SOUTH PARK: THE STICK OF TRUTH
Developed by Obsidian Entertainment
Published by Ubisoft
Available on PC, Steam, Xbox 360 and PS3
Are you a fan of adult cartoon comedy animation series, South Park? SOUTH PARK: THE STICK OF TRUTH throws you into the world of the TV series as a brand new customisable character, a new kid on the block for the children of South Park to play with. An all-out war is occuring throught the neighbourhood between the Humans, run by Cartman, and the Elves. Each faction battle for the Stick of Truth, the holder of which rules all the universe. As the new arrival to the town, you get to select your style (fighter, mage, thief or jew) and join Cartman and the humans.
Taking a fantasy theme, SOUTH PARK: THE STICK OF TRUTH mixes RPG elements, including turn-based fights, with everything you know and love from South Park. Most of the faces of South Park are present in some shape or form with the odd exceptions, but the amount of references this game has to the series, both past to present, as well as other pop culture, is amazing. As a new resident to the town, you’ll also get to explore the neighbourhood including the iconic buildings from the series such as the Town Hall and the school. Most of these buildings and the homes and properties of South park’s residents are accessible, allowing you to have a nosy around to see what people are up to as well as collect objects from their houses. Golden handles represent interactive hotspots such as doors to rooms, cupboards, fridges and chests, with goodies hidden inside the storage objects. Many of the items inside these cupboards and chests range from useful (potions, patches) to junk, but whatever you find will give you a laugh. One of my major highlights was snooping around Cartman’s mom’s room and in her drawers. Knowing what she likes to get up to, I wasn’t too surprised at what I found but it made me chuckle nonetheless. Antonio Banderas blow up doll, anyone? Objects found which aren’t of any use can always be sold with the traders. Important items can also be found this way such as keys to unlock other doors in South Park, so it’s worthwhile to go through everything.
As a member of Cartman’s human army, there’ll be many opportunities to fight others during the game. Upgradable hats, clothing and gloves, coupled with ranged (if you’re a fighter) and melee weapons, will help you to beat your opponents in the turn-based combat. Patches can be used as well to modify your outfit and weapons to give them an extra ability for use in combat. With varying opponents, it’s good to change these up when necessary to get the best result and conquer your enemies. During the fight, magic abilities can be used which present some very funny ideas to harm your opponents, with cutscenes to match. Melee weapons can also be used if you prefer or run out of magic points. Almost always throughout the game you’ll be joined by a buddy character in combat. At the start, this is Butters, but as the game progresses, more team members join the buddy pool for you to choose from and can be swapped at any time, including during battle. These buddy members also have a special power which can be used when not in combat to overcome certain obstacles, so it’s good to learn what ability each buddy has.
When not in combat, your character will be given certain tasks, whether it’s to deliver messages and items, find objects, talk to others or fight certain people/animals. These missions progress the story whilst others act as side missions which unlock other aspects not vital to the main story. One of the main objects of the game is to acquire as many friends as possible on Facebook which is why it’s important to speak to as many people as possible and to explore South Park fully. I mean, who likes a FB profile with no friends, right?
There’s so much to enjoy in SOUTH PARK: THE STICK OF TRUTH that it doesn’t feel like your playing a game, rather playing and watching an interactive episode. As a player of the South Park game on the Playstation 1 where you practically spent the entire game fending off turkeys with dodgeballs from a first-person viewpoint, SOUTH PARK: THE STICK OF TRUTH is a massive departure and all for the better. This is the game we’ve all been waiting for and the development team have done themselves proud. It’s hilarious, rude and tremendous fun, and I wish it would never end. At 18 hours, I completed the game’s main story but there’s still plenty of items I need to collect (Chinpokomon) and locked doors to open, so I can see myself spending some extra time on this game. Though I dislike the idea of DLC for games, if Obsidian and Ubisoft were to churn out some extra story episodes for South Park as DLC, I’d be more than happy parting with my money.
There’s so much I’ve neglected to say about this game, mostly from the characters and thestory point-of-view, but only because I want you to experience it for yourself. To me, most of the game was a surprise and I loved it even more because it wasn’t ruined for me. Now do yourself the biggest favour and grab yourself a copy. If you like the series, you’ll enjoy it!
If you live in the UK and are planning to purchase Stick of Truth for the PC, buy the Steam key from Amazon. The reason is that the Amazon Steam key unlocks the uncensored version of the game on Steam. Buying directly from Steam will give you the censored European version which blocks out some rude bits and ruins some pretty hilarious scenes. And who likes censorship?!
SOUTH PARK: THE STICK OF TRUTH would probably battle Middle-Earth: Shadow of Mordor for Game of the Year for me. Despite its brevity compared to the Tolkien-inspired adventure RPG, SOUTH PARK: THE STICK OF TRUTH gives so much enjoyment that you’ll want to replay it again and again.