“You know what they call a Jewish woman’s boobs? Jewbs” - Eric Cartman, 2013.
I’ve never had so much fun with a 13-minute hands-off preview. Not even close. Sure, we need a better insight to be able offer coherent advice as to whether the gameplay will be any good, but early indications suggest The Stick of Truth is a solid RPG made by the creators of South Park, for the fans of South Park.
Our short demo felt like an episode of South Park -- and perhaps one of the most hilarious in the television programme’s glorious 16 year history. It’s visually exactly the same, it sounds the same, and as promised at E3, the jokes have been penned by creators Matt Stone and Trey Parker.
Playing as the new kid in town, with Mummy and Daddy busy “wrestling” upstairs, our protagonist embarks on his most challenging quest yet: making new friends. Almost immediately he’s summoned by the Wizard King, Eric Cartman, into his imaginative Kingdom.
Full of brutality, an interesting story, and crude humour, South Park: The Stick of Truth is one for the fans. It looks and plays just like the television show.
The hilarity ensues courtesy of the steadfast witty one-liners and basic level of interactivity. From what we saw, the the new kid, affectionately nicknamed Douchebag, can interact with the environment by walking up to an object of interest or character and hitting the action button. Simple, but seemingly effective, as each interaction triggered a hilarious comment from affair, even when it was unrelated to the happenings of the story.
While we were still chuckling at Cartman’s political incorrect mutterings, the Kingdom came under attack, resulting in the South Park boys losing the sacred Stick of Truth, setting them off an en epic adventure to retrieve it.
Combat is turned based in-line with the other RPG elements, but timing also plays an important role in achieving maximum attack prowess. The familiar stalwart is infused with classic South Park humour through special attacks, such as a close range baseball to the face, and fire strategically place as Cartman breaks wind.
Then there’s our secret weapon: Mr. Slave. Words cannot do justice to what happened next; it’s something that every South Park fan has to experience for him or herself.
Customisation options will appease RPG fans, whilst retaining the atmosphere of the TV show. Some of the character outfits become a little too outrageous -- but this is South Park -- and weapons can all be upgraded by combining them for a destructive monstrosity with enhanced attributes and comical killing powers.
Stick of Truth’s most revered aspect, however, is its seamless transition between cut-scene and gameplay. Both were equally gut-wrenching funny, and without a controller in-hand, it was difficult to recognise what was gameplay, and what was cut-scene. It was all just entertainment.
Combat was the obvious exception, as the screen was littered with possible commands as our opponents kindly waited for us to take our turn, and Cartman’s incessant ramblings were just as amusing during gameplay, as they were in predetermined cut-scenes.
Full of brutality, an interesting story, and crude humour, South Park: The Stick of Truth is one for the fans. It looks and plays just like the television show, with the backbone of a strong RPG from Obsidian.
By Ben Salter - Bio