South Park: The Stick of Truth - New Game of the Day #61
SOUTH PARK: THE STICK OF TRUTH – NEW GAME OF THE DAY #61
What? An Action RPG based on the notorious South Park universe
When? March 2013
Where? Xbox 360, PS3, PC, OnLive
“The only thing that really interested us was to make a game that felt like you were in an episode of South Park. You had to get the look right.”
Thus spoke Matt Stone at this year’s E3 during the official unveiling of South Park: The Stick of Truth – and it certainly looks like developers Obsidian Entertainment have treated the irreverent source material with reverence to deliver on that initial proviso.
The game is apparently based around the new kid at South Park Elementary – that’s you – who must embark on an epic quest to make friends that, somewhere down the line, involves finding the titular Stick of Truth. Though what it really centres around is party-based adventuring with Kyle, Stan, Kenny and Cartman, traversing the mean streets of South Park as opposed to crawling through dungeons, and slaughtering hordes of Underpants Gnomes instead of goblins.
You’re able to create your new kid from scratch and customise him or her with (direct quote from the official site) “something like a billion character, clothing and weapon combinations”. Outside of combat, the action is (of course) 2D and side-scrolling, but when it kicks off it all switches to a classic turn-based format riffing off the JRPGs of old (and, erm, present).
Almost all of the major and minor characters feature in the game at some point, either as part of your party or as NPCs, and it’s all scripted by Trey Parker and Matt Stone, ensuring that the authentic South Park character humour is present and correct. Special skills like lighting farts are likely to be par for the course, so don’t come into this one all po-faced and serious. South Park is, by definition, easy to criticise – but this is one of its major strengths and part of the reason it’s lasted for fifteen years.
Loot, levelling, adventuring are addictive enough even in the blandest RPGs, so mix in some Cartman one-liners, a healthy does of Jew jokes and at least one appearance by Big Gay Al and Obsidian can’t lose with this one.
Developer Legacy: American outfit Obsidian Entertainment are the undisputed kings when it comes to picking up an existing franchise and running with it. They’ve worked on sequels to several massive franchises, producing gems along the way like Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic II, Neverwinter Nights 2 and Fallout: New Vegas. Their only recent foray into original territory was 2009’s underappreciated espionage RPG, Alpha Protocol.
They Say: “From the perilous battlefields of the fourth-grade playground, a young hero will rise, destined to be South Park's saviour. From the creators of South Park, Trey Parker and Matt Stone, comes an epic quest to become… cool.” – Official Website
We Say: From the looks of it, Obsidian have got the look perfect, the script is written and performed by Parker and Stone… For fans of the show, this is an absolute no-brainer. For everyone else, well – it’s not really for you anyway, is it?
Words by Mick Fraser (Twitter: @Jedi_Beats_Tank)