South Park is under attack! Hordes of rampaging turkeys, robots, aliens, and other terribly wierd enemies are out to destroy the town for one reason or another. In 1 player mode, you can choose to play as either Kyle, Stan, Kenny, or Cartman, and save the world, well at least South Park. You are initially armed with snowballs, but many more weapons, like the toilet plunger and dodge balls are available as soon as you find them. All weapons have a second option, which is usually more powerful, which can be used also, but may take more time to shoot. If you manage to travel through 5 terrifying levels of wierd madness you may manage to discover what terrifying evil is behind all of this. Multiplayer mode is available over the internet, where you can challenge up to 7 other people to shoot each other. The famous theme song from the cartoon is sung at the beginning of the game.
South Park tore its way into television after starting as five minute short of immature obscenities as Santa and Jesus went to battle. It was humorous, albeit tasteless. After making its mark on Comedy Central, it's only fitting to see South Park infiltrate its way to PC.
Acclaim has wrapped its Turok2 engine into this alien mutant, buttkicking first person shooter. The engine is very underused with South Park. This results in mixed ideas. First off, South Park is a 2D cartoon and by harnessing very little of the features of the engine, it creates a 3D game that's true to the cartoon. On the second hand, this means your eye candy is limited to a handful effects and your levels are pretty uninteresting. Enemies are very limited. Turkeys will populate the first stage, with an intermixing of cows. Stage 2 is filled with clones while Stage 3 is more cows interspersed with aliens. While the characters are very fitting to the nature of the show, the lack of variety makes it a little uninteresting. Levels are also very bland. I like the way they brought the town of South Park into the game. The houses are colorful and pretty interesting. Unfortunately, you're seldom in town, usually out in the middle of nowhere with bland rocks, snow, and mountains.
Since this is South Park, audio plays heavily into the game. It's full of one liners which are humorous the first ten or so times, but they do tend to grow on you. The cutscenes are probably the best part of the game. The boys get their mission assignment from Chef. The cutscenes are funny and feel like part of the TV show. Other than the speech, the audio is mediocre. My roommate threatened to kill me if he heard any more turkeys, so I was forced to resort to headphones for most of stage one. Since there's a real lack of different types of monsters, there's really a lack in the amount of noises. The weapons sound decent, but nothing real spectacular.
Gameplay is pretty boring. It boils down to following a linear path while being attacked by hundreds of mindless enemies. Now it does change up a little bit, like where you're killing hundreds of minions in order to stop them from destroying the town. These levels have you in a pretty closed space where the enemies come to you. Not really any more interesting than trying to make your way from point A to point B like the other levels. At the end of each stage, you will have to defeat a boss. Bosses follow the idea that they have a weak point and that's the only place you can damage them. With the semi-ineffective weapons you're given, this takes a long, long, long time to defeat the bosses.
Control is as good as any FPS, so not really much to say in this category. Level design is very bland, forcing you to go in one direction through a board (or should I say bored?). Weapons are, shall we say, interesting. The normal weapon is a snowball, adding a dodgeball, toilet plunger, nerf gun, and cow launchers among other things. Each weapon has two firemodes, one normal and one special. The special are more powerful, but are slower. It makes the weapons more interesting. I liked the toilet plunger gun the most, the triple fire special firemode makes short work of most baddies.
Multiplayer is South Park's only redeeming quality. It's a helluva lot of fun. Lots of flying snowballs and flying insults. Turok2 engine performs very well over a dialup connection and multiplayer lets you choose from twenty characters from South Park. This makes for some really entertaining multiplayer battles.
Alas, multiplayer and cool cutscenes isn't enough to save this game. It's too uninteresting and plays too much as a very mindless shooter. Think of it as a modern day space invaders. You just keep killing enemies over and over and over. If you're a diehard South Park fan, this should give you some giggles for a little while, but even then it's stretching anyone's patience.
If you're looking for a good multiplayer FPS, and don't mind paying full game prices, South Park might work for you. If South Park would have been marketed as a discount game, it might deserve a look, but I can't see anyone buying this to play the single player game. As I delete this from my hard drive, I have one last thought. "Oh my god, I killed Kenny!"
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