I was going to write this as a “first impressions” post, but I was completely sucked into this game and before I knew it, I had logged almost 12+ hours on my Raptr account. Those who follow me on Twitter pretty much received a butt-ton of spam because I was very excited to get my hands on this game. I’m a huge fan of Southpark plus I love the games that Obsidian Entertainment have dished out over the years. One of the most common questions I have been asked over the last day was “so how much of it is like the actual show?” The answer? EVERYTHING. The characters are the same, the voices are the same, you are truly screwing around in what feels like a long episode of Southpark.
You start out creating a character, playing the new kid (who is seemingly mute) and just moved into town. From there on out, you are caught in epic fantasy RPG goodness. You are recruited by Cartman who has assumed the role of a grand wizard, and he and his human army are battling the elves for ownership over the Stick of Truth. Of course, this is Sourthpark we are talking about, so things are hardly as simple they seem in the beginning. I do not want to spoil anything for you folks, so I will just say that you can easily go from leveling up your class (Fighter, Mage, Thief or Jew… yes, Jew) to acquiring friends on FB, possibly getting probed by aliens and getting teabagged in the worst possible way in a very short amount of time.
The gameplay. You are free to roam around the town of Southpark, meeting new people, and collecting new quests along the way. Exclamation points on your town map indicate that you have active quests that need to be handled. Throughout the game, you will run into random battles that will definitely help with leveling up.
A nice little feature that is added into the game is the benefits of social media. The more friends you gain, the more battle perks you can choose and receive. On your main menu, you can see your FB page and random posts made by your new friends. While you cannot like posts or create your own, the interactions between all the characters is well worth this feature.
The battle system is classic turn based and SoT does a wonderful job of implementing all the features that players love to see in an RPG. If you’ve played Dragon Age, then you will feel comfortable with the “ability wheel” interface that SoT uses. It’s very simple to use, and it doesn’t clutter your screen. The creativity behind the weapons and armor you come across has really floored me. This is an amazing RPG but you reminded that your character is in the 4th grade. One of my favorite weapons is the Axe of Stopping. It is essentially a stop sign that is cut into the shape of an axe and it causes Slow in battle. Love it.
I’m only on my first playthrough, and I’ve chosen Fighter. What can I say, I love to tank. Eventually, you will be equipped with a melee weapon, a ranged weapon, and “magical abilities” that come in the form of gas. Not the natural kind, the gastrointestinal kind. You are also accompanied by one companion though once you acquire more than one, you are given the option to switch out companions during battle. You can also use an item and attack an enemy in the same turn. This really makes up for the lack of a third party member.
Surprisingly, the music is magical. Stepping out into the neighborhood, you feel like you’re listening to a mixed soundtrack of Lord of the Rings and Harry Potter. And if you step into Cartman’s room and you switch on his radio, you can listen to that turd sing about Kyle’s mom. Link provided in case you somehow forgot that classic Cartman composition. As essential as the visuals are, the game really caters to the audio experience as well. Don’t forget to stop and listen in on what’s going on in your current location. Characters will even “bark” at you during battle and when you are roaming the streets.
Everything added into this game pays excellent homage to tons of Southpark episodes. You will even be able to hear Chef’s sultry tones during one point of the game. I’m only 12 hours into SoT, and I’ve come across Mr. Hanky, crab people, underwear stealing gnomes, probing aliens, noncomformist Goths, and ManBearPig. As new as seeing the Southpark boys becoming RPG characters is, there is a ton of throwback in the game that makes you remember why you fell in love with the series. The team at Obsidian really did their homework, and I couldn’t be happier with how this game has turned out. I do have to agree with IGN’s Ryan McCaffrey when he writes, “if its first couple hours are any indication, then we may one day soon look back on The Stick of Truth as the best and most authentic licensed game ever made.”
In short, this game makes up for Team America 2 never being created. I’m being super cereal, guys.
Congrats to Team Obsidian, Team Ubisoft and to Trey Parker and Matt Stone. You all have created one hell of a gem.