South Park: The Stick of Truth: Farting all over the place
I love South Park, that much can be said really. I think it is a great show that displays great, smart satire once you get rid of the gross out shell. South Park: The Stick of Truth is not much different; if anything one could consider it an episode of the show in the form of an RPG. You would be right in that regard and the game is better for it.
The game has you, the player taking control of a newly arrived kid in the town of South Park; with the encouragement from your family to go and make friends The New Kid gets involved in a make belief war between the humans and elves starring all your favourite character and more from the show. As the game progresses the line between make belief and real life begin to blur as the latter grows steadily weirder.
That is all I can really say about the plot without spoiling jokes or plot details. What I can say is that if you enjoy the type of humour South Park is famous for then I think you will enjoy the plot and dialogue. If you are not sure or do not enjoy South Parkian humour then please get this game at your own risk because no one wants to play though a comedy game that you would not find funny.
The Stick of Truth is not the biggest RPG ever, the map itself is very small. Please do not expect a massive open world like Witcher 3 or any other Ubisoft game. That is not a problem in of itself as I would like to have a small world with meaningful stuff to do rather than a massive world with inane busy work as the main crux holding up the story pieces. However this does mean that it is a shorter RPG, I finished my play through in about 14 hours which might be a drawback depending on what you are looking for. The combat is turn based in nature with inventory and stat management for The New Kid. Once you have selected an attack you are required to mash a sequence of keys to perform them correctly. I will not deny that when starting out I found the combat very dull and lacking in skill. However as you progress and gain more powers the combat becomes more complex and fun. I really like the skills and classes the game offers because they are visually creative and cleverly subverted into the game the kids are playing in the ‘real world’. I think it is safe to say there is no other RPG that has a Jew class.
The button mashing is fine for the most part, however there was one boss fight (will not spoil who) which devolves into a punishing button mashing session order to defeat it. There is no skill to it unless you consider it to be skilful in not breaking your keyboard and not hurting your finger . Thankfully none of the other bosses are like this but that one boss just came off as lazy. You are only allowed one follower in battle at any given time and you have no control over their stats or their levels. On one hand this can be seen as streamlining it and removing unneeded busy work however there were times when I could not help feel my buddy was too under levelled in comparison to me and I could not do anything about it. Please consider putting this game on the highest difficultly after day one because if you do all the side quests you will become very over levelled which can make battles boring.
There is a check point system in Stick of Truth, which is fine. There is also a save system in the game that is not really a save system, using it will only load you back at the last check point, when I found this out I could not help wondering if there was any point to having a save system when the game appears to prefers the check point. I honestly cannot see the reason why Stick of Truth has this trick of a feature apart from annoying people.
The graphics and art style is classic South Park, crude paper cut like animation mixed with other forms of animation. It looks nice and stylish much like the show. Not really much to talk about.
The game runs fine; FPS appears to be consistent even if I do not know if it is 30 or 60 frames. However if I minimized the game too much I found character models flickered in and out of existence, sometimes vanishing all together. It was distracting when character models were just popping in and out of the game unless I restarted it. Not game breaking but certainly immersion breaking.
South Park: The Stick of Truth is a pretty fun RPG with great humour. It also displays a mostly stable performance considering it is an Ubisoft PC game. I would recommend it to people who would enjoy South Park’s writing. I would suggest you watch a few episodes of the show to see if the jokes would work for you.
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