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South Park: The Stick of Truth Review - a side-splitting RPG with real character

on 4 March 2014

Thanks to the apropos talent of South Park creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone, South Park: The Stick Of Truth delivers familiar tongue-in-cheek, satirical humour and crude language that has helped make the animated series such a huge hit. Yet underneath its close-to-the-bone jibes at Jews, anal-probing incidents, and fart-powered combat lies an in-depth and satisfying role-playing experience the likes of which you will never have played before.

What South Park's talent and Obsidian Entertainment's RPG veterans have done with The Stick Of Truth is remarkable. Not only have they reproduced everything that fans love about the series, including the memorable cast of characters, clever wit, and hours’ worth of side-splitting dialogue, but they’ve blended it magnificently with a heroic, fantasy-fueled storyline and a creative combat system that is just as rewarding and challenging as it is fun to play.

The antics begin with the creation of your own unique South Park character. Rather than play as an existing member of the cast, you arrive in South Park with your family as the new kid on the block. The creation system allows you to mold your character the way you see fit with clothing, hairstyles, and facial features, like black eyes, plasters, or measles, enabling you to create a brand new cool-looking dude or dudette who, despite being silent throughout the game, fits perfectly into the bright and colourful world of South Park. With plenty of opportunity to change his appearance throughout the game by buying and looting outfits, armour, weapons, and cosmetic items, Stick of Truth carries a personal touch that RPG fans will certainly appreciate.

This new character slots neatly into the existing cartoon world that fans have grown accustomed to and, consequently, it feels like you’re walking through and interacting with a very long South Park episode. Following character creation, the game tasks players with exploring the town of South Park and making friends. Indeed, the friends system becomes fairly crucial to overall progress. Some people are instantly glad to meet you and will friend you on the spot, while others (generally, the more fan-favorite characters like Mr. Kim and Al Gore) will require certain conditions be met, like completion of a side quest. At certain friends-met milestones, you'll earn a point toward unlocking one of 20 available Perks, like shortened debuffs or less damage from Bleeding enemies. Pursuing some friendships even unlocks Summon abilities for devastating once-per-day attacks, and some of the game's better gear awaits down these side stories.

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