Licensed video games never seem to pan out. For whatever reason the final product turns out be highly disappointing. The challenge of creating a video game that manages to capture the essence of the show, comic or movie and at the same time be enjoyable to play is a challenge very few developers have managed to accomplish. But somehow South Park: The Stick of Truth manages to accomplish this feat and does so with flying colors. Which is why South Park: The Stick of Truth is not only an outstanding game, but an outstanding accomplishment on many levels.
The first thing you’ll notice when starting The Stick of Truth is that the game looks just like the show. Obsidian Entertainment and South Park Digital Studios has done an outstanding job of nailing the show’s famous paper look. All the characters look exactly as they would in episode of the show and your playable character, “the new kid”, looks like he would fit right into an episode of South Park.
Stick of Truth doesn’t just nail the famous South Park look though; the entire game has the South Park “charm”. Your character’s father constantly makes fun of you for not talking, Cartman is as witty as ever and the story takes all the crazy South Park turns we have all grown to love and expect over the years. What starts as a simple game of capture the flag masked by a battle between the human’s, Cartman’s team, and elves, Kyle’s team, quickly spirals out of control like any South Park episode.
The writing is outstanding and witty, and the same amount of love and thought that goes into every episode of the show has been thrown tenfold into the game. It’s interesting, stupid and will make you want to continue to play in order to see what will happen next or what will be said next, oh and it’s funny.
South Park: The Stick of Truth is arguably the funniest game ever created. Within the first two minutes of starting my journey the game had already made me laugh out loud multiple times. The writing is right on par with the show and the jokes are everything you would expect from South Park. In fact it feels as though some shackles have been lifted from Trey Parker and Matt Stone. The freedom of a mature rating seems to have allowed the two to go to greater extremes than what is seen in the show. Of course all of this would be meaningless if the game wasn’t fun to play, but luckily The Stick of Truth nails that department as well.
The Stick of Truth is played as a turned based RPG, your character gains levels as you kill enemies and collect friends on Facebook which then increase your health and provides you with more abilities. It seems like an odd paring but oddly enough it works beautifully. Being able to explore South Park openly and gathering loot from around town while battling enemies such as other kids and cows is a blast.
The Stick of Truth isn’t just an episode of South Park tacked onto a crappy game; underneath the cussing and fart jokes there is a very solid and enjoyable role playing game. The battling system has a lot of depth, all the characters that fight alongside you have their own unique abilities, potions are used constantly and there are even summons that can be used during battle. All the elements that you expect in an RPG are there and they are done beautifully even down to the loot.
There is almost a Diablo or Borderlands loot hunter feeling when it comes the The Stick of Truth. Not only are you looking for that next piece of loot to increase your armor or damage, but you’ll want to see what new armor and weapons the game can come up with.
All the weapons and armor look fantastic and really give your character a unique look. The game has a wide variety of armor and weapons from the classic RPG armor look to stripper like outfits.
I was constantly searching every nook and cranny in order to find my next great weapon or armor and the game does a great job with gear progression. I never had a piece of gear or weapon for longer than hour before I found that shiner piece of gear or more powerful weapon, and each weapon or armor came with hilarious new stats.
Although the RPG elements are there in The Stick of Truth they are all given the South Park charm. For example take Butter’s “Born Victim” ability. Essentially this ability makes Butter’s a tank type character but the explanation for this is: “Butters is just so innocent he naturally makes people want to punch him. Enemies are twice as likely to attack him in combat.” Or how about that the revive potion is a taco, or that a Super Power Potion is a Red Bull. The amount of thought that went into The Stick of Truth is outstanding.
Although The Stick of Truth is a solid RPG, it isn’t a very challenging one on the normal difficulty. I beat the game while dying only twice and never had any issues against any boss. Characters regain their health after battles no matter how low they were or if they had died in battle, and the amount of potions and revives that can be found around town is more than enough to make it through the entire game without having to buy anything from the shops. But you don’t play The Stick of Truth for the difficulty; you play it for the story and laughs, and thankfully the pacing of the game is done perfectly.
Obsidian did a great job of making the game’s pace feel like a T.V. show. You won’t be in one place very long before you are treated to a progression in the story or fighting a boss. You are kept in a zone just long enough for you to fully enjoy it before throwing you onto the next ridiculous adventure. It’s arguably the greatest achievement Obsidian accomplished. I never got bored with The Stick of Truth and it constantly kept me laughing and guessing.
Gameplay: Although not overly challenging the RPG elements in The Stick of Truth rival any good RPG, the battle system is fun and the loot will drive any loot hunter crazy.
Graphics: You could never guess that The Stick of Truth isn’t an episode of South Park. It nails the look down perfectly.
Sound: All the voice acting is top notch (obviously) and the South Park feel is alive, although there are some repetitions in music and dialogue that can get annoying.
South Park: The Stick of Truth is the funniest and arguably the best licensed game of all time. The story will keep you laughing and interested from beginning to end, and the gameplay although not overly difficult is enjoyable and on par with most RPGs. The amount of thought and love that was put into the game is outstanding and both Obsidian Entertainment and South Park Digital Studios deserve a standing ovation for delivering a game that is both fun and captures the essence of the T.V. show.
If you are a fan of the T.V. show or an RPG fan with a crude sense of humor South Park: The Stick of Truth is a must play.