Developer: Obsidian Entertainment
Release Date: 03/04/2014 (PS3, PC, X360) 03/13/2018 (PS4, XONE), 09/25/2018 (NS)
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Good ‘ol South Park. One of the granddaddies of television backlash. Before Family Guy was South Park. An adult cartoon featuring four children living in a rural town of South Park, Colorado who run into various antics and adventures. The series is still ongoing and started in 1997. I remember fondly as a kid not being allowed to watch the show unless my parents watched it first, and if it wasn’t too graphic, we could watch a re-run. The Stick of Truth is a turn-based RPG with roots in the show and features the same humor as well.
You play as The New Kid, or Sir Douchebag despite Cartman ignoring whatever you name your character, which is hilarious. You’re a voiceless protagonist that is swept into the children’s D&D game of The Stick of Truth. There are two factions fighting over it, the Elves and the Knights. Your goal is to continuously get the Stick back from the various people who steal it and it leads to one crazy adventure. Throughout the game, you also have to recruit two factions that are the girls and the Goths. This leads to various interesting areas like a UFO where everyone is getting anally probed, to shrinking down to a gnome and battling on the bed your parents are having sex on to crawling into Mr. Slave’s anus and fighting through his intestines. Yeah, it has over-the-top humor that will offend most and is one of the most graphic games I have ever played, but that’s not a bad thing.
Outside of wandering around the town of South Park and discovering the few side quests there are, you can shoot things down and bash open things to find a hidden treasure. Just like any RPG, you have armor, weapons, consumables, and cosmetic items. The weapons and armor come in steadily and I was always happy to have a new weapon that let me hit harder. Depending on the class you choose it will affect what weapons are available in the game as you can only find weapons for that class. There are fast travel points, which are a lifesaver. You have four different abilities you acquire throughout the game such as shoot, buddy commands, shrinking, and using your anal probe to teleport. These are all context-sensitive so you can only use them when you’re allowed, but they give a sense of discovery as you can access parts of the game later on that were blocked before. Your magic consists of…farting. Yes, you fart for magic and you have four magic attacks you learn. Dragonshout, Cup-a-Spell, Nagasaki, and the Sneaky Squeaker. These sound downright hilarious and absurd, but who still doesn’t laugh at fart jokes?
Combat is where the meat of the game is and it’s flawed for sure, but works. You can only have one other person in your party, but the enemies can come at you as large as groups of six. A strategy is key here, especially during boss fights, as you need to balance consumables, magic, power attacks, abilities, and what your partner is capable of. It’s good to know that the Nazi Zombies can’t be grossed out, but are only weak to bleeding. You can hit them all you want, but you will only do 1 point of damage until their bleeding effects stack up. It’s not too hard to figure out and I only died a couple of times through the whole game. Any RPG fan will be able to dive in and understand right away. The combat is surprisingly deep, but these mystery buffs can frustrate some.
The game is also not particularly long-running at 8 hours if you just finish the main quests. It’s a fun story with awesome humor and tons of references to South Park episodes and geek culture. South Park isn’t afraid to be bold and do what it does best. The jabs at right-wing politics are especially funny as well as name brand references and various other things. South Park’s characters have always been memorable and stand the test of time. This is by far the best South Park game ever made and it captures the show perfectly. Of course, the game isn’t for everyone as some of the humor may come off as childish, crude, brash, or just downright offensive, which is fine. Everyone’s sense of humor is different, but that doesn’t stop this from being a bad game. It may be too simple at times, with combat that can drag on too long, but a lot of love and effort was put into this by the guys who made Fallout 2, New Vegas, and Divinity: Original Sin. I can’t complain there.