How would I describe this game in one word? “Crazy!” is the first word that comes to my mind, it’s a South Park game so I’m guessing no one is surprised at all. If you aren’t a fan of South Park or games that are stupidly fun, contains an unhealthy amount of poop/fart jokes or Aliens/Zombies then stay the hell away from this game.
In The Stick Of Truth you play as the new kid who has just moved to South Park. You create your own character straight away, and can edit features like hair and hair colors. As the game progresses you can customize you character with different outfits, different chins, and facial hair. You can find these customization items throughout South Park or you can buy them. Once you have chosen your character you immediately become friends with Butters and he takes you to play their Dungeons and Dragons style game at their base which is named Kupa Keep. Cartman is also the leader of this group. You are summoned to choose your name but you can’t actually choose your own name, and must be simply as “Douchebag”.
After this long introduction, you will get your first taste of gameplay. The Stick Of Truth’s gameplay is turn based which means that each character on the battlefield gets a turn to choose an attack to their opponent. I am not really a fan of turn based games but I have to credit the development team for adding in little features to freshen up the gameplay. One of these examples are the attacks are all timed based. Attacks take health points away from enemies, and as you are about to complete an attack, a flashing icon will come up, meaning that it’s the right time to attack. Attacking at the perfect time increases the amount of health points taken away from an enemy. It is also the same for blocking attacks from an enemy to receive less damage points.
During battles you can do certain attacks that causes either you or an enemy to have an effect on them. Examples of these effects are freezing a character causing them to miss turns, attacking a character causing “bleeding” which decreases health after each turn, grossed out which causes puking and like bleeding causes a decrease in health. There are also positive effects you can use in battle like increasing your attacking damage and decreasing your defense damage.
Pretty much at the start of the game you will get to choose a class that you want your character to be. The classes are Thief, Fighter, Mage and… Jew (Really). I picked the Thief class in my playthrough. Each class has its own abilities that can also be upgraded by spending upgrade points that are earned through leveling up. As a thief you have five abilities, one of these abilities which happened to be my favorite was the “Backstab” which as you guessed stabs an enemy in the back causing the bleeding effect.
Presentation was personally a major positive for me. The Stick Of Truth managed to do something that most TV show games fail to do with its presentation, and that was to make it feel like an actual TV episode. I along with many other people have seen gaming companies given the rights to certain TV Shows/Movies, and just not use these rights to full potential. Obsidian Entertainment used these rights properly by making it look and feel like it’s directly out of a TV episode, the voice acting/jokes are what you’d expect from a South Park game and they made South Park look like the actual South Park with all the right buildings and houses. It shows if you use the rights correctly you can make an awesome game from them.
It’s just a shame that the game is done so well but had to have its share of issues too. There was some huge framerate issues happening during free roaming around South Park, these aren’t small framerate drops they are really that noticeable sometimes to the point were I thought the game froze. I also had some small issue with battles not ending after all enemy characters were defeated although as the game progressed it didn’t happen at all.
The Final Verdict
There aren’t too many negatives with South Park: The Stick Of Truth but it does have them like the framerate drops and bugs. The game deserves a lot of credit for sticking to a true style of South Park which fans of the show will truly appreciate. The Stick Of Truth also has a surprising amount of customization features, entertaining side missions and enough funny moments to make this a 100% purchase.
+The South Park rights were used to full potential
+/- Turn based gameplay can feel repetitive although I praise the developers for trying to change it up
-Horrible framerate drops