The one thing that can never be taken away from South Park is the consistency in the show’s quality for the last 17 years. Unlike shows like The Simpsons, Family Guy, and Futurama which clearly jumped the shark years ago and struggle to keep their heads above water, creators Matt Stone and Trey Parker keep dishing out compelling material. Their new creation, South Park: Stick of Truth is no exception as they take their iconic gross-out humour and include it into a video game with hilarious results.
The story starts out very simple and by the end reaches new levels of insanity and surrealism. The player takes hold of “The New Kid”. The New Kid has just moved into South Park and his first mission is to make friends. The first South Park resident he comes across is fan-favourite Butters. The New Kid is escorted by Butters to Cartman’s house where he discovers that the kids of South Park have been playing a “deadly” role-playing game of Wizards versus Elves. The Wizards, lead by the Grand Wizard Cartman, who is so undeniably cool, and the Drow Elves, lead by Kyle. The Wizards and Elves are at war in order to be the holder of the Stick of Truth, for he who holds the Stick of Truth controls the universe. The New Kid joins Grand Wizard Cartman’s ranks and is given the noble name of “Douchebag”. From then on Douchebag carries out Cartman’s tasks and must respect his authoritah.
Stick of Truth is a turn-based RPG (Role Playing Game). For those who have a life and do not know what that means, the player is able to upgrade and customise their character, weapons, abilities and accessories. When players get into a fight with opponents, each side takes turns in dealing damage to the other, when their turn is done the opposite side deals damage then it alternates again. This keeps happening until one side has all their warriors defeated. Douchebag is able to bring into battle one companion, ranging from paladin Butters, Princess Kenny, warrior Stan, Elf King Kyle, Grand Wizard Cartman, Jimmy the bard. Customization is incredible important because the player will come across enemies that are maliciously resilient, overpowered or immune to particular attacks. Players are required to strategies, prioritise, circumnavigate through danger, but most importantly, the player must never forget to bring a towel.
Whereas other TV show based games like The Simpsons: Hit and Run have been released, which are just sorry excuses of a video game, Stick of Truth manages to engage the player. Matt Stone and Trey Parker did not spit this game out for a quick cash-grab; they put their heart and soul into this. The creators of South Park are obviously gamers themselves. Stick of Truth is pack-full of satirical comments about video game tropes. For example, when Douchebag is abducted by aliens (which is just the tip of the iceberg on this game’s crazy meter) he runs across recordings. When the recording is played, a voice starts talking about how pointless these types of recordings are, especially because nobody would stop to make a recording in the middle of a life-or-death situation.
This game is not for people who are easily offended, squeamish, not fans of South Park, or even those who casually watch the show. South Park: Stick of Truth is for the hardcore fans that have seen countless episodes, can stand gross imagery, and can quote their most hilarious dialogue. For those who recognise these references: “come on you guys, I’m serial!”, “I broke the dam”, “crab people, crab people!”, “you’re all a bunch of conformist posers”. All the voice actors from the show are here reprising their beloved roles. Not only are the main characters in the game but so are the supporting cast; Al Gore, still looking for Manbearpig, Mr Hankey the Christmas Poo, Mr Slave, the Goth Kids, and many, many more. There are some celebrity cameos, all of which are impersonated…poorly.
Gamers should give Stick of Truth a go to see if they can’t unwind. This review does not cover even half of what the game has to offer. The greatness of Stick of Truth is its surprise factor. There is never a moment where the player is bored or not laughing themselves to death. South Park is known for its hilarity and its gross, explicit and crude view of the world, and Stick of Truth is nothing different. One of the best games in recent memory and should not be missed, M’kay.
Opinion By Ignacio Gatti