South Park is a series you’d think would generate a healthy amount of games throughout its run on TV. The crude jokes, bad behaviour and obscene characters all lend themselves particularly well to a digital setting, especially given all funny scenarios. Sadly, though there were a handful of attempts during the lifetime of the N64 and Playstation 1, many of which I enjoyed as a kid, my youthful mind was unaware of just how poor those attempts were.
Now, after more than a decade, the troubled yet entertaining citizens of South Park seem to be making another try at digital immortality, bringing with them a whole load of quality, it seems. Happily during the bustling swarms at Gamescom 2013, I was lucky enough to escape the crowd and be treated to a hands-off demo of Obsidian’s upcoming title, South Park: The Stick of Truth. For those living under a rock in the last couple of years, Stick of Truth focuses on the life of Stan, Cartman, Kyle and Kenny, but drops them into the roles of a typical medieval RPG.
Instead of placing you into their shoes however, you’re instead tasked with building your own character, as you move into the town as the new kid. As with any RPG you’d expect to name your character, set his class and pick an outfit? Most of this is true, but whichever name you do give your character you’re instantly referred to as “Sir Douchebag”. Something that Cartman, otherwise known as Grand Wizard Cartman, takes great pleasure in naming you.
To begin the quest “Sir Douchebag” joined up with the likes of Cartman, Kenny (otherwise known as Princess Kenny) and Butters, heading off to find the Bard – an elf with musical powers. Through a carrier raven (Twitter), Butters soon finds out that he’s hiding in the Inn of the Giggling Donkey. Being South Park of course it’s not actually an Inn, just a house that some kids have decorated to make look like one. Once they arrive it isn’t long until they’re ambushed and met by the Bard himself, Jimmy. Within no time Jimmy shows off his musical powers by singing a song about fellatio as we enter combat for the first time. Interestingly, combat takes place within a turn-based system similar to the likes of Final Fantasy, letting you choose the items/members of your team you’ll use to inflict lethal force. Among these items include a Vibroblade (a used dildo covered in a cloud of dirt), Butters’ Hammer of Justice AND armour through the use of Tinfoil. In next to no time the troops were taken care off, leaving Jimmy to ‘run’ away to fight another day.
This is where the level opened up a bit, as I was presented with a side-on view of the characters, moving in between three tiers of scenery. I was also shown how you could interact with the scenery and take part in small puzzles. Instead of trying to replicate the same 3D format in previous games, this title does the style justice and adopts the exact same 2D look as the show. I was thoroughly impressed to see how much the developers nailed the look of the series, making it look as though you’re actually in the show.
After making little work of the enemies encountered, we manage to break out of the basement to find Cartman lying on the ground squirting ketchup on his face. Everyone knows that if you take part in a fight and no sauce is spilt, it was all for nothing right? If that wasn’t enough, Princess Kenny has been captured and it’s up to you to save her, um I mean him.
Unfortunately my demo ended there and left many questions to be answered. I’m eagerly anticipating this game, but if it’s expected to land this holiday season, why has so little of the game been shown? Are they expecting it to be a surprise hit? Or once they acquired it from THQ did they realise it needed more work? Nonetheless, I smell a delay to 2014 coming on. Before exiting, a short teaser trailer showing the forthcoming events was shown, including Stan’s dad being raped by a long steel dildo. This title obviously cannot come soon enough.