casual modes, there’s the customary Endless mode where you try if you can really hack a kitchen job. Clash of Chefs VR also has a feather in its cap in the form of a duelling multiplayer mode. Now, this where the fun really ramps up once you’re well acquainted with the kitchens. The online mode automatically fires up, pitting you against another player in a PvP competition to serve as many meals as possible within the time limit. What’s great is that you’re opposite one another, so you can see your opponent and throw food at them if you get cocky. While it wasn’t always easy to find another player early on – which will hopefully improve in time – there’s an asynchronous mode. This allows you to compete against another’s score, just not live in real-time; still counts towards the leaderboards though.
Clash of Chefs VR has everything you could want from a VR cooking game, plenty of food, loads of modes and a nice wedge of lemon. The gameplay is fluid and once you get into a rhythm very satisfying to pump out order after order. Whilst it lacks the insane multiplayer madness of Cook-Out: A Sandwich Tale, there’s enough succulent gameplay to keep you entertained for hours. An entertaining VR cooking experience through and through.