We’ve kept a close eye on South Park: The Stick of Truth. Unlike most video games based on the Comedy Central TV series, this one features the full cooperation of the show's creators. Trey Parker and Matt Stone worked on the script alongside the development team at Obsidian Entertainment, while also providing the animation style and voiceovers for its characters.
Originally scheduled for release back in March, The Stick of Truth ran into delays. Ubisoft has since picked up the project and is now readying it for release later this year. Finally, South Park fans will get the game they deserve.
Instead of following the plot from the TV show, The Stick of Truth plays like a role-playing adventure. The entirety of the small town has turned into a Lord of the Rings style community, where students have become villagers and warriors. As the new kid on the block – whom you customize through the South Park character creator – you choose your side, working with the likes of Butters, Cartman and other characters. The goal: find the all-powerful Stick of Truth.
Ubisoft recently provided a glimpse at the game's progress through a new gameplay demo, one that showcases how well the role-playing style fits into the South Park universe. At the beginning, you team up with Butters to work your way through the elementary school, which has been transformed into a battleground.
Throughout the course of the adventure, you'll get into traditional role-playing battles where your team takes a turn, then the bad guys have a chance to respond. Some attacks are simple, such as running up to someone and slapping them around or chucking a projectile their way. Other times, you can call upon a more advanced tactic, like a sex slave who, for lack of a better word, "absorbs" your enemy by jumping onto them butt first.
A variety of tools are available. For instance, farting comes in handy, as you can use a gaseous cloud to shake items free in the environment. At one point, there was an enemy patrol just ahead of the group, walking around in a puddle from a leaked water cooler. Using a blast of gas, you can knock a frayed wire loose, which falls into the water, electrocuting the patrollers.
Other items will also be familiar to those who watch the show. The Underpants Gnome, for example, can be used to shrink your characters, enabling them to crawl above obstacles in the rafters, only to regain their normal size on the other side. You can also use a vibrator shamelessly stolen from Cartman's mother, though that was not used in the demo.
South Park: The Stick of Truth is also about pivotal choices. You can choose to flee from certain battles or even decide which side you wish to fight for. At the conclusion of the demo, we were given a choice of either sticking with Butters and his crew or joining up with Cartman, who insisted they were nothing but traitors. We picked Butters, resulting in Cartman unleashing his rage and challenging us to a fight.
What followed is one of the coolest things we saw in the demo, an "epic fart battle" between Cartman and the new kid. Cartman began the fight with a tremendous fiery attack that covered a good portion of the screen. However, using the new kid's strength – and tapping the A button a number of times – we were able to counter this with our own gaseous fumes. The demo concluded when the new kid was able to overcome Cartman's fury, only to learn that the Stick of Truth he was supposedly harboring was in someone else's possession.
A word of warning – South Park: The Stick of Truth is aimed at mature audiences. Throughout the demo, there was no shortage of cursing and violence on the same level as the show. However, fans wouldn't want it any other way, and it's great to see Parker and Stone deliver a script and presentation that remains true to the franchise. We only hope that Terrence and Phillip show up at one point, because hey, who knows farts better than them?
South Park: The Stick of Truth arrives in stores this holiday season for Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3.