South Park has been on one hell of a winning streak with its video games, with both The Stick of Truth and The Fractured but Whole offering brilliant RPG experiences that managed to balance out the anarchic humour of the cartoon series with genuinely engaging gameplay mechanics. They were both SO good that I was actually a little disappointed to see that South Park: Snow Day was taking a completely different approach, with it ditching the RPG mechanics in favour of multiplayer focused PvE action.

Is it any good? Well, whilst it’s fun to play (especially with friends), it’s hard not to feel a little disappointed that South Park: Snow Day doesn’t offer a more substantial experience.

Check out some screenshots down below:

If the title didn’t give it away, South Park: Snow Day sees a huge snowstorm hit the titular town and close down the school, giving the children the chance to engage in more roleplaying action as they battle it out across the streets in their fantasy-inspired getups. Once again, you take on the role of the New Kid, with players able to fully customise their appearance as they join in on the over-the-top hijinks that come with spending time with Stan, Kyle, Kenny, and, of course, Cartman.

Let’s get this out of the way immediately: the storytelling of South Park: Snow Day is absolutely brilliant… IF you like South Park. Trey Parker and Matt Stone were on-board with the creation of the story, so it feels just like an episode of the show, whilst all of the cast reprise the role of each character to add to the authenticity. This means you can expect some over-the-top characters and plot threads that are utterly absurd (and at times offensive), but in the BEST possible way… again, IF you like South Park. As a long-time fan of the series, I thought the storytelling and authenticity was brilliant, but if the low-brow humour isn’t to your tastes, you might want to steer clear.

The core gameplay of South Park: Snow Day sees players moving through levels and taking out any enemies in their path in 3D hack ‘n slash action that’s easiest to compare with the likes of Left 4 Dead, with waves upon waves of foes making their presence felt as you look to complete each objective. Utilising different weapons, players are able to perform basic melee or ranged attacks in simple combos, whilst they’ll also unlock special abilities which offer a neat variety of powers including the likes of a healing totem to keep you and your allies healthy, a snow turret to overwhelm hordes of enemies, a gravity bomb to pull in and damage multiple enemies, and the… uh… fart escape, which lets you evade enemies through the power of flatulence. You’ll unlock more of these abilities by completing specified challenges throughout the game, use temporary cards in levels to boost your abilities, and also upgrade your stats by collecting special Dark Matter that’s found across levels (which also sees you interacting with Mr Hanky the Christmas Poo which is always a delight).

“South Park: Snow Day isn’t the best co-op hack ‘n slash PvE that you’ll play, but it’s still fun and captures the anarchic humour of the TV show PERFECTLY.”

Then there are the Bullshit Cards, which see players choose from a random selection of cards at the start of each level to give them a special limited-use ability that is more powerful than those found in your regular loadout. Some of these can get you out of some real sticky situations, especially with the all-powerful Laser Eyes, the Invisibility that hides your presence, or the Meteor Storm that sees Cartman summon a meteor storm (duh) to cause destruction on the battlefield, but be warned: your enemies come with Bullshit Cards too, so you’ve always got to be prepared for the vicious tricks they have up their sleeves. Either way, it’s a really fun mechanic that adds an unpredictable twist to the frantic action that takes place in each level.

It should also be noted that South Park: Snow Day is built around multiplayer, with up to four players able to take on each level in co-operative action. Whilst multiplayer isn’t essential (and there is the option to play with AI bots if you are a solo player), it can make tackling some of the game’s enemies a little easier – whether that’s when battling shielded enemies that have to be flanked or when facing off against the likes of Princess Kenny in a boss showdown. It’s definitely at its best in multiplayer, with the gameplay loop and the ridiculous nature of the South Park humour best enjoyed with friends.

Whilst South Park: Snow Day is a competent hack ‘n slasher and has enough ideas to make it fun to play, it has a few flaws that prevent it from standing out as a major player in the genre. For one, the combat could be a little clunky in places, with it often tricky to line up attacks perfectly and the battlefield regularly filling up with enemies that are quick to overwhelm you. I’d often mash out attacks to seemingly no avail, which felt weird given that these attacks SHOULD be landing. Whilst I have no doubt it could be a skill issue at times, there were definitely occasions where the aiming precision in the game just felt a bit off.

Check out some screenshots down below:

The levels themselves can feel repetitive in design too, with each taking place across a snow-covered area of the town. Whilst it’s nice to see some familiar locales (and the fantasy elements do play into things), the snowy aesthetic can make each level feel really samey. There are only five levels in total too, and whilst the objectives of these levels are randomised between each playthrough, it won’t take you long to see everything that the game has to offer. Whilst the variety of unlockables and upgrades on offer do give players a decent reward, they might not be substantial enough to keep them coming back for more.

Despite these flaws, I still liked South Park: Snow Day. I was a big fan of the visuals too, which came as a bit of a surprise – I thought the previous two games nailed it with their 2D approach that made them look just like episodes of the show, but the switch to 3D has still managed to capture that South Park vibe perfectly. It looks really good, so much so that I’m a little disappointed that I wasn’t able to explore more of the town with this fancy 3D style. But hey… maybe more locales will come with the DLC?

South Park: Snow Day Review

South Park: Snow Day isn’t the best co-op hack ‘n slash PvE that you’ll play, but it’s still fun and captures the anarchic humour of the TV show PERFECTLY. I just wish it had a few more levels, more varied locales, and the combat was a bit more fine-tuned, because the ingredients are there for the game to be a success… it just needs a bit more content and fine-tuning to keep me coming back for more.

There are some clever ideas in play with the likes of the Bullshit Cards, playing with friends is a real treat, and the South Park vibe is present in both the storytelling and presentation, so the game is in no way a disaster. It just might be a little bit too repetitive right now to keep players invested for the long term.

Developer: Question
Publisher: THQ Nordic
Platform(s): PlayStation 5 (Reviewed), Xbox Series X|S, Nintendo Switch, PC