Mar 13 2014

Late… or perhaps Early South Park: Stick of Truth Review

Now, just so you know, I am a huge fan of South Park. I’ve watched all the episodes and think it’s the best adult cartoon on air (American Dad comes a close second), which is why this is going to make it quite hard to write this honest review.

The game’s just not that good.

Okay, so we all know the website is about reviewing games awhile after they’ve been released, but when I saw the pre order of South Park on sale at G2A.com for £17, I just thought, “What the hell!” and got it.

I know other websites have revered the game as being absolutely brilliant, an unmissable hit, etc, etc, but it quickly becomes boring to play and very repetitious. A lot of old jokes from the show are reused, the storyline feels exactly like a previous season finale from the show, and doesn’t really make much sense.

The game begins with you being the new kid in town, who has to go out into South Park to make friends. Similar to any fantasy RPG, you create your character and select a class. I chose the thief and found that later on in the game, he would unlock his final technique which is capable of causing your enemies to bleed heavily, allowing you to finish them off in about 4 moves. Probably one of the stronger classes in the game, but if your an achievement freak, you might be best going with the Jew class just so you don’t have to replay through the game later when achievement hunting.

The first person you bump into in South Park is Butters, who becomes your companion (others will join as companions later in the story) in fights and interacts hilariously with other characters in the world. Apart from Randy, he probably had the most funniest lines in the game. The Stick Of Truth uses elements from Elder Scrolls: Skyrim such as new quests accepted and the whole dragonborn thing as both an essential part of gameplay and a platform to make jokes of. The problem with the jokes are that they are long overdue, seeing as Skyrim has been out for over 2 years now, and Elders Online soon to be released. It probably didn’t help that Stick Of Truth was delayed by over a year due to various problems, one sadly being the dissolving of THQ, but this only subtracted value from the game, rather than work in favour for it.

Nostalgia is a big part of this game, in which you’ll bump into plenty of old characters, revisit some of the old plot lines, find items as (junk) collectibles, and listen to old songs playing in reception rooms. This would always bring a smile to my face, maybe even a giggle, but I feel sorry for players that don’t have much knowledge of the show (or have even just forgotten past episodes), as they can’t make the most out of the jokes in the game. This isn’t the game’s fault of course, but considering most of the jokes aren’t properly executed, and tend to rely on it’s previous performance in South Park, I think that people new to South Park are missing out. It also becomes clicheic quite early in the game.

As the game is in the style of the TV show, your character is a 2D sprite, mostly restrained to walking in a sideward direction, with some movability towards and away from the screen. Gameplay involves you as your character walking through the streets of South Park to get to the next quest. Now because it’s in the style of the TV show, it gets away with how you move, but if it had been an unbranded game, you would not have been impressed paying £40 to play a game similar to that of free flash games on the internet. If you come into contact with an enemy in the world, you go into fight mode, which is turn-based similar to that of the old Final Fantasy games. This has some good points, such as reaction timing and good graphics. Some reviewers have said that the fighting can become boring quite quickly, but I find that if you just experiment with you and your companions powers, and utilise most of the weapons in the game, this should keep you amused through to the end.

I was lucky enough to be able to play the PC version of this game, which isn’t censored like that of the console editions, so this gave me access to the abortion mini game and Nazi armbands. To be honest, I don’t know what all the fuss is about. The abortion game consists of using a needle and vacuum out of view of the screen on a man and then later on a machine, which meant no cartoon women were harmed and no fetuses terminated. Considering there are a lot worser things that have been left in the game, let’s just say I got an achievement for viewing something amusingly shocking for 60 seconds, consoles users aren’t missing out on much.

My advice if your considering purchasing the game, is just to wait until it’s down to 10 quid, or just watch one of the many famous YouTubers who seem to have got their hands on a free copy/paid endorsement. They certainly pissed me off being able to play the game early, only to provide a tonne of spoiler screenshots on the YouTube homepage, but if Ubisoft doesn’t mind users being able to watch the jokes for free, and skip on gameplay, then by all means, save your money and get something else worthwhile.

Permanent link to this article: https://www.thelategamer.com/video-game-review/pc/south-park-stick-of-truth-pc/

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