I remember the first time I experienced South Park via the internet in the form of Jesus vs Santa Claus. Who would’ve thought Trey Parker and Matt Stone could take the license to such amazing, and outrageously absurd, heights of over-the-top pop culture humor that tiptoes the line of offensiveness. I’ve been a fan of the show for a long time and everything that makes South Park lovable, or disliked, is loud and clear.
You play as the new kid in town and are charged by your parents to go out and make friends a la Facebook, often by simply introducing yourself or completing various tasks. Following the events of the “Black Friday” trilogy of episodes, you’ll end up participating in the South Park boys role playing game and get to join Cartman’s Humans who are pitted against Kyle’s Elves. You can outfit your character with the hilariously funny home-made cosplay outfits, and in true South Park fashion, events and scenarios escalate to the ridiculous in no time.
The game play is a light turn-based RPG, with your party consisting of you and the leading South Park boys (Stan, Kyle, Cartman, Butters, Jimmy, and Kenny) although only one member is active at any given time. Typical RPG actions such as attack, magic, abilities and items are used but presented in a context that fits the fantasy game the boys are playing and inline with South Park’s potty humor. Cartman will light his farts as a form of elemental fire attack and you can even throw used tampons (dubbed poison grenades) to “gross out” your opponents. The height of battle humor can be found in some of the special abilities that each character has. Some are traditional RPG style attacks while others fit perfectly with the character’s persona (e.g. – Butters can become Professor Chaos). The game also features their version of summons, allowing you to call on characters such as Mr. Hanky, Mr. Slave, or even Jesus himself.
There are 4 classes to choose from: Fighter, Thief, Mage and “the Jew”. Each have their own special abilities and specialties, but the differences between them are minimal. This is where the game falls real short. Equipment isn’t dependent upon class and all classes will eventually learn special magic in the form of
Where the Stick of Truth truly excels is in the adaptation of the show into a licensed game. I spent the first few hours simply exploring this “quiet little mountain town” and was treated with subtle references to many episodes. All of the iconic locations of the show are in the game with the majority being explorable. Classic South Park songs such as “Montage” and “Kyle’s Mom is a Bitch” are playing on radios and in various stores. Even the “junk” collected throughout exploration often provides homage to episodes like “Guitar Queer-o”.
Verdict: Super Sweet
Stick of Truth plays out like a typical South Park three-part episode that spans roughly 13-14 hours of RPG satire. As a fan of the show, I was not disappointed and enjoyed the absurd comedy embedded into every second of the game. However, I was left with wanting more. Towelie’s cameo was relegated to a loading screen and I didn’t end up battling with the satan-worshipping Christmas Critters. I’m wondering if this was due to time constraints or if they’re planning on releasing a lot of DLC content. It’d be pretty cool if they released future episodes similar to Telltale’s Walking Dead or Wolf Among Us. Overall, the Stick of Truth masterfully blurs the line of TV Show and video game, and is an excellent game for any fan of the show.