South Park: The Stick of Truth
Developer: Obsidian Entertainment, South Park Digital Studios
Platforms: Xbox 360, PS3, PC
Basically: Do you love South Park? Prepare for a 10 hour episode in all the right ways.
Graphics: Flawless interpretation of the series. Don't expect 3D, this is South Park.
Gameplay: Deep RPG elements that should appeal to vets and new comers.
Reason To Cop It: You're a fan of South Park and want to play the most loyal adaptation of the show.
Reason to Not Cop It: You're easily offended, occasional bugs.
Bottom Line: A filthy and gorgeously faithful translation of the show. Get it.
South Park: The Stick of Truth isn't the game you're expecting from the minds of South Park creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone.
You might expect after 17 years of the animated series, a game could lean on fan service alone. Frankly I expected to spend my time playing The Stick of Truth trying to find new and interesting ways to jam a pineapple up Hitler's ass, but instead found myself locked into one of the most rewarding role playing games in recent memory.
As the new kid in town you'll have to pick your class; thief, mage, warrior or Jew.
Yes, you read that right, Jew, is a character class. Think of him as your paladin/monk class, a combination healer/support character.
The entire adventure will force players on a dungeon grinding quest with nothing more than farts and a stick covered in shit to protect you. As the kids of South Park band together in rival groups to battle it out, you'll find yourself recruiting for your side, scouting for Man-Bear-Pig and revisiting the themes of the series, but always in a way that feels completely fresh and does more than retread the series. The game adds to it in every way possible.
Make War, Douche-bag
For all of it's comedy, The Stick of Truth is a turn-based RPG where players will grow a party, level them, and battle it out in surprisingly difficult engagements. This is not a walkthrough, nor an easy game. But some of the strongest items stay true to the ridiculous make-believe nature. In one hand you'll have a flaming sword and in the other you'll be juggling a taco and a dodge ball to smite your enemies.
Each class has their own special perks, and players start out with their trusty healer, Butters, in their party.
Immersion isn't a term I use lightly, but Stick of Truth accomplishes this perfectly. Obsidian Entertainment, alongside Ubisoft and South Park Digital Studios, have mined the world of South Park to coat every square inch of the game world with recognizable TV moments and highlights. From running into Al Gore, to visiting the local gun shop, it's a mirror of the show. And while one of the hallmarks of the show may be the the repetition of jokes anchored to a central theme, the game manages the same without ever becoming stale.
Playing the game truly is like being dunked into one massive episode. The soundtrack is massively instrumental in this. When boss battles are about to begin, and Cartman's voice begins to chant in the background, you can't help but smile and get caught up in this world that we all know and love.
Story, You Say?
The Stick of Truth builds on the stories from the TV series, but at some point this make-believe game turns into a real life-or-death struggle for the future of the planet. Without any spoilers: there's going to be a good chance you'll be probed for the sake of the world.
The story is easily the most impressive part of the game. Sure the battle system is great, but it's the story that keeps players invested as things get very offensive, and very dicey around this familiar Colorado town.
Every moment of the game is punctuated with comedy and may wear on players after, say a third straight hour of play, but that's the beautiful thing about the game, it's not meant to be marathoned.
There's a reason the episodes are only 22 minutes long.
Players can only laugh so many times at a thrown fart, but it's a testament to the writing and storytelling that enough is offered to keep you laughing all the way through.
It's Coming Right For Us!
The Stick of Truth is a pleasant surprise in a world where AAA titles must walk a line between censorship and appealing to a wider audience. This title crosses every line – just like the show – then rolls it up, pushes it down your throat and forces you to puke it up. And you're going to love every minute of it.
Fans of the show are going to love getting lost in the world of South Park, and even if you haven't visited in sometime, South Park is still as you remember it. From the RPG battle to the ridiculously black comedy fans of the show, and RPGs, are going to love this title.
Stick of Truth manages to take the world of South Park and make it a living, breathing extension of the show that has been wating for arrival this whole time.