South Park: The Stick of Truth Review

March 10, 2014

/ by Tin Salamunic

"The Stick of Truth may be one of the best licensed video games ever made."

South Park: The Stick of Truth is a monumental achievement. It’s not only one of the best licensed games ever made, it’s one of the strongest role playing titles in recent memory. I would go as far as saying it ranks amongst the biggest successes of the last generation. It’s a pleasant surprise too, because at one point I was convinced The Stick of Truth would be just another missed opportunity, especially with the numerous delays and publishers switching mid development. But I should‘ve known better. I should’ve known to trust Trey and Matt to deliver on their promise. South Park: The Stick of Truth is everything fans could wish for. It plays like a full-length interactive TV season; giving us the same raunchy humor and energy we’ve grown to love over the years. Its authenticity is exemplary and I’m convinced gamers with no interest in the franchise might walk away as South Park devotees. Yes, it’s that good.

You play as “The New Kid” who just moved to South Park with his parents. After befriending the local kids Cartman and Butters who are engaged in an epic role-playing fantasy game, you’re dubbed “douchebag” and set out to fight against the drow elves led by Kyle and Stan who’ve stolen the coveted item of unlimited power: The Stick of Truth. From the very first opening cinematic, you feel like you’re partaking in a classic South Park episode. Everything from the visuals to the voice acting and unapologetic humor is remarkably genuine.

Imagining South Park as a traditional role playing game may seem odd at first, but only after a few tutorials it's impossible to imagine it within any other genre. South Park: The Stick of Truth takes traditional RPG elements and blends them into exceptionally intuitive gameplay mechanics. Douchebag can choose one of four classes: Mage, Fighter, Thief, or Jew, each with unique traits and special abilities. Combat is turn based, but performing attacks and blocks requires timed button prompts, which makes battles more engaging. The gameplay reminded me of the PS1 classic Legend of Dragoon, which had some of the best turn-based mechanics at the time.

"Whether you're a South Park fan or not, this is one of the finest RPGs in recent memory."

Farts are used for magic and your summons, one of which is Jesus with a machine gun and sunglasses, can wipe out all enemies for one fight, except bosses when they cannot be used. The comedy doesn’t just stop there. The writing is witty, brilliant, and probably some of the best we’ve seen from the creators yet. It’s really impressive that Matt and Trey have managed to keep the franchise so fresh and vibrant throughout the years.

The best part about The Stick of Truth is South Park itself. The world has been recreated with meticulous detail and references to the show are around every corner. Even if you’re unfamiliar with the series, there’s so much to do and see here, it’s impossible not go exploring. Nearly every building is accessible and every character has a hilarious line of dialogue. The game is visually identical to the show and the only time the aesthetics suffer is during framerate drops when the scenes change. This isn’t a problem on the PC, but both console versions stutter heavily throughout.

Saying anything more about this fantastic game would completely ruin the surprises. This is one of the funniest games I’ve ever played and it’s an absolute must buy whether you’re a fan of the show or not. While the game is only 12 hours long and doesn’t offer too much replay value beyond the first playthrough, it’s thoroughly entertaining and raises the bar for licensed gaming to new heights. South Park: The Stick of Truth is already on our list for this year’s top ten best games and it’ll take a lot to dethrone this masterpiece. 

Reviewed by Tin Salamunic | Reviewed on: Playstation 3


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