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Review | Moving Out 2

Publisher Team17 managed to strike a golden deal with Overcooked in 2016, as the chaotic kitchen simulator proved popular with many. Not surprisingly, the sequel Overcooked 2 was released some two years later and continued that success. The idea of completing goals in a chaotic setting was then taken further by developer SMG Studio in Moving Out. In this, it wasn’t throwing hot pans at each other, but using lead-heavy furniture like couches and complete household furnishings to occupy each other. This too was extremely entertaining, which is why a sequel was also made. Let’s see if Moving Out 2 gives us a reason to move to a new favorite game!

Goodbye Packmore, hello universe?

As in the original, we find ourselves in the quiet village of Packmore. Your boss unfortunately has to piece together the team of F.A.R.T members, as some were left behind in the first game’s “Movers in Paradise” expansion. You also lose the coveted F.A.R.T license and must obtain it again in a tutorial level. Once familiar with the controls, the team is a license richer and may once again lug heavy boxes and furniture around in abundance. To make the work even easier, your boss has acquired a Compooter. However, this Compooter does not work properly and suddenly creates a portal that sucks up your boss and blows him to another dimension. Without your beloved boss, you don’t get paid, so the team sets up a chaotic rescue operation.

The Compooter was part of a secret organization and really shouldn’t have fallen into the hands of the moving company Smooth Moves. The organization wants to help you, but in order to do so, the portal must be made and that can only be done with the help of Gnomes. These handy IT people, so to speak, are scattered throughout the different dimensions and you must bring them back to Packmore before you can get your boss back. As you have read, the story of Moving Out 2 is too bizarre for words and is also far from important. However, it does contain the necessary portion of humor in the form of many word jokes, keeping the dialogue always fun to scroll through.

The same basis with the necessary improvements

The developer has certainly not reinvented the wheel with Moving Out 2. Many of the gameplay elements from Moving Out are still present in the sequel. For example, you still have the option to pick up items such as boxes, throw them at each other and knock objects out of the way – which, by the way, is mostly used to whack your fellow movers. Other than that, you can jump and the controls are mostly straightforward. It all works fine and feels good. Ultimately, the goal in Moving Out 2 is still to lift stuff into the truck as quickly as possible, but there’s more to the sequel.

For example, there is more creative play with different levels and the goals within them. While you still often have to fill the truck, you also get levels where you actually have to decorate a house and put specific furniture in a certain place. In addition, there are levels where there are multiple trucks or delivery areas in which only certain furniture can be delivered. Tired of always lugging or throwing stuff around? Don’t panic, because in some cases you can play with a giant slingshot that will send refrigerators, sofas, TV furniture and toilets flying around your ears. Throw in elements like conveyor belts, timers for doors and doors that can only be opened from one side and you soon have a chaotic experience for you and your friends.

Thank goodness for online co-op this time!

In our review of Moving Out, one of the downsides was the lack of online co-op and thankfully that has been listened to. In fact, the sequel features cross-platform multiplayer, allowing you to play with your friends or with strangers at any time. The online features work fine, although there are some bugs here and there. For example, some furniture does not light up for the other player(s) or is sometimes partially visible, which can cause some frustration and miscommunication. Fine enough, the connection is excellent and the loading times online are also short. Also present again are the optional objectives that you unlock after completing a level for the first time. These ensure that you can play levels multiple times which gives the game a higher replay value.

Unfortunately, SMG Studio misses the mark here, though, as your progression is blocked if you don’t complete enough optional objectives. You have to increase your F.A.R.T level and you do this by collecting stars that you get from completing objectives. Simply completing the level with the fastest time gives you 2 stars at most, and often side missions earn 3 stars. You would prefer to play as fast as possible in Moving Out 2, but with side missions such as “don’t break any windows,” this is sometimes at odds with the gameplay. That’s a shame, because the game was overtly made to have as much freedom as possible while moving out. Restrictive side missions sometimes put a damper on that. However, the Assist mode is again present that gives you more time, makes objects disappear from the truck and makes it easier to complete objectives. Assist mode again provides a lot of accessibility, which is a plus, as it was with the original.

Creativity at its best

Where Moving Out 2 especially scores points is in its level design. In Moving Out, everything took place in Packmore and you mostly saw many variations of houses. In Moving Out 2, although the adventure begins again in Packmore, the game exchanges this familiar setting for a multiverse in which creativity has been given complete freedom. For example, there are three other dimensions where players can have plenty of fun. For example, one dimension consists entirely of candy and here you move not normal couches, but life-size croissants, gummy bears and tables made up of candy. Gumballs that you have to catch with a living garbage can that eats everything, floating turtles that are magical or a friendly drone that destroys the environment in front of you: you can’t think of anything or you will encounter it in Moving Out 2.

Additionally, the levels are very colorful and also a lot more lively than in the original. We already mentioned the candy dimension, but the magical and futuristic dimensions also provide a lot of life. This is partly due to more interaction in the levels. Among other things, there are more breakable objects such as walls, as well as many more interactive elements such as levers that in turn reveal hidden secrets. The liveliness is also in the colorful and bizarre cast of movers you can unlock through the worlds and levels. For example, in several levels you can now find special clothing boxes that unlock new characters and skins. Whether you want to play as a pink cloud, a nacho, a stuffed bagel or all sorts of different animals, there’s plenty of F.A.R.T workers to choose from employed by Smooth Moves.

No performance hindrance during moving out

Finally, Moving Out 2 features excellent performance. While playing, there were no fluctuations at all in the frame rate (which runs at 60fps) and the whole thing looks slick thanks to the 4K resolution. As a result, you have a very nice gaming experience. Also, the objects clearly feature more textures, shadows and sharpness than in the original, so there is definitely a visible visual upgrade as well. Moving Out 2 retails for the price of €29.99 and offers about 50 levels spread across four dimensions. Throw in optional Arcade levels and you get more than value for money.

  • Played on: Playstation 5.
  • Also available on: PlayStation 4, Xbox Series X|S, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch and PC.

Conclusion

SMG Studio builds on the solid foundation of Moving Out and improves it where needed. For example, the gameplay still feels more or less the same, but is enhanced with many interactive elements and a colorful level design. Moving Out 2’s story does not necessarily require you to follow it, but still manages to entertain you with the necessary humor in the form of puns. Online co-op is thankfully on hand and it all works fine with the exception of a few bugs. Moving Out 2’s real strength is its creative levels, each one unique, in which you always have something to trudge through. The side missions are sometimes an eyesore, though, and it’s a shame that they can spoil both your progression and enjoyment of the game. But fair is fair: Moving Out 2 is a very fun sequel and makes moving much more fun than in real life.

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