It’s been a long time coming but South Park has finally released. The game has been clouded by delays, changing publishers, and then eventually some small censorship in European and Australian markets but South Park: The Stick of Truth has finally been released. The only real question left to answer is if South Park: The Stick of Truth is still relevant enough after releasing a year after it was orignally slated?
Two of the hardest types of games to crack are licensed games and comedy. Developers Obsidian have decided to tackle both these almost impenetrable forces in one go with the first retail South Park game in almost 15 years. The big difference this time around though is that South Park’s creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone have been integral to the development of the South Park: The Stick of Truth. They have been working on the game throughout its development, writing the story and dialogue to make the game seem as authentic to show as possible.
It’s that authenticity that make South Park such a joy to play. Visually, you could easily mistake the game for an episode of the show and in many ways it feels like that too. Everything from the storyline, to jokes, and locations makes it feel as though you’re actually just getting a whole new season of South Park.
The story sees you as the new kid moving into South Park. You’re the mute main protagonist as clichés normally portray and South Park is quick to make fun of such clichés. You have no memory of your life before moving to South Park. When your parents tell you to go outside and make friends, you quickly bump into Butters and befriend him. It isn’t long before you meet the King Wizard Cartman and become apart of the Kingdom of Kupa Keep. In a battle with the elves, the stick of truth has been taken by the elves and you are tasked with getting it back.
As with anything South Park, the story quickly descends out of control. It becomes a lot more than their small little stories and they’re not afraid about being offensive. If you thought the TV show was offensive, Trey Parker and Matt Stone hold nothing back in this game; to the extent that its rather surprising the game got certified without any of it being censored.
The only censoring comes from a few scenes being removed and in its place is a picture with a description of the removed scene. To be perfectly honest, there is more offensive stuff still featured in the game than the ones removed making it a little confusing as to why it was removed.
South Park: The Stick of Truth is a turn-based RPG. The best way to describe it is as a Mario RPG for adults. Combat is simple with not a lot of complexity to the mechanics. The game is also rather simple so should you want a challenge, its highly suggested that you begin the game on hard although the difficulty can be changed at any time.
The game isn’t as long as you may expect from an RPG with about a dozen hours or so to complete the main quest. There is a lot of side stuff to do and the game never feels old at all. If you have played Role Playing Games, you may be surprised to find out that South Park never really recycles battles or enemies as so many other RPGs do. This keeps pace constant which is very important to this game.
What makes South Park so enjoyable is that Matt and Trey keep their trademark satire on everything and this continues into the Stick of Truth, while having a few cheeky shots at video games. It’s the little touches that stand out like how NPCs will walk around and as soon as they stop moving they take out their phones and its rife throughout the game. Sometimes it was the more subtle things that I found funnier.
If you’re looking for a deep Role Playing Game look elsewhere; however; if you’re a fan of the show and want to have a love-letter game made for you, then Stick of Truth is perfect for you. It’s offensive, short enough but filled with enough gags and jokes to make you feel satisfied forits duration. It came late but was certainly worth the wait as we finally got a really good South Park game; too bad it took more than 15 years to come.