South Park: The Stick of Truth Review
March 4, 2014
Written Review Transcript
Licensed video games don’t tend to do very well. But when Obsidian says they’re going to tackle a project, the same studio responsible for Fallout: New Vegas, it’s enough to pique someone’s interest. Now that the studio has gotten their hands on the South Park license, was this twice delayed game worth the wait? Here’s my review of South Park: The Stick of Truth.
South Park: The Stick of Truth opens up with a new kid moving into South Park, Colorado. You are that new kid. And you are essentially thrust right into what genuinely feels like an episode of South Park. The art style and cutscenes truly make it feel just like part of the TV show. And the plot is exactly is what you would expect from an episode of the show, just a bit longer. So, you could consider it a secondary South Park movie if wanted.
The game ultimately is an open world turn-based RPG. The combat system is very similar to that of the Mario & Luigi RPG series. It’s a turn based system with timed button presses to get the best results. Typically each battle pits yourself and a partner against a group of enemies. Your character is equipped with a melee attack, long range attack, and ability alongside some defense, counters, and summons. A summon is an unlockable move that can only be used once a day against a non-boss opponent and they typically result in a one-hit KO against your enemies. Overall, the combat system is solid and very satisfying. As you progress, you will be able to upgrade your character via level ups, new equipment, perks, and ability upgrades.
Outside of the combat, the game is completely open world, so you can explore all of South Park, Colorado and some surrounding areas to your leisure. Apart from the main story, there is a lot of collectibles to find and side quests to unlock. The main campaign itself will run you around 10 hours or so, while completionists will find themselves playing for a bit more than double that time. However, the level cap is a bit low so you may find yourself hitting the cap a decent time before the main story comes to a close.
However, my main gripe with the game is that it’s definitely on the easy side. Outside of combat, your character will automatically regenerate HP and potions and items can be used before each turn. Luckily, there is a difficulty slider. If you are experienced at all with RPGs, I’d definitely recommend turning the difficulty up. If you’re not much of a RPG kind of person, playing on standard difficulty will do you just fine. On the PC end of things, there is no UPlay DRM which appreciated but the game has also hard capped the frame rate at 30fps, which is a bit annoying, but considering it’s a turn based game of paper cut out characters, it isn’t really bothersome.
Overall, if you enjoy the TV show, you will absolutely enjoy the game. If you’re not a fan, this game won’t make you think any differently of the series. But for those who are, the game has a fantastic script, setting, and writing. The combat is very solid and you may find yourself hooked and coming back right up until it ends, which admittedly happens a bit too quickly for my taste. Though with the promise of DLC looming, we may be headed back to South Park soon. But it’s a hilarious adventure from beginning to end.
FINAL SCORE: 8.5 out of 10