The sepulcher erected from the studios of Obsidian and past creator THQ has finally surfaced and taken a gasp of air. South Park: The Stick of Truth, a video game created by Matt Stone and Trey Parker is the coagulation of all things South Park created within the 16 year framework since the show’s creation.
Taking on the model of a traditional RPG game, the game revolves around Stan, Kyle, Cartman, and Kenny’s quest for the magical “Stick of Truth.” The game begins with the player starting out as a new kid entering the small and quiet town of South Park. While quickly embarking into the quest for the stick and dominion of South Park, the player comes upon the opportunity of choosing a class in which to characterize “The New Kid.” Sticking to traditional style offered in class based RPG games, the classes strike a similar tone: Mage, Thief, and Warrior, but the addition of the fourth class—Jew—is bound to turn some heads, and even offer some enticement into choosing that particular class. Warning: this game aims to offend and prides itself upon it.
While completing quests for the various characters of the game, the whole map of South Park, assimilated from the show, is finally laid out in its entirety. It allows players easy carry-over from the game if lost or a quest item or place is misunderstood; while fast travel becomes a convenience later on in the game due to some exploration.
Much like the show, the game leans more towards the obscene and the offensive. There were countless parts in which I, as the player, felt internally awkward, and awkward for the people watching me play. For example, in one part of the game, I found myself shrinking down to minuscule size and jumping up the sphincter of one of the games key character in order to shut off a “Snuke.”
In the end, I was disappointed by the lack of key items related to each class. Much of the items that can be bought throughout the game can be accessible to all characters, making my choice in the beginning feel uneventful and extraneous. I wanted my decision of selecting the Jew class to feel special and powerful, but it blended in with my later decision to be a Warrior in another run through of the campaign. Also, due to the length of the campaign, 14–16 hours, I found myself laughing the whole way through, but not enough to give the whole campaign another run through.
If you are willing to wade through the obscene and pop your head through the rabbit hole, South Park: The Stick of Truth is a beautiful game, which presents the flow of graphics in a beautiful torrent of precision and marksmanship. The entirety of the game feels like a long 14 hour South Park episode in which you’re controlling the flow of the characters. Besides the occasional lag of the game and class decision, I found myself quite enthralled by the task of locating “The Stick of Truth.”