The announcement of a new SouthPark game came two years ago at E3, with nothing more than a trailer showing off almost all of the cast at the time. Fans were both excited and scared that the series would be hitting Xbox Live Arcade. After all, the last company that had the license was Acclaim, and that agreement yielded a first-person shooter, a trivia game and a kart racing title. None of those offerings lit the gaming world on fire, and with the download size restrictions that Microsoft had at the time, no one knew what could be done within those confines. Some time has passed, and things have changed a bit. XBLA title sizes have grown larger, and people assumed that the SouthPark project had been canceled. At this year's San Diego Comic-Con, it was revealed that not only was the South Park game still alive and well, but it was also coming out sooner than anyone had expected.
South Park: Let's Play Tower Defense Go is, as the title suggests, a tower defense game. The premise is that the town of South Park is being invaded by various forces that include gnomes, hippies and the Ginger Kids. A wall similar to the Great Wall of China is being built around the town but it isn't enough to stop the invading hordes. As the main stars of the show, it's your job to stop the enemies before they overrun the town. You'll accomplish this by going from locale to locale assembling lasers, ball cannons, cherry bomb dispensers, etc., in order to dispatch the enemies in a typically gruesome fashion.
The most immediate difference one will see from this tower defense game in comparison to most others is the presence of your characters on the field. They take the place of a cursor in most games, but instead of just serving as an indicator of where to place the next weapon, they become an active part of territory defense by letting the player throw snowballs directly at the enemies. Each character will have varying strengths at which they can throw the white (or yellow) snow, and they'll also have various special moves that can be activated during combat. Cartman, for example, can use his bottled-up rage to clear the screen of all enemies while Stan can immediately upgrade weapons in his vicinity to the next level. In the single-player game, you can also place any unused characters anywhere on the board where they will act like towers, throwing snowballs at all passing enemies within range.
The other big difference is co-operative multiplayer. Every single one of the levels can be played with up to four players, with each one playing with the different characters that have been unlocked thus far. Multiplayer can be done with any combination of online and offline players. For example, you can have a total of three players on your console playing with one online person or two people on your console playing with another two people on another console. As an added bonus to the multiplayer gameplay, the game supports drop-in/drop-out gameplay. The game won't have to stop in the middle of a level just because your buddy wants a piece of the action.
While the game will have over 14 levels of play, there will be a ton of material to unlock. Aside from the aforementioned secret characters, players can unlock biographies of their characters and the enemies they encounter. The game will also unlock several videos that feature the characters and enemies from the TV episode in which they first appeared. It remains to be seen how many video clips are included in the final release, but we were told that there will be a ton, making one wonder just how big this game is going to be once it hits the marketplace.The main knock against South Park: Let's Play Tower Defense Go so far would have to be the difficulty, or lack thereof. During the event, we were asked if we would like to turn up the difficulty of the game since earlier levels proved to be too easy for us. With the game turned up at the highest difficulty level possible, it didn't feel any different. The waves of enemies barely reached the halfway point in the area before it ended. Considering that the group playing consisted of casual tower defense players, this revelation was a bit concerning. If this can be tweaked before the game launches, then there will be no doubt that this will be a defense game that both genre fans and South Park fans will be glad to look forward to this October.
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