South Park The Stick Of Truth Review
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I can still remember the first time I watched an episode of South Park, the TV series. It involved some vomit, a few alien anal probes, and a whole lot of bleeped out words. This is the part where I should be saying that the series has grown so much over the years, but it hasn’t and that’s a good thing. What the show has developed is a laser accuracy when delivering satire, mixed with poop jokes, and The Stick of Truth has promised us nothing less. Story and presentation are one side of the coin though, so it’s time to find out what kind of game comes along with them.
South Park The Stick of Truth is an RPG that borrows a lot of its feel from the 16-bit era. Its look, however, is all South Park. Whether you’re a fan of the series or have only seen an episode here and there, you’ll immediately recognized the visual style. Everything, not just the cut scenes, looks like it was taken straight from the TV show. From the unique art style, down to the bouncing walking animation, you’ll feel like you’re watching an episode of the show. Not to mention the fact that just about every major character appears at some point, and all of them are fully voiced. You’ll also quickly see that none of writing has been toned down between the show and the game. Matt Stone and Trey Parker continue to walk the line in every scene.
Players in The Stick of Truth will take on the role of the “New Kid”, whom Cartman will only refer to as ‘Douchebag’ regardless of the name you enter, as he discovers that the children of South Park are engaged in a town-wide live action role playing game. Cartman, Butters, and crew, fight for the Kupa Kingdom and you will join them in their fight against the dark elves who are trying to steal the stick of truth.
With this foundation, Obsidian have built up a old school RPG with turn-based combat and a fantasy theme. Players start out by choosing from one of four character classes: Fighter, Mage, Thief, or Jew (seriously, those are the choices). As you explore the streets and sights of South Park you’ll find plenty of loot, gear, and cosmetic items to customize your character. Exploration is rewarded not only with new gear, but with fully voiced side quests featuring some of your favorite, or more obscure, characters from the show.
The combat in South Park The Stick of Truth seems simple at first, but subtle complexities are revealed as the game progresses. Battles take on the familiar RPG form of lining up on opposite sides of the screen, choosing your attacks, and then waiting for your opponent to attack, but things are spiced up with active blocking and timed button presses to deal extra damage. Status effects and debuffs also factor in heavily and battles are kept interesting by being short strategic affairs rather than wars of attrition.
The Stick of Truth can feel a little rough around the edges at times with scenes abruptly cutting to black instead of smoothly transitioning, and long load times. The character movement is often sticky, especially after cut scenes, and doesn’t want you to change direction until you stop moving and then start walking again. None of the technical issues are major or game breaking but they crop up often enough that they’re worth mentioning.
At the end of the day there is a very competent RPG propping up the perfectly presented South Park elements in The Stick of Truth, so fans of the show will end up having a lot of fun playing the game as they laugh along with their favorite characters. If you happen to be new to South Park, you’re going to get a great RPG that happens to be amazingly funny as well.
There are no multiplayer modes in South Park The Stick of Truth.
If you were at all concerned about how South Park The Stick of Truth would turn out, you can put your fears to rest. South Park aside, you’ll be getting a fun game that is well paced and rewards exploration but when you add the familiar comedy and animation back into the equation you end up with one very entertaining game. This Stick of Truth is an absolute must buy for fans of the TV series, and a great place to start for people who are new to the world of South Park. Now, screw you guys, I’m going home.