Say what you will about the gross, explicative filled, and parodic cultural phenomenon that is South Park, but Trey Parker and Matt Stone are visionaries of their time. Reaching 22 seasons, South Park has garnered fans in the millions with its tongue in cheek gross out humor. So, naturally, the question was “when will South Park be a video game?” In the television show’s history, there have been South Park licensed games, from its first 3D game on the Playstation to the mobile phone app, South Park: Phone Destroyer. Between all of them, they didn’t hold any light to the shining beacon of The Stick of Truth.
South Park: The Stick of Truth, developed by the legendary RPG studio Obsidian Entertainment- of Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic and Pillars of Eternity fame- with contributions by South Park Studios and published by Ubisoft, South Park: The Stick of Truth is a groundbreaking Role Playing Game in which you- yes, you- are thrust into a world of magic, mayhem, and government conspiracies as you rise as a social media fantasy legend.
The story starts with you building your character and then finding yourself as The New Kid in the quiet little Colorado mountain town of South Park, where you are introduced to Butters, the sweet 4th grader who wouldn’t hurt a fly kicking elven butt. He immediately introduces you to the Grand Wizard of Kupa Keep, Eric Cartman, who explains the power of The Stick of Truth. Whoever has the Stick, controls the universe. After the tutorial, the story gets interesting with new and old faces, from Mr. Kim at City Wok and the Tower of Peace to the Aliens and ManBearPig as enemies, and the main villain being Taco Bell green sauce, a tyrannical overlord, and- of course- Nazi Zombies. What other game at the time of 2014 to 2015 didn’t have a form of zombie in it?
The gameplay is like any RPG out there: there is a main storyline to go through, side quests to pursue and fetch quests to take care of to gain experience points. As The New Kid, you are able to walk around a show-accurate South Park, Colorado, complete with the iconic bus stop. Collectables are throughout the destructible environment in the form of Chinpokomon, kind of like Pokemon except it’s South Park and treasure chests in areas full of money, junk, armor pieces, and makeup. As you progress through the story, you gain other environmental abilities, like using your partner’s ability, teleportation, and shrinking, to enter or modify areas. You can even use these abilities to avoid enemy encounters by using environmental hazards or bypassing them all together. Lastly, by completing quests, you gain friends on Facebook, growing your ability attacks and receiving passive perks to upgrade yourself.
Combat features an interactive menu with special rules. You can attack on your turn or use one of your class abilities from the following: Fighter, Mage, Thief, or Jew. One of my favorite features combat has is that even when you use an item or a combat partner’s ability, you can still add a melee, ability, ranged, or “magic” attack. Your partner’s combat abilities follow the same format without the “magic” ability. Let’s talk about “magic.” You gain the ability- much alike Skyrim- to cast magic spells. But instead of actual magic, it’s your farts. Your farts, in combat or in the environment, are potent and can allow you to stun, lure, or annihilate enemies in encounters. Special modifiers, called “Strap-Ons” allow you to gain passive perks to add to your weapons and armor, which you can interchange with each new set.
Also, you can call upon the services of special summons a la Final Fantasy: Mr. Hankey the Christmas poo, Mr. Kim, and Jesus to name a few. All the summons are a treat to watch, although you can’t use them during boss fights since once you use it, the encounter is finished.
If you are a fan of RPGs or a big fan of South Park, then this is the game for you. Trey Parker and Matt Stone’s experiment into video games have bore fruit with this partnership with Obsidian Entertainment; it’s fun and hilarious much like the source material. South Park: The Stick of Truth is rated M and was released on March 4th 2014 for PC, Nintendo Switch, Ps4, Ps3, Xbox One, and Xbox 360.
- Written by Johan Wyckoff