Plot: What’s it about?
In South Park: The Stick of Truth, you are The New Kid, just moved to town with your family. But before you can even start to unpack, you are pulled into an epic conflict that has taken over the entire area. You will have to choose a side, survive countless battles, and above all else, try to get more friends on social media. Most games that are based on television shows or movies tend to suck…hard. But The Stick of Truth bucks that trend and delivers an experience that literally makes you feel like you are on the show and part of the South Park world. This is because the game was written, voiced, and supervised by South Park’s creators, so every last little detail is faithful to the show. The end result is the kind of fan service rarely seen, where every moment seems to provide an in-joke or call back of some kind. Fans of the show will simply be in heaven with The Stick of Truth, as this is as close to a living, breathing South Park as you’ll find. The presentation, attention to detail, and overall tone are spot on, as you will be the center of an adventure that feels like your own extended South Park episode.
The game manages to give fans of the show a lot to love, but does The Stick of Truth hold up as an RPG experience? The game uses a turn based combat system, but adds in some kinetic elements to keep the action brisk. You’ll select your actions, then be called on to sometimes engage in timed button presses or sequences, so the combat feels much less passive. The combat also has more depth than you might think, with buffs and debuffs allowing for numerous status conditions, both good and bad. You also need to monitor your health, mana, and SP levels, the latter of which is of course the fuel for your special abilities, so this isn’t basic button mashing type combat. Consumables also play a part in the battles you take part in, with items to restore your health/mana, as well as remove negative status conditions. I also have to mention that if you scarf down too many mana burritos, you will shit your pants and yes, there’s a trophy for doing just that. Another core element of the combat is farting, which can be used to both cause damage to enemies and as an interrupt on your foes’ channeled attacks. And of course, you will unlock several trophies for farting on people, including one for passing gas on the corpse of an aborted Nazi zombie fetus. So yeah, this is a South Park game.
You adventure within a small, but open world environment that includes some evolving areas as your progress. So if you return to some locations late in the game, they will have changed. You can’t miss out on items crucial to the story of course, but you can lose access to collectibles, vendor items, and of course, valuable weapons and armor. So loot each area you travel through to ensure you don’t miss out on those items. Some areas are also blocked off at times and to gain entrance, you have to complete quests or track down certain items. Aside from the insane main quest line, you can tackle assorted side quests and on a larger scale, attempt to raise your number of friends on social media. As you add new friends, you unlock perks and these are valuable upgrades, so talk to everyone and add as many new friends as possible. South Park: The Stick of Truth is an awesome game, one that will delight fans of the show to no end, but also provide a fun RPG experience overall. Even if you don’t get every reference, the game is a blast to play and the campaign’s story is hilarious on its own. So if you’re a fan of South Park, RPGs in general, or you just love offensive, laugh out loud humor, South Park: The Stick of Truth is highly, highly recommended.
Video: How’s it look?
In short, the game looks like an episode of South Park. The visuals have an authentic texture like you wouldn’t believe, down to the smallest of details. This is because the creators allowed access to the South Park vault, which let the developers craft visuals that were dead on to the originals. South Park’s distinct look is part of the show’s DNA, so having it nailed to perfection like this really adds so much to the experience.
Audio: How’s it sound?
Given that the creators also provided the voice work for The Stick of Truth, it also sounds just like the show. All of your favorites are here and they all sound like they should. And while I am not sure that every last character ever seen on the show is in this game, I would gamble that very few weren’t included. The music and sound effects also deliver that “I’m really in South Park!” feel, which again raises the game’s atmosphere. I don’t think fans could ask for a more faithful sound design, as every aspect of the audio is spot on here.