Tuesday, March 18, 2014

South Park: The Stick of Truth

I've been looking forward to this game ever since it was announced. I've been a fan of Trey Parker in particular for a long time, and knowing that he and Matt were actually going to be getting involved in the game (unlike previous South Park video games) made me excited to see what kind of story they could tell with the video game medium.

Short answer: a good one. They did not disappoint. For more, read on.


You play as a new kid in the town of South Park. Your parents hint ominously that they moved here to escape something involving you, something which has led to your character no longer speaking.

They tell you to go out and meet some new friends, which gets you pulled into an ongoing war between the Humans and the Elves (two factions of children playing pretend), fighting for control over The Stick of Truth.

This war leads to your character meeting basically every major recurring character in the series as the stakes quickly escalate to something well beyond the pretend games of children, though that's just how things go in South Park.


When I first created my character, I decided to go with my go-to first character: the female warrior, Chane. However, as soon as she was created Mom and Dad kept referring to her as their "son," which kind of threw that idea out of the window.

However, instead of accepting this, I just decided that South Park girls are basically indistinguishable from the guys, so this boy was really a girl all along. Everybody just assumes she's a boy, and she can't correct them since she doesn't talk.

Having a non-talking character was pretty great, by the way. It serves two purposes: by not talking, it allows the other characters to project their assumptions on to you, which is fun to watch. It also allows you to communicate with your actions, rather than your words.

I absolutely loved any South Park episode in which the boys played pretend with their costumes, so the whole elves vs. humans war was a real treat for me. The boys' dedication to their game (trying not to break character, adhering to their rules, all of the costumes and classes) really sold me on the concept and, in short, I was quite jealous that my childhood games were never that organized.

There are a thousand awesome scenarios in the game that expand upon the charm of simply walking around South Park hitting random objects with your weapons. Like any good RPG, I had a lot of fun just exploring and fighting things.

It was fun to interact with all of the characters of South Park as well. By far my favorite character from the game is Randy Marsh who, much like Homer Simpson, is quickly becoming a more interesting character to me than the show's kids.

At times disturbing and gross, yet always fun and funny, this game looks, feels, and sounds like South Park. My only complaint is the difficulty curve, which spikes quickly (Al Gore), then kinda slopes downward toward the final boss. This is not a hard game, but I don't think the difficulty is the real draw here.


Do you enjoy South Park at its best? Do you enjoy RPGs? Then get this game.

Though if you are particularly concerned about a game's dollars to hours ratio, you might want to hold off until the game gets cheaper. I think I got my $60 worth, and I want to reward Matt and Trey and Obsidian for their work. However, I got about 20 hours out of the game, and I was taking my time. I understand if $3 per hour isn't the best ratio for everyone.

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