South Park: The Stick of Truth – Preview

view gallery VIEW GALLERY

Being the new kid in town proves tough, especially if Eric Cartman decides to take an interest in you.

I don’t know if it’s a reflection of this year’s E3 show, or an indicator of my place within the geek spectrum, but seeing Trey Parker and Matt Stone wander on to the stage during Microsoft’s press briefing was one of this year’s highlights for me.

Why were they there? To introduce South Park: The Stick of Truth, the biggest South Park undertaking since 1999’s South Park: Bigger Longer & Uncut movie, and a game which looks to have much going for it, even down to the ‘crappy’ look of the series (their words, not ours).

With Trey & Matt taking care of writing and voicing duties it’s no surprise that – assuming you “get” South Park in the first place – The Stick of Truth is a laugh a minute. From Cartman’s retort to Kyle when he suggests he could be the town’s saviour: ‘Jews can’t be saviours, remember?’ To Mr. Slave’s, let us dub it “tight squeeze” special attack.

Then consider the fact it’s being developed by Obsidian Entertainment (Fallout: New Vegas, Neverwinter Nights 2), so suggesting that we can expect a rich experience from both battle sequences and character development – though here’s hoping without New Vegas’ well publicised glitches.

During my behind closed doors look at the game, it was interesting to witness a game more reminiscent of the mid-range entries to the Final Fantasy series (from say numbers VI to X) with combat very much turn-based and the ability to summon special characters into the fray – the afore mentioned Mr. Slave for example – to inflict extra damage.

That’s not to say that combat is an exact copy of that of Final Fantasy, boss characters in South Park for example will have the opportunity to resurrect fallen members of their gang for example – something which the leader of the Vampire kids demonstrated with alarming regularity – while fights simply look different, representing scraps as opposed to mystical encounters.

Apparently that’s because Trey wanted a big part of the game to be ‘kids whacking other kids’– more schoolyard in the playground dust-ups than epic clashes. We wouldn’t rule out slightly more flashy encounters however, especially considering the rich heritage of the series which includes such giants as Mecha-Streisand, Professor Chaos, Satan and the “Super Best Friends”.

The demonstration opened with the new kid in town, i.e. you, moving in and setting out on a path to find new friends. With no-one willing to talk to him he’s taken under the wing of the ever unpopular Butters who advises him to ‘seek out the Wizard King.’ Yep, you’ve guessed it: one Eric Cartman.

With his fat ass sat atop a throne Cartman welcomes you into his “Kingdom” – consisting of Clyde and a kid with the ‘power of diabetes’ – and bids you go out on your first quest: to go out and order him some Kung Po chicken.

Cartman even allows you to tell him your name, so enabling to type in whatever moniker you’d like. In true Cartman style though he opts not to refer to you as whatever you type, but instead christens you ‘Douchebag’ – a level you can graduate from (I believe the next rank is ‘Butthole’) and so begins what is essentially the game’s experience system.

Players will be able to fully customise the look and accessories of the new kid to be either as close to their own visage or as random – facial hair, eye patches – as they want, while there are even character classes to choose from with cleric, mage, fighter and thief all mentioned.

Weapons are similarly outlandish with the “Vibroblade” (something borrowed from Catman’s mum) and a whole series or sticks, swords, throwing weapons and so on unveiled.

Worth the wait? The Stick of Truth certainly seems to have any South Park fan’s checklist thoroughly covered, from the input of Trey of Matt to the spot on animation which basically puts you in your own episode.

There are pitfalls: Obsidian can’t skimp on the combat (though that seems well covered), and also need to be wary of the over-repetition of jokes (whether those made during combat, or recurring themes within the plot). Get both of those right and I fully expect that ‘going down to South Park’ will have never been better.

For: PS3, Xbox 360, PC
Developer: Obsidian Entertainment
Publisher: THQ
When? Autumn 2012

PROMOTED VIDEO
Life and Style
ebookNow available in paperback
ebooks
ebookPart of The Independent’s new eBook series The Great Composers
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Gadgets & Tech

    Recruitment Genius: Infrastructure / Development Support

    £20000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Fantastic opportunity to join a...

    Ashdown Group: SQL Developer - Oxfordshire - £40,000

    £35000 - £40000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: BI Developer (Business In...

    Guru Careers: Mac Operator / Artworker

    £Negotiable (DOE): Guru Careers: We are seeking a Mac Operator / Artworker to ...

    Guru Careers: Digital Content Designer / Web Designer

    £Negotiable (DOE): Guru Careers: We are seeking a Digital Content Designer / W...

    Day In a Page

    Greece elections: In times like these, the EU has far more dangerous adversaries than Syriza

    Greece elections

    In times like these, the EU has far more dangerous adversaries than Syriza, says Patrick Cockburn
    Holocaust Memorial Day: Nazi victims remembered as spectre of prejudice reappears

    Holocaust Memorial Day

    Nazi victims remembered as spectre of prejudice reappears over Europe
    Fortitude and the Arctic attraction: Our fascination with the last great wilderness

    Magnetic north

    The Arctic has always exerted a pull, from Greek myth to new thriller Fortitude. Gerard Gilbert considers what's behind our fascination with the last great wilderness
    Homeless Veterans appeal: Homeless in Wales can find inspiration from Daniel’s story

    Homeless Veterans appeal

    Homeless in Wales can find inspiration from Daniel’s story
    Front National family feud? Marine Le Pen and her relatives clash over French far-right party's response to Paris terror attacks

    Front National family feud?

    Marine Le Pen and her relatives clash over French far-right party's response to Paris terror attacks
    Pot of gold: tasting the world’s most expensive tea

    Pot of gold

    Tasting the world’s most expensive tea
    10 best wildlife-watching experiences: From hen harriers to porpoises

    From hen harriers to porpoises: 10 best wildlife-watching experiences

    While many of Britain's birds have flown south for the winter, it's still a great time to get outside for a spot of twitching
    Nick Easter: 'I don’t want just to hold tackle bags, I want to be out there'

    'I don’t want just to hold tackle bags, I want to be out there'

    Nick Easter targeting World Cup place after England recall
    DSK, Dodo the Pimp, and the Carlton Hotel

    The inside track on France's trial of the year

    Dominique Strauss-Kahn, Dodo the Pimp, and the Carlton Hotel:
    As provocative now as they ever were

    Sarah Kane season

    Why her plays are as provocative now as when they were written
    Murder of Japanese hostage has grim echoes of a killing in Iraq 11 years ago

    Murder of Japanese hostage has grim echoes of another killing

    Japanese mood was against what was seen as irresponsible trips to a vicious war zone
    Syria crisis: Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more refugees as one young mother tells of torture by Assad regime

    Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more Syrian refugees

    One young mother tells of torture by Assad regime
    The enemy within: People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back – with promising results

    The enemy within

    People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back
    'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

    'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

    Survivors of the Nazi concentration camp remember its horror, 70 years on
    Autumn/winter menswear 2015: The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore

    Autumn/winter menswear 2015

    The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore