"The core of the game is laughter"

When Matt Stone and Trey Parker set out to make a South Park RPG, their main guideline was that it had to look and feel like the TV show. It wasn’t enough to encounter familiar characters; players had to feel as though they were navigating that world itself. The Stick of Truth is fully successful in that regard.

Game intro trailer 2

Players take on the role of "the new kid", a 9-year-old boy who has just moved to South Park and has a mysterious past. When designing your character, there are a ton of options. These will change your interactions with other players – everything from your skin tone to class choice is fodder for hilarious jokes from Cartman. On one preview play through, we played with a spray tan, ginger hair and a cow t-shirt, prompting Cartman to ask if we were Kyle’s mom; when I played with black skin, a huge afro and hipster clothes, the game even changed the parents’ style to match.

There are four classes to choose from: Fighter, Mage, Thief and Jew. As you might expect, each gets unique traits and abilities. The first time I saw Stars of David fly out of a damaged enemy due to a special attack from the Jew class I nearly wet myself laughing.

 

While combat is turn-based, it’s not just a matter of "press A to win". Players can select actions from a range of options in their attack wheel. Actions will need to vary based on enemy stances, armour or skills. Additionally, when attacked, players have the opportunity to block – if all attacks are successfully blocked, the player can counter attack. Combat is very fast and certain abilities have the possibility of harming the player as much as the enemy – what would else you expect when Butters tries to play with hammers?

Game intro trailer 3

In fact, the combat in the game is very difficult and expects a high degree of strategy from the player. Sure, you can successfully take on more difficult enemies early on in the game, but you will need to use your healing items, special attacks and abilities in just the right way. Combat adds a deeper level to the game, taking it beyond an opportunity to explore South Park in an interactive adventure – it is truly an impressive RPG.

Despite being 2D like the TV show, the game offers a huge open world the explore. Sure, I was only able to explore the town of South Park, but there was more than enough to see. As long as you stay on the side walks or use pedestrian crossings, you can go anywhere in the town. In this way, the game feels like a fully open-world game, without breaking from the 2D background design. Each house can be entered and explored, as can all the shops. Upon checking out the one business, I was treated to Chef singing "Simultaneous Loving" in the background while looting the items available. In the next store, "Taco Flavoured Kisses" was on the radio as I spoke to different characters and found a side quest.

New kid 9

Within each area, there is some degree of platforming as you move up ladders and across obstacles. You can use your environment to your advantage in combat, taking out enemies with a variety of objects rather than needing to fight your way through each and every one. This small amount of puzzle solving varies the gameplay and will appeal to those who prefer to out think their opponents rather than relying purely on brute strength.

The Stick of Truth has a pseudo-Facebook system that allows you to make friends with tons of characters in South Park. This brought back memories of Suikoden as I tried to collect all the characters as friends. Some people require you to complete extra missions, or have a certain number of friends before they will interact with you. Checking your friend-feed can give advice on quests, or just offer hilarious commentary as you go. Friends can also provide you with side quests or random funny dialogue. In this way, interacting with every person you come across becomes interesting, enjoyable and rewarding.

New kid 4

The aesthetic design is fully in line with the TV show and franchise. The character models are like those in the show, and even the walking animations are the same. Beat up an enemy and they’ll whimper as they limp off screen. Each enemy is unique and even has funny and relevant names. Despite the fairly simple design that South Park is known for, nothing feels repetitive or meaningless.

Truly, the core of the game is laughter. Whether it’s from discovering weird South Park themed Easter eggs, or the hilarious character interactions, or even the hilarious in-joke side missions, the whole experience makes the game feel like the series has come to life. My hour with the game was far too brief – there was so much to explore and discover. I honestly can’t wait to play the full game.

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Author:Zoe Hawkins

Wielding my lasso of truth, I am the combination of nerd passion and grammar nazi. I delve into all things awesome and geek-tastic. I believe people should stop defining themselves and just enjoy playing games, so let's get on with it!

  • Just Saying

    Om my God! they killed Kenny…… Oh, sorry that was me…

  • LAblak22

    Dear Karma, I wrote you but you still ain’t calling
    I left my cell, my pager, and my home phone at the bottom
    I sent two letters back in autumn, you must not-a got ‘em
    There probably was a problem at the post office or something

    One day… Stick of Truth… One day. You and I, kid. You and I’ll see the world…

  • Ektso Gedinkja

    In preparation for this I think I need to get my hands on one of the old shoot the turkey fps games from southpark. Those were awesome.

  • http://hostingweb.co.za/ Ruan Fourie

    I’ve been waiting so long for this game. Obsidian and South Park combined. It’s going to be amazing.

  • Gaffering

    Can you play as a girl?

    • Her Highness the Hipster

      nope. the new kid is a boy. but you can choose a wig and look like a girl

      • Hammersteyn

        Something Butters has done on many occasions

        • Gerhard Davids

          My fear of NAMBLA is still too healthy to allow me to attempt that.

          • Hammersteyn

            You don’t like Marlon Brando :P
            One of the best episodes ever. Gotta feel for Kenny’s dad.

  • Sk3tz0

    Just watch a 13 min intro gameplay on youtube looks so awesome

    • Brian Murphy

      Yeah for anyone who’s interested in the game, this is basically what you can expect. Just in case people are concerned about spoilers, the gameplay ends about the same time (or shortly thereafter) as the tutorials end.

  • Jackie

    There’s a “Shit yourself” achievement? alright then XD

    • Brian Murphy

      Heh, it’s a South Park based game, I’d imagine that’s one of the tamer achievements :)

      • Hammersteyn

        The others probably has to do with gays,gingers or jews. I do hope you get to fight Bieber or Paris Hilton

        • Brian Murphy

          New Kid on the Block – Join the KKK
          First Day in South Park – Spend one day in South Park
          Gingivitis – Let Gingers bite you 3 times without blocking
          Day Walker – Defeat the Boss Hall Monitor while wearing freckles
          Made This For you – Fling a turd that you created at an enemy in combat
          Are we cool? – Find Jesus while playing as a Jew
          Parkeologist – Open all Garages in South Park
          For the Hoarder – Sell nothing the entire game
          Truth to Power – Fart on the Mayor, Father Maxi, Principal Vic & Prime Minister
          Irritable Bowels – Shit your pants during a boss battle
          Dog Whistle – Fart on a canine enemy while in Gnome form.
          Dragon Wrath – Hit 3 enemies with a single fart outside combat
          Just Saying Hi – Fart on each available buddy in the game
          Re-Buttal – Interrupt 5 channel attacks with a fart
          Heisenberg – Defeat the Meth Tweekers while wearing the Evil Cartman goatee and the bald cap
          Shutout – Successfully block every enemy attack in a single, non-tutorial battle.
          Stay Down – Fart on 10 Enemies in the world when they’re knocked out
          Avenger – Defeat at least 3 enemies in one b attle while your buddy is unconscious
          No Child left Behind – Complete the game without ever ending a combat with a buddy knocked out
          Poco Chinpoko – Collect 5 chinpokomon
          Chinpoko loco – Collect 15 “”
          Chinpokolypse – Collect all the Chinpokomon
          Daddy Issues – Befriend your Dad
          More Popular than Jesus – Befriend half of South Park
          Junk Peddler – Sell 300 junk items
          Ass of Fire – Kill 20 enemies with Cartman’s Ass
          Canadian Handshake – Fart on people 100 times
          Animal Cruelty – Fart on animals 25 times
          Pulling Mud – Shit your pants in battle three times
          Shopaholic – Complete half of the available costume sets
          Clothes Whore – Complete all available costume sets
          Friends in Strange Places – Befriend Crab People and the Underpants Gnomes
          Weapon Proficiency – Score 100 perfect attacks
          Skilled Defender – Block 100 attacks
          You bastards! – Have Kenny die 10 times in battle over the course of the game
          Mastery – Unlock all the upgrades for one of the New Kid’s abilities
          Make it Rain! – Spend $500
          Full Arsenal – Collect all the weapons and costumes available in the game

          And it looks like there’s 11 hidden achievements that unlock as you play

          • Hammersteyn

            Holy blasphemous hell!!!!!! Still I fell they may have missed something……………. Nazis!!

  • Hammersteyn

    Can’t wait to get my hands on this. It would be hillarious if the made fun of Square or FF in the game somewhere.

  • HvR

    This game earned itself a pre-order and some love gravy.

  • VampyreSquirrel

    I MUST HAVE THIS GAME!

    Yes the bold caps are totally needed.

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