Review by MaxH
"I suppose this is where I make some kind of South Park pun"
A game based on the most controversial TV cartoon in the world! This is a publisher's dream, and Acclaim will be laughing all the way to the bank with this hastily knocked out first person shooter using Turok 2's engine.
The story is fairly simple. Various freaks of nature are terrorizing the quiet mountain town of (You guessed it) South Park. You must eliminate them all and their 'tanks' (producers of the enemies, and giant versions of them themselves) in four 'episodes' each split up into about three levels. You play any of the four south Park kids.
The kindest thing I can say about the graphics is that they do a pretty good job representing the various characters, while they are all in 3d, they still maintain their flat papery look. The textures used are decidedly muddy though, giving the game's look an undesirable dirtiness, and ALL of the textures are completely plain. Not even a pattern in sight, everything is either just white, just green or just red. You could argue that this is because they are trying to stay faithful to the show, but it still doesn't change the fact that the game looks plain. Slowdown is an occasional occurrence, but this is barely noticeable. Another thing that brings the game's graphics down a little is the distinct lack of variety, nearly all of levels take place in the streets or snowy fields of south park. Since the game has to take place in south Park this may be an unfair criticism, but I suspect not all this seemingly lazy graphical approach is to make the game look authentic, I mean was there horrendous fogging in the cartoon?
The sound is very good, all staying within the style of the much-loved cartoon. the tunes are sometimes plucky, and often surprisingly tense, but just about all of them serve in favour of the game. The theme tune is also present and correct, and (providing your a south Park fan) there's no doubt you'll get a kick out of it the first couple of times you see it. The voice acting is superb, provided by the four that do the cartoon, there are plenty of hilarious one-liners that are guaranteed to get fan's laughing, there's a LOT of speech in the game, which is some incentive to get through it (Not nearly enough though).
The gameplay is monotonous to point of it being utterly ridiculous. EVERY level consists of getting from point A to point B and just killing the enemies in between, there's none of goldeneye's stealth, turok's excellent atmosphere, and Perfect Dark's excellent side-tasks. It's just running forward while pressing the Z button continuously. admittedly, there will be harder enemies later on in the game, but this only means walking backwards a bit more and throwing lots more snowballs (or whatever toy weapons you happen to have). The weapons are more of a novelty than the impressive blasters they should be. There are elements of the cartoon evident in them, for instance, the killer fish from the halloween episode serves as a far less satisfying version of turok 2's glorious cerebral bore, and terrence and Phillip dolls can be used as mines, but after you've used all these weapons the first few times, the effect wears off and they just don't feel 'meaty' enough to make killing enemies truly rewarding.
The game isn't particularly short, but once you've mastered the art of running forward, shooting, then running back and then repeating the whole technique, you'll whiz through the game in no time, and the end of world bosses are no different. Although the multiplayer just about saves this game from being a complete travesty. there's nothing of goldeneye or Perfect Dark quality here, but it is harmless and often fun nonetheless. There is no strategy involved and the arenas are far smaller than the ones found in the two aforementioned games, but that makes it a nice alternative to it's superior's as you can always get a quick blast on this. Slowdown in the multiplayer, however, is INSANE, this is perhaps the most noticeable case of slowdown I have ever seen. After a while you'll get used to it, but it still lessens the fun on offer considerably. All the characters are available to you in multiplayer, once unlocked from the main game (This is the game's way of forcing you to play the horrible one-player game) But you'll find a great deal of unfairness here, pick the shortest character and not only can you run the fastest, but the other players will also find it near impossible to hit you!
Overall this game is a shoddily programmed, average effort that will leave FPS fans wanting some great missions and stealth challenges, south-park style, after tasting the repetitive main-game. If they had of achieved this, this game could have been truly great. However, if you are a massive south-park fan like myself, you'll still find this game holds a mysterious allure, and the scrappy but fun multiplayer will JUST about prevent this from being a complete disappointment, but be warned, that still doesn't make it good.
Reviewer's Rating: 2.5 - Playable
Originally Posted: 06/03/01, Updated 06/03/01
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