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South Park: Snow Day! Review

South Park has been a series that since the late 90s has seemingly been the most non-politically correct show that never gets cancelled. While some fans feel like the show has gotten worse over the years, gamers feel the complete opposite when it comes to the video games.

Coming off the heels of The Stick of Truth and The Fractured But Whole, South Park: Snow Day! has launched and has seemingly become extremely divisive amongst the community. This has gone past the standard journalist vs gamers troupe, but has also received mix reviews from those who own the game as it currently has “mixed” reviews on Steam. So is it warranted? Let’s found out.

The game starts with a great opening showcasing Cartman “patiently” waiting on whether or not school will be cancelled due to a giant snowstorm hitting South Park. Waking up super early the next morning, Cartman and his mom watch the morning news and discover in a fake out at the very end that school is indeed closed. Immediately, Cartman changes into his grand wizard outfit and goes outside to play. This involves him inviting you the “new kid” to go outside to play with him. With a quick tutorial, some start to wonder if something more sinister is going on since South Park never gets a blizzard this bad. This is the start of an adventure to find out if something much more darker is truly taking place.

First off, we have to discuss the gameplay as it is the biggest change compared to its previous counterparts. While previous titles featured the classic RPG combat like Final Fantasy, this title is a hack ‘n slash with some RPG elements. Combat plays a lot like the duels in Ghost of Tsushima only a lot more clunky. The game does feature both a melee and range weapons, but I often felt I was doing nothing more then pushing my left mouse button repeatedly for 95% of all combat. It wasn’t until the later portions of the game that I started using range weapons a lot more.

A criticism that seems to have cause some discourse is the feeling that people just aren’t enjoy the game. Most who are simply watching the game on YouTube or Twitch feel like those playing it are enjoying themselves quite a lot. While I haven’t watched any streams and do realize that everyone is entitled to their own opinion, I wonder how much of the enjoyment is due to them playing the game with their friends. There is a huge push for co-op play as you can have up to 4 players at a time. If you do decide to play the game solo, you will have 3 generic NPCs (none of the main characters) join you in battle. Since I played the game solo, I found myself exiting out of the game entirely after each level and seemingly having to force myself to continue on with the story.

One feeling that does appear to be universal is that the game is very short. The game has a free content pack called To Danse with Ravenous Shadows which is essentially a survival mode where you battle up to 10 waves of enemies for additional Toilet Paper, Dark Matter and trading cards. Despite completing two runs of this alongside the main story, I managed to complete the game on Easy difficulty within 5 hours. There are only 5 levels total in the main story which has caused some players to beat the game in the same time it takes to watch the South Park theatrical film. This causes everything to feel a lot less enjoyable overall since there is less of everything that people have come to expect from a South Park title. There are plans to release loads more content in the future as there is a Season Pass which can be purchased alongside the game for $50, or separately for $25. Sadly, most of the content will be cosmetic and a new game mode will not be launching until some time in October. Nothing at the time of publishing indicates any future content to continue the main story.

Overall, I’ll say the game is just OK. We’ve been spoiled to long stories with the two previous major South Park titles alongside loads of humor that only the series can deliver. However, everything ends way to soon to build on anything that enjoyable. Even at $30 for the base version, you really won’t get much enjoyment after a couple of days with Snow Day even if you are a fan of the franchise. The only thing that would make this worth it is either a price drop to $20, or loads more content.

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