Let me start by addressing the Marklar in the room; censorship. It’s the one thing that has tainted the release of this long-awaited South Park game and it’s left fans on this side of the pond feeling more than a little hard done by. The worse thing about it is just how unnecessary the whole thing is. The cuts made to the game aren’t being enforced by a ratings body but instead are the result of a decision made by the game’s publisher; Ubisoft. While Americans get to enjoy the game in its entirety, a full three minutes of footage and mini-games have been censored in the European version on PS3 and 360. But you can’t even make the argument that this is to protect us poor sensitive Europeans because you can still get the game uncut on the PC over here. So this is purely affecting console gamers… but why!? This might sound daft, Ubisoft, but I daresay South Park fans want their South Park game to have South Park content! The cynic in me suspects an “Uncut” edition is in the works for the next gen consoles. Either way, Ubisoft can suck my balls!
But enough about that censorship bullcrap, let’s talk about the game and just how frickin’ sweet it is! South Park: The Stick of Truth is easily the most faithful video game representation of a TV show or film… ever! The animation style is spot on and the writing and voice acting capture the spirit of the show perfectly. The game plays out like an old school RPG with lots of item-hunting, fetch quests and turn-based battles but the real star of the show is South Park itself. All of the characters and locations from the show make an appearance and best of all the game is genuinely funny. As the new kid in town you’ll be given plenty of incentive to befriend the local residents and explore the secrets of this not-so-conventional American town. You might even uncover the dark secret behind the mythical ManBearPig with the help of a certain ex-Vice President. I’m super cereal..
If you’ve been a fan of South Park since the beginning then you might remember the old fan-made Klik & Play games that used to spring up on Tripod and Geocities fan sites. As a teenager desperate for all things South Park I used to play these simple games that featured basic graphics, sound bites from the show and even one that had a Final Fantasy-inspired, turn-based combat system. As a result The Stick of Truth is firing on all nerd/nostalgia cylinders for me as I play the game that fans have been waiting for since the show’s inception.
There’s really no other way to put it. If you’re a fan of South Park then you need to play this game. It’s a fun game and discovering all of the in-jokes is a joy. Before you know it you’ll be swapping stories and gags from the game with your mates just like you used to do back in school after seeing a new episode of the show.
Now if you’ll excuse me I had better get back to tracking down “Shoe” in my epic side-quest to find all thirty Chin-pokomon!