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South Park: The Stick of Truth

By MrJenssen11-03-2014
StuntmanLT (editor)
South Park: The Stick of Truth

The Defence

Action, Adventure, Role Playing
Release Date:
US 04-03-2014
EU 07-03-2014

The Prosecution

Intel Core 2 Duo 2.0 GHz
AMD Athlon 64 2.3 GHz
Nvidia GeForce 9800 GT
AMD Radeon HD 4870
4 GB
6 GB

The Case

South Park is one of those strange cases in television, despite having ran for seventeen seasons, it never seems to get old. Many will argue that it’s only getting better each year. The creators’ interest in gaming has been explored several times in the actual TV show. There have been a few attempts at making games based on the South Park license, but so far none have really succeeded. But here comes Obsidian Entertainment to wash away all your bad memories from lobbing pee-soaked snow balls at turkeys, and restore hope to the series future in games. Lock your kids up, because this will be classified Not Safe For Anything.

The Trial

After years of delays, uncertainty and threats of everlasting limbo, the South Park game we all hoped for is finally here. But you’ll hardly know that it’s a videogame from the first glance. You see, Obsidian have somehow managed to make a transition from TV to videogame that is so faithful, it’s hard to even describe it in words.

The Stick of Truth tells the story of you, a new kid in town. You apparently suffer from amnesia, because you can’t remember anything that has happened previously in your life, and your parents, for whatever reason, seem to want to keep the past a secret. They insist on having you go out and meet new friends to play with, so you do just that. It doesn’t take very long before you are thrown into an epic role playing game between elves and humans, fought out by the kids with makeshift weaponry and armor in the streets and backyards of the quiet mountain town. You’ve likely played similar games when you were a kid. Apparently, the mighty wooden Stick of Truth that controls the universe has been stolen by the filthy elves, and so you are recruited by Eric Cartman and his mostly loyal humans to get it back. From there things escalate - as they always do in South Park - and you are constantly in the thick of it.

What? Never seen a nine year old with a ballsack chin?

What? Never seen a nine year old with a ballsack chin?

Beyond that, it’s hard to talk about the story without potentially spoiling the many enjoyable and hilarious moments, but I can at least tell you that if you’re a fan, you don’t need to keep your expectations in check. The story here is as disgusting, hilarious and plain good as any you’ll find on the show. And if you have any favorite characters in the show, you’re more or less guaranteed to bump into them at some point or another, no matter how small a role they’ve played. You see, the game is jam-packed with references and characters. While some are mere cameos, plenty of them have something to do with the story, or even have their own quests for you to complete.

The actual game plays almost like a 2D side-scroller similar to the show, where you’re allowed to move up and down in the environments as well as sideways. Think Paper Mario, but with way more obscenities. You start off creating your character from a decently plentiful menu of assorted attires, choosing between the Fighter, Mage, Thief or Jew. Yes, Jew. Once you do that, you’re dropped into the game world, and quickly come across the first of the main cast of characters - Butters. Butters is one of six buddies that you can take with you across the adventure, swapping between them at any time, which can help you during combat. You can’t outfit them or level them up as you please, but they do gain some unique abilities when you pass certain milestones.

Yeah! Why NOT use a dog to pee on some ginger kids?

Yeah! Why NOT use a dog to pee on some ginger kids?

You’ll spend a large portion of the game moving around the town with one of your buddies. The town is rather small, but Obsidian have cleverly created some barriers that prevent you from accessing all places right from the get-go. You’ll explore, talk to characters, add them as friends on Facebook, find loot, solve puzzles and so forth. There’s a surprisingly high focus on puzzles, and while most of them mostly boil down to ‘turn this valve or knock this thing over’, it’s still an entertaining distraction that can lead you to secret areas with high value loot. There is plenty of loot to find, and each piece of clothing, each weapon and everything other than the referential junk is useful and feels unique. One armor set might boost your armor rating, while another sacrifices this protection for a look that is apparently so disgusting, enemies start to throw up when they attack you in combat. Also helping you out in combat are your class-specific abilities, that can be upgraded as you level up, and the perks that you unlock throughout the game. The perks are gained by befriending characters you meet on Facebook. The perks offer passive bonuses to things like your weapon efficiency and resistance during combat.

Ah, yes, the combat. Once you strike an enemy - or the enemy strikes you - you’re transported to a combat scenario, where characters take turns attacking each other until all characters on one side are defeated. The combat is pretty basic on the surface. When it’s your character’s turn, you can use one optional ability before you make your attack and pass the turn to the next character. The choice of ability can range from drinking potions and using other items, to character-specific abilities that’ll let you boost buddies or heal them, weaken enemies and so on. The attacks you can choose amongst are melee, ranged, class-specific actions and magic attacks. All of these have some form of interaction that you must perform to improve their effectiveness. Melee and ranged attacks usually task you to hit the left mouse button immediately when you see your weapon flash, for a perfect attack. Timing it wrong will decrease the damage you deal and may prevent you from finishing a combo. Abilities can be more complicated, forcing you to tap A and D as fast as you can, playing a Guitar Hero style mini-game or holding in the left mouse button until you’re prompted to let go. Magic attacks - which are essentially just different types of farts - require mana, but can be very powerful in the right circumstances.

Combat is a big part of the game, and a fun one too.

Combat is a big part of the game, and a fun one too.

It’s all very simple, but the whole QTE-based ‘time attacks for best effect’ aspect makes sure it never ends up feeling stale. Playing on the Easy or Normal difficulty levels might feel way too easy for experienced gamers, so the Hardcore level is definitely to be recommended for those who want some challenge along with their 15-hour interactive South Park episode. Only then will you truly be forced to time your attacks smartly, thinking about when and what potion to drink, which buddy to use, and what type of elemental attacks to employ. I would go so far as to say that, for hardcore gamers, the Hardcore difficulty level is the only place where the game truly shines.

That’s not to say you’ll have a bad experience if you play it on the lower difficulty. It’s just that it becomes a different kind of experience. The combat becomes a type of filler, between the elements of the main attraction that is the fantastic story and general South Park shenanigans. On Hardcore, every battle feels like exactly that - a BATTLE. You need to fight hard to win, and it feels like a real triumph, especially when it’s quest-related. You can die again and again, only to learn from your mistakes and perfect your combat formula for that one time when you finally crush your opponents and are allowed to move on with the story. It feels oh so satisfying.

Facebook. They use it in South Park too.

Facebook. They use it in South Park too.

Depending on the difficulty level you choose, whether or not you completed most of the side quests and found most of the collectibles, finishing the game can take you anywhere between 10 and 20 hours. I crossed the finish line just shy of 20 hours myself, completing the game and every single quest in Hardcore, reaching the level cap of 15 and taking a little extra time to look for some collectables. I wish there were a few more levels to gain before reaching the cap, because you’ll be able to max out a good few hours before the adventure is done, and levelling up your abilities to add various new properties to them is a fun endeavour in and of itself. It’s a fairly linear game, and though there are several classes with unique abilities to choose from, you shouldn’t expect to be able to restart the game after completion and get a completely different experience on the second run. However, it does offer some replayability through the story that’s packed with so many fantastic moments that you’ll almost forget them the moment you experience them, as they’re immediately replaced by something even funnier. But even if you should only complete the whole game once, the purchase is completely justified.

The game does have a few other quibbles too, though. Your inventory is unlimited in capacity, so you can essentially pick up as much as you want along the way. While most things are useful in some way or other, junk items are just there for reference to events in the TV show and to be sold to vendors for profit. It’s mind-boggling then, that there isn’t any option to sell all your junk at once. You’re instead forced to double click every single item in the list, which can take several minutes every time. It gets tedious incredibly fast. The menus themselves are otherwise easy to navigate through, but the white background color can be straining to the eyes. Due to the 2D style, environments can also be confusing to navigate, and can feel like it’s impossible to find a path out of a given area. This is especially frustrating during the section where you get shrunk down and have to chase little gnomes through the walls of your house.

Selling junk is always a pain.

Selling junk is always a pain.

There are also a few pretences that you should know about before purchasing the game. It’s worth noting that Obsidian haven’t felt any need to soften things up. Not only is The Stick of Truth faithfully recreated with extreme attention to detail, it is also as hardcore as anything you’ve seen in the TV show, and it’s clear that Matt Stone and Trey Parker have worked intimately with the developer. Puking, pooping, fucking, sucking, farting, verbally abusing, anal probing, child molesting, the game is racist, violent, naked and wholly disgusting throughout. If you’re squeamish, or if you feel that extremely childish humor is below you, then you might want to steer clear. This game wasn’t made with you in mind. This is THE definitive South Park game. Nor should you expect The Stick of Truth to offer the same deep RPG-experience you’re used to seeing in Obsidian’s earlier games. It just isn’t the intention of it. On the flipside, it is at least extremely polished with very few bugs and other issues.

The Verdict

There is so much more I want to tell you about The Stick of Truth, like how my trip to 16-bit Canada went, or how the last hour of the campaign is the most disgusting and funny thing I’ve seen in any game in years. But I cannot continue talking about it in good conscience. It’s one of those games where you keep going “WOW!”, and you can’t wait to tell your fellow man-child friends about it. Needless to say, it’s best to experience it on your own. Unless you hate South Park, completely lack a connection with your inner child, or can’t handle the occasional (i.e. CONSTANT) jokes involving violence, bodily functions, racism, sexism and pretty much every other wrongful thing you can think of, The Stick of Truth is just something you NEED to experience. You will not be disappointed.

Case Review

  • The South Park We Deserve: A true homage, and a perfect use of the license.
  • Simple and Solid: The combat appears simple at first glance, but offers a surprising amount of depth.
  • You’d Never Even Notice: The audiovisual presentation is so flawless that people will think you’re watching the show.
  • Know What You’re Getting Into: This isn’t made for the squeamish, nor for those who expect a complex RPG.
  • Where the Hell Am I Supposed to Go?: Some navigation issues caused by the art style and level design may have you scratching your head.
  • Incompetent Salesman: PLEASE patch in a “Sell All” button!
Score: 4.5/5
Obsidian delivers the ultimate experience that the fans deserve.


Well douchebags, Ubisoft finally made good on their promise of releasing South Park: The Stick of Truth. After a few hiccups and a delay, many people thought it was too big a challenge to recreate Trey Parker and Matt Stone’s hit series. Thankfully this was not the case, and South Parkeeters looking for a game worthy of the TV show will probably be asking the question: Does The Stick of Truth live up to the expectation?

The first thing you must do is create a character. You can select skin tone, clothes, colour of clothes, and pretty much fully customise your in-game persona. When this is done you must select your class. There are four choices: Fighter, Mage, Thief, and Jew, with the latter being a first in a game (and done in true South Park style). One of the funniest parts in this game is when Cartman asks for your name. No matter what you choose he will name you Douchebag, and you are called this repeatedly during play. Gameplay has typical Japanese RPG elements mixed with some real-time action - for example, fighting is turn-based, except you defend an attack manually during your opponents move with a button press when you see an on-screen prompt.

Wandering around the small town of South Park is fun and we get to see most of it as shown in the TV series. To get to other neighbourhoods fast travel is used, which takes the form of a short flagpole with an air horn. Exploring the various houses is also fun as not only do you find money, but also items, including adult toys. If you are a big fan of the series you will really enjoy The Stick of Truth. For fans of RPG’s who don’t like the show, the game is not recommended as you will find it unexciting. Overall Obsidian created a game aimed at the South Parakeeters, and it captured the atmosphere well.

Score: 4/5


By Apoc

The Stick of Truth has had many ‘hiccups’ during its development stage, with THQ going bust and countless delays, it left many worried about what the finished product would look like. Well wonder no more fellow South Park fans. Obsidian pulled it off. A fully immersive South Park RPG that makes you feel like you’re a part of the TV show’s world, and gives you plenty of that unique, crude and cringe worthy humour that the series is famous for.

Your first goal in the game as ‘the new kid’ is simple - make friends. This quickly leads you to discover the kids of South Park, who are currently involved in a massive role playing game of their own. There Cartman’s humans are engaged in a bitter war with Kyle’s elves over the coveted Stick of Truth, a powerful artefact that gives whoever possesses it control of the universe. In your quest for the stick you will traverse the entirety of South Park as well as Canada and even visit an alien spaceship.

The combat in the game is based upon your typical old school RPG fundamentals. Combat is turn based with spells, special abilities, status effects and summons, all with a unique (and hilarious) South Park twist. Graphic wise the game can easily be mistaken for an episode of South Park, where both the characters and the world, have been replicated perfectly. The game is fully voiced by the original cast adding to the experience 10 fold and ensuring your immersion into the South Park universe isn’t broken. As an added personal note; I have never played a game that has had me laugh out loud and giggle so much. But if you are easily offended or disgusted, this may not be the game for you. For the rest of us, South Park fans, this is a dream come true and a must buy.

Score: 5/5
Comments (2)
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Posts: 1317

To put it this way; it's one game I would LOVE to buy some episodic story-DLC for.

Posts: 596

I'd give it a 5/5 Hammers. Really love the game, it truly is everything and more you'd hope from a South Park game and amazingly the PC seems to be the main platform for this game as it has no bugs or issues at all while the consoles apparently have lots of issues.

Not to mention that most shocking of all, the PC version looks way better than the console versions. I thought they'd look the same due to the nature of the South Park visuals, but boy was I completely wrong!

The humour is great, the story is perfect, the writing is just like that of South Park series. The voice work is original for the game with the real voice actors for the characters. Oh and, the humour is just too damn good (yes I must mention it twice, because its just so damn funny!)

What really impressed me though was the amount of content. While it is only about 15 hours in total I think even if you do all side content. It is acceptable and feels like a lot due to the amount of story and great jokes throughout the game. Besides I think if it was longer, it would actually be too long.

Perhaps if they make another one after this they can work on ways to make it more varied so that they could have the sequel be longer. But we will see, I'd rather not have another South Park game than have a rushed bad one. Best case scenario the sequel is even better than this though (if they decide to make a sequel that is)