Privacy Policy

South Park Rally

Fifteen months ago, stout South Park mogul Eric Cartman graced the cover of PC Gamer. He optimistically exclaimed, "Oh my God! They made a South Park game!" Today, after awarding that skimpy debut title a generous 40 percent score, each PC Gamer editor moans, "Oh Lord. They're still at it."

Visually, South Park Rally is rendered with all the care and attention to detail as the cartoon. That is to say, minimal. But no one watches the cartoon for the brilliant animation. The South Park gang has the same appeal as Howard Stern; we watch to see what they're going to say next. Whether it's a pointed commentary on censorship or opinions on the sexual proclivities of Cartman's mom, the brats make us laugh by rubbing against the grain of political correctness. There is an infectious, mature bite behind the preschool animation. And that's where this game and the cartoon part ways.

There is not so much as a nibble to South Park Rally, let alone bite, and the only thing mordantly funny about the gameplay is the joke played on the consumer. The game offers a racing experiene in which the physics are taken about as seriously as Deuce Bigelow at the Oscars. Cows behave like helium balloons and oncoming buses react like cardboard. Further, the tracks are so poorly marked that it's easier to get lost than it is to follow the checkpoints.

Worse, the game is difficult to the point of being no fun. Seven PC Gamer editors - people who fervently play games for a living - tried unsuccessfully to win the first race. Yes, the first race. With some luck, I finally managed to do so, only to be treated to the same course with a new objective and the same terrible AI. While multiplayer eliminates the AI problems, you not only have to find another fool who bought the game but you need a LAN as well since Internet support is curiously absent.

Unique power-ups like herpes-infected prostitutes, dildo missiles, explosive diarrhea, and Saddam Hussein vision are all good for a cheap laugh, but they do little to enhance the gameplay. It's games like this that, at the end of a long day, send me home disappointed with the world.

-Jeremy Williams


 FINAL VERDICT
PC Gamer 20%

   

100% - 90%
EDITORS' CHOICE - We're battening down the hatches and limiting our coveted Editors' Choice award to games that score a 90% or higher. It's not easy to get here, and darn near impossible to get near 100%. Games in this range come with our unqualified recommendation, an unreserved must-buy score.

89% - 80%
EXCELLENT - These are excellent games. Anything that scores in this range is well worth your purchase, and is likely a great example of its genre. This is also a scoring range where we might reward specialist/niche games that are a real breakthrough in their own way.

79% - 70%
GOOD - These are pretty good games that we recommend to fans of the particular genre, though it's a safe bet you can probably find better options.

69% - 60%
ABOVE AVERAGE - Reasonable, above-average games. They might be worth buying, but they probably have a few significant flaws that limit their appeal.

59% - 50%
MERELY OKAY - Very ordinary games. They're not completely worthless, but there are likely numerous better places to spend your gaming dollar.

49% - 40%
TOLERABLE - Poor quality. Only a few slightly redeeming features keep these games from falling into the abyss of the next category.

39% - 0%
DON'T BOTHER - Just terrible. And the lower you go, the more worthless you get. Avoid these titles like the plague, and don't say we didn't warn you!


Rainbow Six 3: Athena Sword 80%
Battlefield: Vietnam 90%
CSI: Dark Motives 62%
Saturday Night Speedway 59%
Desert Rats vs. Afrika Korps 74%
Far Cry 95%
Gangland 68%
IL-2: Forgotten Battles Ace Expansion Pack 90%
MVP Baseball 2004 78%
Nemesis of the Roman Empire 68%
North German Plain �85 87%
Naval Campaigns 3: Guadalcanal 75%
Splinter Cell: Pandora Tomorrow 90%
Sacred 82%
Unreal Tournament 2004 92%
Dark Age of Camelot: Trials of Atlantis 80%
Baseball Mogul 2004 67%
Crusader Kings 69%
Dead Man�s Hand 75%