South Park: The Stick of Truth review
The turn based strategy role playing game, developed by Obsidian Entertainment, is finally released after numerous delays. Has it been worth the wait?
Freshly moved into the town of South Park you play as the New Kid. Upon starting the game you can pick from four classes (Fighter, Thief, Mage or Jew) which determines your fighting abilities. You can also choose how you look although you have limited style choices at this point. However, as you progress through the game you will find a lot of outfits and accessories to allow you to really customise how you look.
So wrong yet so right
As soon as you walk out your front door you are invited to play with the entire neighbourhood in a Humans versus Elves battle to control the Stick of Truth. This sets the premise for the entire game and is always the main focus despite the interesting adult world problems that develop. The game is split over three days; the first of which is to introduce you to the game and then the rest is the full weird and wacky adventure. For this journey you are given a buddy to help you throughout the game as you explore the world of South Park. You can choose to play with Butters, Jimmy, Stan, Kyle, Cartman or Kenny, although not all are available from the beginning. Only one can be equipped at a time and each buddy has special moves specific to them and styled to the fantasy character they are playing, some of which will really put a smile on your face.
The game features magic abilities which in South Park terms comes in the form of farts. Your magic can be used to progress through the game by unblocking obstacles as well as during battles to damage enemies. The battles themselves are pure turn based and an interesting tip is to always make sure you strike an enemy first to make sure you get the first turn. You can choose from a basic melee attack, a ranged attack, a magic attack or a special ability attack with the latter two attacks requiring power to be performed. Consumables that are collected or bought can be used to restore health, restore power, gain magic, take an extra turn, increase attack/defense strength and so on, and can be used once per turn per character before the main attack. When the enemy attacks you can defend from it by pressing the correct button at the right time, although a successful block will never stop all damage, just limit it.
Experience is given through winning battles allowing you to level up and improve your character. Weapons and modifiers can be earned as well as purchased and since the game moves fast it’s definitely important to make sure you always have the latest and better weaponry otherwise you’ll be at a disadvantage in battles.
It does have its faults
There’s two issues I have with the game. The first occurs during battles when your buddy insists that you “hurry up” when you’re trying to decide what move to make. If it happened when idling it would be understandable but for it to happen within 30 seconds of not making a choice every turn is very irritating, especially for newbie strategy players. The second, although not a fault of the game itself, is to do with the censorship. As a South Park fan I’m well aware of what to expect from this show. I like it – I’m not going to be offended. To have more than five censorship screens in place was actually pretty disheartening to see when you consider the rest of the game and what was left in. In fact one censorship does affect a later part in the game which sees you going into a situation unprepared.
South Park: The Stick of Truth plays exactly like an episode of the show, filled with the humour and crudeness we’ve all come to know, expect and love. This game has been made for the fans and the quality and effort put in really shines through. It was definitely worth the wait.
Miss; The European version missed out of some scenes, which is problematic, but that’s a debate for another day. A.I. partners seems to be impatient in battle.
Need; Nothing, really, but I would happily take more story content as DLC.