Obsidian Entertainment brings a fully functional representation of South Park to a video game in a way we’ve never seen before. Find out if this game stands out from earlier South Park video games in our South Park: The Stick of Truth Review!
|Release Date||March 4, 2014|
The South Park video game license has been one that hasn’t seen many good games come out of it. The original game in 1999 wasn’t very good and consisted of throwing snowballs and one-liners. The next two games, South Park: Chef’s Luv Shack and South Park Rally were alright games in their genres but didn’t really represent a living South Park universe. That takes us to today and Obsidian Entertainment’s South Park: The Stick of Truth. This is the game that fans of the show were waiting for. It’s almost like playing out a really long episode of the show, for better or worse.
South Park: The Stick of Truth cleverly starts out using LAARPing as a way to introduce the fantasy elements that are so prevalent in modern RPGs. You can join Cartman’s human clan or Kyle’s elf clan depending on your preference with bases for each of them located in their respective backyards. The outfits and the way the kids have made up the backyards to look like bases are nothing short of hilarious and it sets the tone for the rest of the game.
As you can expect, Stick of Truth doesn’t take itself too seriously (or seriously at all. This is a game where the story surrounds a corrupt government, alien cover-ups, and Taco Bell. The game itself is a simple RPG that is pretty easy for anyone to get into. You and your other party member take turns battling different formations of enemies. You’re only allowed to have one other party member at a time, but you can swap them for different characters as you unlock them. You’ll battle crazy homeless people, gingers, aliens, and many others. Like many other games, there are buffs and debuffs such as throwing feces to gross out your opponents or using an item like a broken bottle to make them bleed. There are mana-powered attacks and some time-based blocks and attacks that flesh out the battles a bit and give veteran RPG players some needed depth.
There are four archetypes that you can play as in South Park: The Stick of Truth: Fighter, Mage, Thief, and Jew. Obviously, I had to play the Jew class to see what that was all about. Each class has their own special abilities, but that’s really where the differences end. All classes can use the same weapons and items so there’s barely anything that distinguishes one from another. All classes even learn a type of magic based on farting where you have to line up the thumbsticks properly, something that seems like an obvious perk for a Mage. The only thing that does give you any type of incentive to try different classes is for achievement hunting. There definitely isn’t much reason to replay the game with how little difference there is between classes.
The game looks exactly like the show does which doesn’t sound like a compliment, but it is. South Park is represented in a way that it never has before. Churches, schools, houses, Stark Pond; everything is here and it’s re-created as faithfully as possible. If you were looking at the game and recent seasons of the TV show, you wouldn’t be able to tell the two apart. Most of the characters make an appearance although there are a few notable exceptions there like Towelie. There are a lot of different people to encounter. I had a lot of fun looking for various items in every nook and cranny of the town and figuring out how to get to places that I hadn’t been…including a whole other country.
I think what I liked most about South Park: The Stick of Truth is that they really tried to cut out any annoying tendencies in RPGs. There are no forced battles, the battles don’t take ages to complete, and aren’t too frustrating. You don’t have to worry about encumbrance which is a huge thing with the number of items you’ll acquire throughout the game. It’s a game you can blow through in one day or take your time with and explore. It caters to both types of players and I think that’s important. RPGs aren’t normally accessible to a wide audience because of how much of a learning curve it takes to play certain titles. That’s not a problem here.
|Looks exactly like the show||Battles get stagnant|
|Accessible to all|