South Park: The Stick of Truth starts off with the hero, lovingly named New Kid and Douchebag, as he is moving in. Upon running into Butters, he takes him to the Grand Wizard Cartman, king of the humans, who is at war with the elves and their King, Kyle. The conflict is centered on The Stick of Truth, which is said to grant unlimited power to the wielder. What starts off as a small adventure, takes a turn into the bizarre harkening back to classic South Park gags and characters that makes the game not only feel like an epic quest to save the world, but a love song to the series itself. The jokes are funny, pushing the limits to some degree, but hey, that’s what Matt and Trey are good at.
Think of TSoT as a meld between Mario RPG and Costume Quest. Battles are initiated by touching enemies on the town map, which can also be avoided via environmental actions such as using a bow to drop something on enemies. As for the battles themselves, every action requires a rhythmic precision to them. For example, time an attack right and it’ll deal more damage and the same goes for defense. The hero can call upon six friends, one per battle, to assist in the onslaught. The weapons are unique and behave differently as do the vast array of armor and cosmetic items that allow for deep customization. A fake Facebook profile handles everything from equipment, to quests, to upgrades, and even a detailed list of friends.
The RPG mechanical minds at Obsidian and the brilliant animators and jokesters over at South Park Studios have melded a brainchild together that seems…too good to be true. Sure the loads between areas and the slowdown between auto-saves may get annoying, but those are very minor gripes. In terms of the good side, well, everything: the art, the combat, the music, the dialogue, et cetera! So much to love, so little space to write.
South Park: The Stick of Truth is an amazing sight to behold. Despite being delayed several times, against all odds, this is a fantastic game. It could be this generation’s Final Fantasy VII, which introduced many gamers to RPGs for the first time. Without spoiling anything else, just go and get this game already!