The only thing we knew was : there’s a new South Park game coming out and it’s going to be a RPG. It sounded like a mistake, like another try at turning something that we love into another lazy gaming failure (Star Trek is dead to us). It was improbable on paper and we approached this one with very low expectations.
And we were wrong. Oh yes, so wrong… Check out our thoughts about one of the best games of 2014.
South Park – The Stick of Truth is a 2D RPG (think Paper Mario) where you play as Douchebag – the new kid in town. Your parents just moved in to South Park and they push you to go outside and “meet some new friends”. Those are the first steps of your close-to-15-hours-of-complete-craziness adventure designed by the disturbed minds of Trey Parker and Matt Stone.
The Storyline is pretty straightforward, at first, and as random as the show can be: the town’s kids are fighting to control “The Stick of Truth”, a simple tree branch, and are divided into Humans & Elfs, the first led by Cartman, the latter by Stan. You are invited to join Cartman’s clan by Butters and they will send you on random quests to try to defeat the Elfs.
Your quest for victory will take you through an epic journey to gather allies (the girls, jesus, Tuong Lu Kim (City Wok)…) and from there it goes ballistic: stop the alien’s abduction who later on crash their ship, over the town’s mall, that special forces try to cover up as the site for a new Taco Bell where there’s a green goo that turn humans into nazi zombies. Yes, Nazi zombies… You’ll meet most of the beloved characters of the show and evolve through epic scene of complete randomness that are absolutely hilarious (advancing through the anal rectum of Mr Slave to defuse a nuclear device, for example).
The gameplay is in classic 2D navigation with turn-based combats. There’s nothing better than to walk free through the town’s streets and into South Park’s famous landmarks (the school, the kid’s houses, City Wok…). Everything is there but the best part of exploration is probably the “junk items” that you pick up here and there. In any other RPG, “junk items” are… junk. Here, they take another meaning, they are references to the show key episodes and add a strong layer of fun to the history: dildos (from Cartman mom’s bedroom), a ball of pubes, a badge for the Ginger Separatist Movement… Not really Easter Eggs, but if you’re a fan, you’ll definitely get it. That being said, inventory management is a pain… There’s no way to “sell all” your items, so you’ll have to click a lot in order to make some cash.
Combats are like the game, fun, specifically due to the super powers that the characters have (like Butter’s professor Chaos attack) and the ones they develop: the “Dragonshout” or how to turn Skyrim into farts. In our opinion though, combats are the game’s weakest point : enemies are too easy to defeat (we recommend playing at the hardest level) and super-powers key combinations are sometimes quite blurry, which pushes you to always use the same tricks.
What a ride… South Park – The Stick of Truth is an amazing game. It looks great and it’s so much fun to play.
It’s a true gift to the fans and an opportunity for newcomers to discover why the show has been going strong throughout the last 17 years.