South Park fans awaiting the release of Stick of Truth have I got some good news for you; and to those not awaiting its release, this just might change any preconceived notions about the game. Stick of Truth appears to be everything you ever loved about South Park boiled down to its very essence. In other words it’s amazeballs.
During this year’s New York Comic Con festivities, I was bestowed the righteous duty of previewing the RPG gameplay that puts the player right into the episode, and boy was it impressive.
Let’s start from the beginning. Everything about the eight-minute gameplay preview I witnessed is like watching an episode of South Park from start to finish. The graphics are faithful to the cartoon so much in fact, I could hardly tell which was a cut-scene and which was gameplay; they flowed together with a natural ease like the forbidden dance of Tango and after playing games with enhanced 3D graphics and explosive sounds this was refreshing and eardrum friendly.
In the level I previewed, Cartman is the Grand Wizard of the group…like always, while Kenny plays the damsel who is kidnapped by the stuttering-filled Jimmy. Even Jimmy’s stuttering stays truthful; there is a suggested skip option every time he speaks…or attempts to speak. Rounding out the gang are Kyle, Butters and Token who play Cartman’s loyal yet frustrated sidekicks. During the gameplay, our characters are confronted by an evil trio of bow-wielding enemies as Jimmy and his trusted crutches oversee the battle from afar.
The goal is simple, vanquish all enemies by any means possible using a variety of attacks including Butters ability to knock out his opponents using the Hammer of Justice and Hammer of Storms. In addition to using traditional weapons in combat, players can light farts on fire to set their enemies ablaze, and in some instances even use farts as a Dragon Shout-esque technique; sound familiar Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim fans? There’s also the power of Rochambeau, which is one of the move sets you can use in battle. South Park fans would recognize this as a direct reference to first season’s Mecha-Streisand episode.
Keep in mind I’ve only seen eight minutes of gameplay but from what I’ve witnessed, a massive amount of time deals with your interaction with various objects in your environment. For example, you have the ability to shoot targets which will trigger certain events in the game. Shooting a light will cause it to fall onto someone’s head or you’ll get lucky and hidden objects will reveal themselves to you to help you finish the level.
While each character has their own moves and farts, hands down the ultimate best part about the preview is the hilariously offensive scripted crude humor where no topic and race is safe and yes, Cartman still hates Jews. Just like the move sets are a direct reference to the game, the script will bear the same similarity. For example, after Butter’s defeats an enemy, he proclaims with an earnest sense of sincerity, pride and angelic innocence, “I think I just found my new bottom bitch.” It’s a very proud moment for Butter’s that makes you stand up and cheer, if you haven’t fallen over from laughing.
Even though Ubisoft did not allow any footage or photos, from the scene I saw, I am very much looking forward to this game. In fact it’s really the best of both worlds. Just imagine South Park creator Trey Parker and Matt Stone with even more imagination and freedom. There are even these small moments that the creators have paid so much attention to detail, which deserve as much praise as the larger scale sequences. The script is engaging despite using lines from the cartoon; it pays homage to popular books, video games, movies and TV franchises. Even if you have never watched a single South Park episode, this game appears to be a great introduction to the series. It’s shocking, offensive but you can’t stop laughing. The gameplay is simple but you’re too busy to notice because you’ll be spending 90% of your time listening to the dialogue as the characters go at each other with no holds barred language or battle moves.