South Park: Snow Day Review – Cartman Can’t Save This One

South Park: Snow Day Review - Cartman Can't Save This One

Author’s Note: I played a pre-release version of this game. A patch on March 20th did decrease the frequency of some of the bugs I encountered, but did not fix them completely. Bugs I experienced may not be in the full release on March 26th.

Capitalising on the resounding success the fantasy genre has seen lately, South Park Snow Day brings action combat to a fantasy world within Colorado in a new RPG. Reclaim your place as famed hero, the ‘New Kid’ and join the South Park boys in a brand new adventure to save their quaint little town from certain doom. 

Trey Parker & Matt Stone’s unique brand of humour shines through from the very moment you load up the game. The game immediately transports you into an episode of South Park, and I hadn’t realised how much I missed seeing the South Park boys until Cartman’s dulcet tones were screaming “SNOW DAY” in my ears. Beginning like an episode of the famed TV show, the opening sequence smoothly transitions from 2D animation into 3D graphics and from there, your adventure begins. 

South Park Snow Day is intended to be played multiplayer, and if your friends are anything like mine, this would only enhance the chaos of this game. During battles there’s a lot going on, so once you add real people who can yell at you for not healing them and call you a dumbass for dying, it’s not going to get any calmer. Even if you play it single-player, you’re still going to get called a dumbass for dying. Cartman is ruthless in his roasts whenever you screw up, so if you don’t want to get toasted by a 10-year-old kid, maybe play with your mates. 

south park
south park

Hosting and joining games seems easy enough, but as the game wasn’t live on playtesting, I was unable to fully test this. Snow Day’s biggest multiplayer hurdle will be the same as every other online multiplayer game; server availability and issues, so hopefully things run smoothly on launch. If it all goes to shit, however, rest assured that the game is totally playable on your own. The AI is smart enough to revive you when you die and (generally) not walk into AOE – which is more than I can say for anybody I’d play this with in real life.

Combat is the focus of Snow Day, and revolves around action-based, fast-moving battles. As I mentioned earlier; the battles are hectic, but on normal difficulty, you can get through them with a healthy combination of button mashing and skill (heavy on the button mashing). Trash enemies can generally be mashed to death, but each boss has a set of skills to manoeuvre around, which makes the utilisation of tactics important. If you run head-first into all their skills you’re going to die, and Cartman is going to call you an asshole. Choosing the best abilities for your play style and utilising them appropriately is your best bet to acing battles later in the game (and at higher difficulty settings). 

Whilst strategic planning could help me overcome a lot of the battles I faced, nothing could help combat the jank. My enemies would often get stuck in the terrain, and as the battles don’t end until you beat everybody, this became tedious after the third or fourth time it happened. I found myself wishing for a mini-map so I could easily see where my enemies were located (or stuck) to make taking them out easier. Enemies were also hard to spot with so much going on – sometimes they had an icon above their head to show they were a bad guy, but sometimes they didn’t, which was just confusing.

If the jankiness of the combat is ironed out on release, South Park Snow Day has the potential to be pretty good. It’s not going to scratch the itch of a hardcore fantasy RPG enjoyer, but for those looking for something light-hearted and fun,all the elements are there. The character creator is basic, but I love that I can edit my character at any time and purchase other outfits. I liked that there was a good mix of cosmetics that were in-theme with the fantasy world, and others that were straight out of the cartoon. All I really want out of any game is to dress my character in dumb outfits, and Snow Day delivers (although the offering is small).

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There’s a range of weapons in South Park Snow Day as well, which caters for a variety of play styles. If you prefer to stand in the front lines and shank your enemies from behind, daggers are your best bet. But if you’re more of a ‘keep your distance and blow shit up’ kind of player, a staff is going to be your best friend. Weapons not only offer unique abilities and debuffs, but all feel different to play as well, which I really liked.

Where South Park Snow Day shines the brightest is the humour. It’s the biggest reason you’d pick this title over something else in the genre. It feels like an interactive episode of South Park from beginning to end, and I love it. Your weapons are bits of street signs taped to sticks, your skills are things like ‘farting your way to safety’ and your stable is a frozen-over inflatable pool. If you think yourself a bit too high-brow for South Park, or if you poo-poo a fart joke, this definitely isn’t the game for you.

south park

I think South Park Snow Day is going to be fun to play with mates, but I think that fun is going to be short-lived. I don’t see this game having a lot of replayability, and though there is DLC to add different game modes, it very much feels like “once you’ve played it, you’ve played it”. The lack of couch co-op, coupled with the generic gameplay elements, doesn’t leave me hopeful that this is going to turn into anything bigger and better than what I’ve seen.

South Park Snow Day definitely has potential, but the build I played felt like a beta build, and given that this was reviewed a week out from release, I’m a bit concerned. Bugs can be fixed and combat can be smoothed out, but the game feels very surface-level and shallow. I’m not sitting here asking for deep, meaningful content from a South Park game, but I would have loved to see more South Park and less ‘generic action RPG’. 

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South Park Snow Day was reviewed on PC with code kindly supplied by the publisher. 

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