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It’s offensive. It’s crude. It pushes the boundaries of taste and is more offensive than finding presidential used condoms outside of an abortion clinic. And that’s just the regular South Park cartoon which has been on TV since the 1990s. The game? It’s all that, but amplified to a new degree of vicious and intelligent comedy. And dammit, it’s given me the best laugh in ages.

What would Brian Boitano do?

Ever since South Park hit the airwaves in 1997, the series has poked fun at everything that it possibly could. Catholics, the Japanese, stem cell research and immigration issues were just the tip of the iceberg that Matt Stone and Trey Parker covered with uncompromising honesty and brutality.

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And video games were no exception. From the Chinpokomon craze, the Okama Gamesphere and the legendary end of the world…of Warcraft, South Park episodes haven’t just provided a good chuckle over the gaming industry. They’ve done it in a manner that was intelligent and well researched.

The Stick of Truth carries that theme proudly, as players find themselves adopting the persona of “The new kid”. Soon embroiled in a war between Eric Cartman’s Kingdom of Kupa Keep (For the KKK!) and Kyle Brovloski’s Elven forces for the mythical and all-powerful Stick of Truth, things soon get out of hand.

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As the new kid, players find themselves engaged in a mix of point ‘n click and adventure gaming, with role-playing mechanics dominating in battle. The Stick of Truth feels like an old mid-90s adventure game, the kind that starred Leisure Suit Larry, Grim Fandango and Beavis ‘n Butthead, as players interact with their environment and solve puzzles.

But the combat itself walks a decent line of being simple enough to grasp, yet offering enough of a challenge. While the usual RPG tropes are present, from an inventory that can be managed with various weapons and armour being unlocked, it’s the slow yet quick nature of combat that takes precedence.

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Let’s Fighting Love

When engaged with an enemy, combat takes a turn-based approach.  Players can attack with melee weapons such as a sex toy or a cardboard dagger and ranged weapons. Players also have unique special attacks, with their magic being cast straight from their anus and coming in varieties such as the stomach-churning Cup-A-Spell and the devastating Nagasaki.

In addition to all that, there’re also a few special abilities based on the class that players choose at the start of the game. One can be a Wizard, a Thief, a Warrior or a Jew and totally not be friends with Eric Cartman if they choose that final class according to Mel Gibson because his film The Passion does not lie.

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So a good dozen abilities which can be levelled up and augmented? For RPG fans, that’s intro level stuff and hardly complex at all. But where the game differs is in how those attacks are used. Players need good timing, as attacks can only be used when the correct input button is used, something that requires you to keep an eye on the screen and wait for a prompt.

A Thief backstab attack, for example, requires you to carefully match three prompts before burying a dagger in the back of a foe like a Game of Thrones wedding. Magic attacks will have players inputting a range of keys and finding the sweet spot of your sphincter in order to unleash such devastating magic. It’s simple on the outset really, but with Obsidian developing this game, the RPG mechanics go much further.

You’ll also have a partner with you in battle, with more unlocked along the way. From Butters the Paladin, through to Stan the Ranger, Cartman the Grand Wizard, Princess Kenny, Elf Lord Kyle and Jimmy the b…Ba…b…barhar…Barrhar…Barrrherr…Bard.

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Partners can be swapped out an any time, and each one boasts their own arsenal of unique movies and attacks. Stan can use his George Clooney-voiced Mutt to knock down defenses, Butters can heal players and transform into his deadly alter-ego Professor Chaos, while Cartman can utilise deadly methane-magic that will have you respecting his authoritah.

Battle itself is a challenging task. Fast and furious, players will need to block attacks with split-second timing or suffer debilitating debuffs that will leave them more buggered than Mr Slave’s anal cavity. It can be damn difficult when you fail to find your groove, and you’ll need to constantly keep your health and status in good condition if you hope to survive a Hobo on crack powering-up with Jack Daniels magic.

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If you thought that the current South Park episodes were pushing new boundaries in taste and what’s acceptable on TV, then The Stick of Truth lifts the lid off of what the show is really capable of showing. From the usual racially stereotyped humour of Mr Lu Kim from City Wok recruiting you to help rid his shop of those damn Mongorians Mongolians, through to a quest to quite literally find Jesus, the game soon takes a turn into a realm that is devoid of any parental watch groups.

There’s a battle with an Underpants Warlock Gnome on the bed of your fornicating parents, where environmental hazards such as a swinging pair of hairy testicles need to be avoided. Ginger children become even lamer when exposed to a toxic goo that turns them into Nazi zombies. Kim Kardashian’s latest foetal abortion mutates and it’s up to you to kill it for good this time. The game just doesn’t hold back. Well, unless you’re on console that is, as some content has been cut.

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Blame Canada

And much like the TV series source material, The Stick of Truth is a crudely animated product with animation clearly derived from a Terry Gilliam Monty Python cartoon. But therein lies the charm of this game.

The Stick of Truth is crawling with references and nods to the past of South Park. TVs regularly play episodes of Terrance and Phillip. Radios play hit songs such as Taco-flavoured kisses and Montage. In Jimbo’s gun shop, you’ll find ScuzzleButt all stuffed and mounted. Next to Shitty City Wok, you’ll find an abandoned tower of peace and a Japanese Sushi restaurant that has seen better days.

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The game is crawling with such references, and the entire town of South Park is open to explore. It’s not as massive as GTA, but the game still feels like just the right size overall. Sometimes though, the 2D visuals don’t exactly work with the game formula, unnecessarily obstructing certain puzzles and solutions. It’s not a game-breaker, but it is annoying having to work around such features in order to progress.

As a pure single-player game, there’s plenty of content on offer. The main quest and several side quests will take in excess of 15 hours to complete. Beyond that however, the game is complete, with replayability coming in the form of starting all over again as a new, new kid and selecting a new class. But it’s worth it in order to experience several giggles all over again.

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Wow what a terrific audience

The biggest compliment that can be given to South Park: The Stick of Truth however, is that the game is more than happy to mock the genre and industry that it finds itself in. From a not so subtle nod from a black ops commander complaining that he happens to be “so f***ing sick” of Nazi zombies, through to a search for audio logs that happen to be all about audio logs, The Stick of Truth is wonderfully meta in its clever narrative.

The problem however, is that unless you’re a South Park fan, many, many references are going to fly over your head. It’s a game for the fans, and while newcomers might be a tad confused by the entire story and all the strange residents, it’s still the funniest video game ever made. Matt Hazard, eat your heart out.

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Last Updated: March 4, 2014

South Park: The Stick of Truth
South Park: The Stick of Truth is more than just a faithful adaptation of a cult TV series. It's a benchmark for translating a favourite property into a video game format, something that other licensed properties could learn from. And it's also the funniest game on the market.
8.5
South Park: The Stick of Truth was reviewed on PC
85 / 100

50 Comments

  1. Rubs hands with glee!

    Reply

    • Unavengedavo(aka. Bilbo)

      March 4, 2014 at 10:25

      You call it “glee”? O_o

      Reply

      • RinceThis

        March 4, 2014 at 10:28

        • Hammersteyn

          March 4, 2014 at 10:30

          LOOOOOOOL!

          Reply

        • Rock789

          March 4, 2014 at 10:42

          Seems like an average Friday night to me… 😉

          Reply

          • RinceThis

            March 4, 2014 at 10:48

            Sho! Erm, about that movie tomorrow… I think I’m suddenly busy 0-o

          • Rock789

            March 4, 2014 at 10:50

            **Adds name to potential victim… I mean ‘good buddies’ list**

            o_O

          • RinceThis

            March 4, 2014 at 10:52

            LOL. Gym tonight? Or excuse #18? *RUNS

  2. Umar Praise The Golden Sun

    March 4, 2014 at 10:10

    I wish Kanye West was an Uber boss as a gay fish…

    Damn fine review…I am now excited for this game, job well done

    Reply

    • Hammersteyn

      March 4, 2014 at 10:18

      • Umar Praise The Golden Sun

        March 4, 2014 at 10:21

        “Bitch, you not a Hobbit right?” LOLZ

        Reply

    • Rikus

      March 4, 2014 at 10:45

      Gay fish Kanye as an uber-boss! Hells yeah!

      Man, I cannot upvote this enough! Someone, make this happen!

      Reply

  3. Unavengedavo(aka. Bilbo)

    March 4, 2014 at 10:11

    There is a joke about juice in there somewhere O_o

    Reply

  4. Admiral Chief in Vegas

    March 4, 2014 at 10:18

    Should have bought this instead of trying to buy Titanfall

    FU KALAHARI!!!!!

    Reply

    • RinceThis

      March 4, 2014 at 10:20

      Still no money love bro?

      Reply

      • Admiral Chief in Vegas

        March 4, 2014 at 10:25

        Nopey nope.

        Gonna phone them later to state my ire

        Reply

        • Umar Praise The Golden Sun

          March 4, 2014 at 10:27

          You pay by CC?

          Reply

          • Admiral Chief in Vegas

            March 4, 2014 at 10:32

            Aye, but got only half of order, the rest “cancelled” but no refund voucher

          • Umar Praise The Golden Sun

            March 4, 2014 at 10:34

            Ahh I see, the money is supposed to go back to your account…Twitter and FB stalk them, they seem to respond quicker there

          • Admiral Chief in Vegas

            March 4, 2014 at 10:35

            Not on teh twitzors or vleisbroek

    • Hammersteyn

      March 4, 2014 at 10:20

      live and learn, picking up mine on Friday

      Reply

  5. RinceThis

    March 4, 2014 at 10:19

    Nice review Darryn, sounds like you had a great time!

    Reply

  6. oVg PAYNE

    March 4, 2014 at 10:20

    What do you mean uncut? Did you play the American version?

    Reply

    • Umar Praise The Golden Sun

      March 4, 2014 at 10:20

      PeeShee

      Reply

      • oVg PAYNE

        March 4, 2014 at 10:24

        for the win. Consoles are for marketing. PC FREEDOM

        Reply

    • The D

      March 4, 2014 at 10:20

      I had the PC version, yes. So anal rape scenes were included in my copy.

      Reply

      • oVg PAYNE

        March 4, 2014 at 10:21

        MERICA!!! 😛

        Reply

      • Admiral Chief in Vegas

        March 4, 2014 at 10:26

        O_O

        Reply

      • RinceThis

        March 4, 2014 at 10:49

        Awesome! No, wait…

        Reply

      • oVg PAYNE

        March 4, 2014 at 11:04

        Where is Jack Thompson when you need him?

        Reply

  7. TiMsTeR1033

    March 4, 2014 at 10:28

    What system specs for this?

    Reply

    • Hammersteyn

      March 4, 2014 at 10:28

      Cant imagine it would be a lot. Look at the graphics for a start.

      Reply

      • TiMsTeR1033

        March 4, 2014 at 10:30

        Hey you never know man.

        Reply

    • VampyreSquirrel

      March 4, 2014 at 21:05

      I’m just below the recommended specs… but at the same time not far from being in the minimum “unplayable” range.

      Reply

  8. fred

    March 4, 2014 at 10:29

    Does Kenny die?

    Reply

  9. Hammersteyn

    March 4, 2014 at 10:29

    RPG of the year thus far.

    Reply

    • Umar Praise The Golden Sun

      March 4, 2014 at 10:30

      Lightning Returns 0_0

      Reply

      • Hammersteyn

        March 4, 2014 at 10:31

        I’m not sexist but she needs to go back to the kitchen or something.

        Reply

        • Umar Praise The Golden Sun

          March 4, 2014 at 10:31

          Lol that’s a pretty sexist statement 😛

          Reply

          • Hammersteyn

            March 4, 2014 at 10:33

            hehe like I said I’m not sexist but I would imagine that would be the worst fate for her.

          • RinceThis

            March 4, 2014 at 10:49

            No, watching an episode where the characters smile and laugh would…

      • RinceThis

        March 4, 2014 at 10:49

        BACK OFF!

        Reply

  10. El Capitan del Blade

    March 4, 2014 at 10:35

    Matt and Trey didn’t get a F***ing 4 on Gamespot….btw 😀

    Reply

  11. boondocksaint87

    March 4, 2014 at 10:41

    You go to hell Kalahari, you go to hell and you DIE!!!

    Can’t wait for this!

    Reply

    • Admiral Chief in Vegas

      March 4, 2014 at 10:42

      Hell is too good for them

      Reply

  12. VampyreSquirrel

    March 4, 2014 at 10:43

    Totally getting the PC version… at some stage… -.-

    Reply

  13. Brenz

    March 4, 2014 at 12:50

    Just bought off steam, busy with pre load now, cant wait!
    I would have preferred to play on ps3, but censorship makes me a sad sexual harassment panda.

    Reply

  14. StephenGSchneider

    March 4, 2014 at 14:15

    oh my. god. this game is soooo good. def getting pc version! I want more anal rape scenes ok !? game is soooooooooo good, and i love butters so much! http://num.to/842-960-899-443

    Reply

  15. Eric Cartman

    March 7, 2014 at 21:59

    Suck that I have to wait for it to come from the US. I refuse to pay the full price for half the game. Censorship doesn’t prove anything. This wait however, is extremely painful…

    Reply

  16. Somebody

    April 23, 2014 at 10:38

    I agree, Stick of Truth ranks up there with the best of IP-to-Game adaptations.

    Reply

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