Come On Down To South Park & Meet Some Friends Of Mine...
Let me start out by saying, if you’re not familiar with the associated TV show and are easily offended then this is probably not a game for you!
When the game starts up you're introduced with an animated intro that looks straight out of the TV show, in fact the whole game feels like you’re playing within an episode of the popular South Park TV series. “The Coon” is a “superhero” and costumed alter ego of the show’s Eric Cartman who is a 4th grader. A few TV episodes were originally based around this character. “Coon and Friends” is a superhero group assembled by The Coon (Eric Cartman).
You start the game by creating your “superhero” avatar so that you can join “Coon and Friends”. For a cartoon based video game the character creator is quite impressive offering many different hairstyles, clothing options, accessories, etc. Right away the offbeat “guy humor” of the show slaps you right in the face as early as during the character creation sequence. The last step of that process displays the screen below where you choose a difficulty setting.
As you might have noticed, the difficulty setting is based on the color of your skin where really white is “easy” and African American is “really difficult”. Did I also mention that farting is one of your ranged “attacks”? Be warned that there is plenty, but not an overwhelming amount, of colorful language as well in the cutscenes as Eric Cartman is no stranger to the “f-bomb”.
A Hero Is Born
After several sequences of setting the story up, which also serves as an in-game tutorial, you’ll meet up with The Coon. Eventually, he drafts you, the silent “New Kid”, for his team at which point you get to pick a superhero persona (essentially a “class”) of either, initially, a Speedster, Brutalist (melee), or Blaster (ranged). You’ll then get a superhero ‘background” and three associated “powers” and then you’ll be on your way to draft followers for the friends of The Coon. During the tutorial you get cleverly funny nudges via the South Park “way”. The game really does a fantastic job of putting the player into the context of the South Park show!
Movement is in 2D, i.e. two dimensions, from a side scrolling perspective mostly, essentially you move your character along the Y or Z axis. At times this was slightly frustrating to line up with an item to perform and action on, but overall didn’t ruin the game play experience. This game is less of a “point-and-click” adventure as action, movement, and inventory seems more focused on keyboard presses versus mouse point and clicks. It felt very strange playing most of the game without using the mouse much.
Things like the toilet mini-game requires some keyboard gymnastics to excel by following on screen cues. Essentially, if you visit a lot of houses you can sit on the throne and try to unleash a devastating “dump”. This mini-game is available in varying degrees of difficulty and played by following on-screen key press cues similar to the Telltale Games.
A Hero In Training
The turn-based combat scenarios are hilarious in themselves as each encounter (there are some random encounters as well as the self-initiated combat encounters) is slightly different due to the dialogue of South Park characters and humor involved. In one scenario I was doing battle in the street and the South Park boys halted the action by yelling “car!” (familiar to any youth who has played street hockey or street football). Moments like these and traps like “red legos that represent “lava”, makes each quest fun to unravel and makes you want to forge ahead to the completing the next goal.
There are the usual in-game achievements as well as other levels besides the traditional character hero XP level. For example, a “side quest” is to fill in your character sheet (race, alignment, religion, etc.) which is built-in to the game’s overall quest system seamlessly. One of the more interesting leveling systems is your “influencer level” as you're asked to get selfies with people for posting on “Coonstagram”, akin to a faction system. There’s also crafting, as your inventory will collect scads of items if you’re noisy like me and open the drawers, etc. in every house you visit. Along with XP levels you will unlock an artifact system which allows you to equip items to boost typical stats like Brawn, Brains, Spunk and Health.
Other game features to unlock include combat buddies where you’ll control a team of swappable superhero 4th graders, a fast travel system, and a crafting system where you can craft consumables, costumes, artifacts and mission items. Additionally, UBI “Club Units” can be earned by meeting achievements. These units can be used to “buy” DLC content like crafting packs, costumes (like a familiar looking Assassin’s Creed costume).
Essential point, if you’re a South Park fan then you need this game! Nowhere else does a game like this one make you, the player, the star in an episode of the popular South Park TV show!
OVERALL SCORE: 8.5
- Wonderful representation of the TV show
- Unique and humorous quest and battle scenarios
- Makes you want to come back for more
- Humor and language might be too crude for some folks
- 2D controls can be frustrating at times
Note: Our copy was reviewed on PC via UBIPlay with a code provided by PR.