20th Mar2014

‘South Park: The Stick of Truth’ Review (PC)

by Paul Metcalf


South Park: The Stick of Truth was met with excitement by fans when it was first revealed, but nobody probably expected the fight the game itself would have to get release.  First with the death of THQ then with delays added onto it, the signs weren’t that good.  With the delays being used to improve the game though and with the creators of South Park, Trey Parker and Matt Stone, playing a big part in the creation of the game there still felt a good chance that the game would be good.

For fans of South Park elements of South Park: The Stick of Truth seemed to touch on the very good episode The Return of the Fellowship of the Ring to the Two Towers and the kids love of RPG gameplay.  For the most point South Park: The Stick of Truth fits very well with this episode, but extends on the idea to pull it into a full role-playing game.  Maybe not the strongest RPG you’ll ever play, but still one whose heart is in its right place.

In the game you play the “New Kid” who has a secret, this secret won’t be revealed until the end of the game and you won’t find out about it here.  Being new and friendless your first task is to find new friends, which leads you to join with Cartman and the “Humans” fighting against Kyle and his “Elves”.  Your job is to protect and often recapture the Stick of Truth as the two clans battle for superiority over each other.  What you also have to remember though is this is South Park and as we know nothing goes simple there, and with Aliens watching on with interest, just what is it about your character that makes him so special?

South Park: The Stick of Truth is a bit of a double-edged sword when you look at it as a game, the fact is it’s a very good South Park episode and an okay role-playing game.  For fans of the show you’ll find plenty of nice additions that are there for the fans, and sometimes it does seem that people who aren’t knowledgeable in the show may find things a little strange, but as a big fan of the series I do think that people will catch up with the South Park world quite quickly.

When it comes to the role-playing side of things there is a pretty solid game in place and one that most fans will often forgive for what it lacks, but hard-core fans of the genre may be more testy at what it lacks.  The turn based style of the game pushes towards the Final Fantasy/J-RPG style of gameplay, and the South Park humour is put to good use, but the level of challenge may not meet what many hoped for.  For more casual and less expectant fans though I do feel that they will like what they have, especially when so much South Park humour has been included in the game.

Now the problems with censoring in the game, South Park is known for its edgy humour and it’s fair to say that Trey Parker and Matt Stone have not held back in this one.  Probing and abortions proved to be to be too much for the censors in Europe, and honestly? I think it could have lived without the abortion mini-games but that’s just me.  I can understand why people want their games untouched by the censors, but there are times when we don’t need some things.  I will note though that I played the uncut version of the game so can’t comment on if the removal of certain things is detrimental to the game.

South Park: The Stick of Truth is probably the best game you’ll ever get out of South Park, and I mean that in a very positive way.  If you want to feel that you have played a part in an episode of the show then The Stick of Truth definitely manages to create that illusion.  Yes the RPG elements could be stronger, and there may be issues around just how re-playable the game is after you complete it but for the time you play it South Park: The Stick of Truth is a very enjoyable stroll through a crazy little town.  Just beware of Al Gore, he’s a total social media spammer.

**** 4/5

Review originally posted on PissedOffGeek.com

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