South Park: The Stick of Truth is at its basis quite incredible, turning what once was an episodic show into a game that lasts around 14-hours, and still managing to keep all of the same story lines we all know and love from the show. Lending from the screenplay and ideas of the show, The Stick of Truth is a constant laugh that has managed to transform itself into an RPG.
Based in the town of South Park, the game is instantly recognisable, but is still manages to keep itself fresh with a number of outfits, weapons and collectables.
Kicking off in shoes of the new kid in the town, you must join forces with either Cartman’s Humans or Kyle’s Elves to win back The Stick of Truth and claim its powers for your clan, on the way you find yourself in turn-based battles with a number of foes, including homeless guys, gingers and even aliens.
Within these fights there’s a number of attacks that you can use in order to win, with the usual buffs and debuffs thrown in, you and your buddy must mix mana-powered spells with timed based attacks and blocks that will keep combat in your favour.
These moves are also changeable depending on your class, for which there’s a total of four choices, the Mage, Fighter Thief and the Jew, however none of them are that different, with only a few changes made to the name of attacks and there animations,with no class-specific weapons, items or favourable attacks between the classes, the choice between these isn’t really that important.
In terms of controls, the Stick of Truth works well in most situations aside from one, and that is its thumbstick motions, which are generally quite difficult to pull off and are often rather confusing, especially in the missions where you must perform certain actions with these controls, something which is due to a lack of explanation of even indication of what you are doing.
This means that there’s quite steep learning curve with some of the game’s mechanics, and things like quickly changing out buddies before battles, or choosing the right one for a buddy action can often be trial and error.
Aside from that there’s a lot going for The Stick of Truth, with some of the greatest visuals ever included in a game of this genre, the game looks great, and to top it off Obsidian have created mechanics that don’t get in your way whilst playing, and come in handy when you need them.
South Park has also been extensively recreated for this title, with every building and house in the right place, you instantly feel at home with your surroundings if you have ever watched the show before, I myself couldn’t help but walk in every house and garage I passed, and I would advise you would do the same, as in a select few there’s a selection of in-jokes and a ton of laughs that will keep you going in between missions.
To between all of these buildings you can use the implemented fast-travel system, which allows you to quick hop between South Park’s shops and the various buildings that host a number of missions for you to enjoy.
All in all, South Park: The Stick of Truth is a fantastic title and a great tribute to the South Park series, with over a 100 characters and around 14 hours of total gameplay, its something that you can invest a heavy amount of time in and still want to play more.
Managing to cut through the tape with countless references to the jokes that have been featured throughout the TV series, this is certainly a game that Trey Parker and Matt Stone should be proud of, despite its occasional bugs and annoyances.