South Park:The Stick Of Truth Review – Bigger, longer and uncut

South Park:The Stick Of Truth Review – Bigger, longer and uncut

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It’s offensive. It’s crude. It pushes the boundaries of taste and is more offensive than finding presidential used condoms outside of an abortion clinic. And that’s just the regular South Park cartoon which has been on TV since the 1990s. The game? It’s all that, but amplified to a new degree of vicious and intelligent comedy. And dammit, it’s given me the best laugh in ages.

What would Brian Boitano do?

Ever since South Park hit the airwaves in 1997, the series has poked fun at everything that it possibly could. Catholics, the Japanese, stem cell research and immigration issues were just the tip of the iceberg that Matt Stone and Trey Parker covered with uncompromising honesty and brutality.

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And video games were no exception. From the Chinpokomon craze, the Okama Gamesphere and the legendary end of the world…of Warcraft, South Park episodes haven’t just provided a good chuckle over the gaming industry. They’ve done it in a manner that was intelligent and well researched.

The Stick of Truth carries that theme proudly, as players find themselves adopting the persona of “The new kid”. Soon embroiled in a war between Eric Cartman’s Kingdom of Kupa Keep (For the KKK!) and Kyle Brovloski’s Elven forces for the mythical and all-powerful Stick of Truth, things soon get out of hand.

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As the new kid, players find themselves engaged in a mix of point ‘n click and adventure gaming, with role-playing mechanics dominating in battle. The Stick of Truth feels like an old mid-90s adventure game, the kind that starred Leisure Suit Larry, Grim Fandango and Beavis ‘n Butthead, as players interact with their environment and solve puzzles.

But the combat itself walks a decent line of being simple enough to grasp, yet offering enough of a challenge. While the usual RPG tropes are present, from an inventory that can be managed with various weapons and armour being unlocked, it’s the slow yet quick nature of combat that takes precedence.

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Let’s Fighting Love

When engaged with an enemy, combat takes a turn-based approach.  Players can attack with melee weapons such as a sex toy or a cardboard dagger and ranged weapons. Players also have unique special attacks, with their magic being cast straight from their anus and coming in varieties such as the stomach-churning Cup-A-Spell and the devastating Nagasaki.

In addition to all that, there’re also a few special abilities based on the class that players choose at the start of the game. One can be a Wizard, a Thief, a Warrior or a Jew and totally not be friends with Eric Cartman if they choose that final class according to Mel Gibson because his film The Passion does not lie.

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So a good dozen abilities which can be levelled up and augmented? For RPG fans, that’s intro level stuff and hardly complex at all. But where the game differs is in how those attacks are used. Players need good timing, as attacks can only be used when the correct input button is used, something that requires you to keep an eye on the screen and wait for a prompt.

A Thief backstab attack, for example, requires you to carefully match three prompts before burying a dagger in the back of a foe like a Game of Thrones wedding. Magic attacks will have players inputting a range of keys and finding the sweet spot of your sphincter in order to unleash such devastating magic. It’s simple on the outset really, but with Obsidian developing this game, the RPG mechanics go much further.

You’ll also have a partner with you in battle, with more unlocked along the way. From Butters the Paladin, through to Stan the Ranger, Cartman the Grand Wizard, Princess Kenny, Elf Lord Kyle and Jimmy the b…Ba…b…barhar…Barrhar…Barrrherr…Bard.

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Partners can be swapped out an any time, and each one boasts their own arsenal of unique movies and attacks. Stan can use his George Clooney-voiced Mutt to knock down defenses, Butters can heal players and transform into his deadly alter-ego Professor Chaos, while Cartman can utilise deadly methane-magic that will have you respecting his authoritah.

Battle itself is a challenging task. Fast and furious, players will need to block attacks with split-second timing or suffer debilitating debuffs that will leave them more buggered than Mr Slave’s anal cavity. It can be damn difficult when you fail to find your groove, and you’ll need to constantly keep your health and status in good condition if you hope to survive a Hobo on crack powering-up with Jack Daniels magic.

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If you thought that the current South Park episodes were pushing new boundaries in taste and what’s acceptable on TV, then The Stick of Truth lifts the lid off of what the show is really capable of showing. From the usual racially stereotyped humour of Mr Lu Kim from City Wok recruiting you to help rid his shop of those damn Mongorians Mongolians, through to a quest to quite literally find Jesus, the game soon takes a turn into a realm that is devoid of any parental watch groups.

There’s a battle with an Underpants Warlock Gnome on the bed of your fornicating parents, where environmental hazards such as a swinging pair of hairy testicles need to be avoided. Ginger children become even lamer when exposed to a toxic goo that turns them into Nazi zombies. Kim Kardashian’s latest foetal abortion mutates and it’s up to you to kill it for good this time. The game just doesn’t hold back. Well, unless you’re on console that is, as some content has been cut.

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Blame Canada

And much like the TV series source material, The Stick of Truth is a crudely animated product with animation clearly derived from a Terry Gilliam Monty Python cartoon. But therein lies the charm of this game.

The Stick of Truth is crawling with references and nods to the past of South Park. TVs regularly play episodes of Terrance and Phillip. Radios play hit songs such as Taco-flavoured kisses and Montage. In Jimbo’s gun shop, you’ll find ScuzzleButt all stuffed and mounted. Next to Shitty City Wok, you’ll find an abandoned tower of peace and a Japanese Sushi restaurant that has seen better days.

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The game is crawling with such references, and the entire town of South Park is open to explore. It’s not as massive as GTA, but the game still feels like just the right size overall. Sometimes though, the 2D visuals don’t exactly work with the game formula, unnecessarily obstructing certain puzzles and solutions. It’s not a game-breaker, but it is annoying having to work around such features in order to progress.

As a pure single-player game, there’s plenty of content on offer. The main quest and several side quests will take in excess of 15 hours to complete. Beyond that however, the game is complete, with replayability coming in the form of starting all over again as a new, new kid and selecting a new class. But it’s worth it in order to experience several giggles all over again.

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Wow what a terrific audience

The biggest compliment that can be given to South Park: The Stick of Truth however, is that the game is more than happy to mock the genre and industry that it finds itself in. From a not so subtle nod from a black ops commander complaining that he happens to be “so f***ing sick” of Nazi zombies, through to a search for audio logs that happen to be all about audio logs, The Stick of Truth is wonderfully meta in its clever narrative.

The problem however, is that unless you’re a South Park fan, many, many references are going to fly over your head. It’s a game for the fans, and while newcomers might be a tad confused by the entire story and all the strange residents, it’s still the funniest video game ever made. Matt Hazard, eat your heart out.

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South Park: The Stick of Truth is more than just a faithful adaptation of a cult TV series. It's a benchmark for translating a favourite property into a video game format, something that other licensed properties could learn from. And it's also the funniest game on the market.

South Park: The Stick of Truth was reviewed by Darryn Bonthuys on a PC

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Join the Conversation

  • Jim Lenoir (Banana Jim)

    Rubs hands with glee!

    • Unavengedavo(aka. Bilbo)

      You call it “glee”? O_o

      • RinceThis
        • Hammersteyn


        • Rock789

          Seems like an average Friday night to me… 😉

          • RinceThis

            Sho! Erm, about that movie tomorrow… I think I’m suddenly busy 0-o

          • Rock789

            **Adds name to potential victim… I mean ‘good buddies’ list**


          • RinceThis

            LOL. Gym tonight? Or excuse #18? *RUNS

  • Umar Praise The Golden Sun

    I wish Kanye West was an Uber boss as a gay fish…

    Damn fine review…I am now excited for this game, job well done

    • Hammersteyn

      • Umar Praise The Golden Sun

        “Bitch, you not a Hobbit right?” LOLZ

    • Rikus

      Gay fish Kanye as an uber-boss! Hells yeah!

      Man, I cannot upvote this enough! Someone, make this happen!

  • Unavengedavo(aka. Bilbo)

    There is a joke about juice in there somewhere O_o

  • Admiral Chief in Vegas

    Should have bought this instead of trying to buy Titanfall

    FU KALAHARI!!!!!

    • RinceThis

      Still no money love bro?

      • Admiral Chief in Vegas

        Nopey nope.

        Gonna phone them later to state my ire

        • Umar Praise The Golden Sun

          You pay by CC?

          • Admiral Chief in Vegas

            Aye, but got only half of order, the rest “cancelled” but no refund voucher

          • Umar Praise The Golden Sun

            Ahh I see, the money is supposed to go back to your account…Twitter and FB stalk them, they seem to respond quicker there

          • Admiral Chief in Vegas

            Not on teh twitzors or vleisbroek

    • Hammersteyn

      live and learn, picking up mine on Friday

  • RinceThis

    Nice review Darryn, sounds like you had a great time!

  • oVg PAYNE

    What do you mean uncut? Did you play the American version?

    • Umar Praise The Golden Sun


      • oVg PAYNE

        for the win. Consoles are for marketing. PC FREEDOM

    • The D

      I had the PC version, yes. So anal rape scenes were included in my copy.

      • oVg PAYNE

        MERICA!!! 😛

      • Admiral Chief in Vegas


      • RinceThis

        Awesome! No, wait…

      • oVg PAYNE

        Where is Jack Thompson when you need him?

  • TiMsTeR1033

    What system specs for this?

    • Hammersteyn

      Cant imagine it would be a lot. Look at the graphics for a start.

      • TiMsTeR1033

        Hey you never know man.

    • VampyreSquirrel

      I’m just below the recommended specs… but at the same time not far from being in the minimum “unplayable” range.

  • fred

    Does Kenny die?

  • Hammersteyn

    RPG of the year thus far.

    • Umar Praise The Golden Sun

      Lightning Returns 0_0

      • Hammersteyn

        I’m not sexist but she needs to go back to the kitchen or something.

        • Umar Praise The Golden Sun

          Lol that’s a pretty sexist statement 😛

          • Hammersteyn

            hehe like I said I’m not sexist but I would imagine that would be the worst fate for her.

          • RinceThis

            No, watching an episode where the characters smile and laugh would…

      • RinceThis

        BACK OFF!

  • El Capitan del Blade

    Matt and Trey didn’t get a F***ing 4 on Gamespot….btw 😀

  • boondocksaint87

    You go to hell Kalahari, you go to hell and you DIE!!!

    Can’t wait for this!

    • Admiral Chief in Vegas

      Hell is too good for them

  • VampyreSquirrel

    Totally getting the PC version… at some stage… -.-

  • Brenz

    Just bought off steam, busy with pre load now, cant wait!
    I would have preferred to play on ps3, but censorship makes me a sad sexual harassment panda.

  • StephenGSchneider

    oh my. god. this game is soooo good. def getting pc version! I want more anal rape scenes ok !? game is soooooooooo good, and i love butters so much!

  • Eric Cartman

    Suck that I have to wait for it to come from the US. I refuse to pay the full price for half the game. Censorship doesn’t prove anything. This wait however, is extremely painful…

  • Somebody

    I agree, Stick of Truth ranks up there with the best of IP-to-Game adaptations.