South Park: The Stick of Truth | Most Anticipated of 2014 Simon Squire January 13, 2014 South Park: The Stick of Truth is the next entry in a long line of outrageously funny games based on the TV show South Park. This time players will find themselves playing in the style of an RPG as we take part in a massive LARP (Live Action Role Play) based on the South Park episode “The Return of the Fellowship of the Ring to the Two Towers.” After THQ declared chapter 11 bankruptcy in 2012 there was a chance that South Park was not going to happen anymore but luckily for us it was picked up by Ubisoft and development continued with a release date set for March this year, making it one of OnlySP’s most anticipated titles of 2014. The Vision South Park series creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone, having observed that previous South Park game titles often bore little resemblance to the look and feel of their TV show aside from characters and setting, decided that they wanted the next game to be developed to resemble the cardboard cutout animation style of the South Park TV show as closely as possible. Because they were big fans of RPGs, they determined that to get the best South Park gaming experience possible they would incorporate RPG elements into the game. To accomplish this they worked closely with the developers Obsidian to create a fully realised 2D world that would put players right into their beloved TV series. South Park: The Stick of Truth is being developed for play on PC, Xbox 360 and PS3 but not for next generation consoles. It is being developed by Obsidian Studios who are well known for their experience with RPGs such as Fallout: New Vegas, Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic 2, Neverwinter Nights 2, and Alpha Protocol. Parker and Stone have done their very best to keep Obsidian from straying from the game they want to see. Every level is designed so that it fits perfectly into the landscape of the South Park series while the controversial subject matter is present in all its vulgar awesomeness. In fact if you were to walk in on someone playing the game after it’s released you’d almost swear you were watching an extended interactive episode of the show. The Gameplay In the beginning of the game players are asked to create a male or female avatar just like a standard RPG by selecting their class attributes and visual style. Different classes that will be selectable include Fighter, Mage, Thief, Cleric and (of course) the Jew which is a Paladin class character. Your character will be able to walk around 2D environments and interact with background objects and characters and will be followed around by various party members formed from the cast of the South Park TV show. Players will also be sent on various side quests that will not emulate conventional RPG quest styles, instead sending them on quests that match the canon and humor that comes from South Park characters. Instead of a traditional quest journal players will carry around a smart phone which will give them information on quests and side quests. The smart phone will also keep track of faction diplomacy similar to that of Fallout: New Vegas and how the player stands with various characters that they’ve met in the game. Characters will also be able to carry items such as weapons and potions (junk food) to help them in their journey. Combat will work in a similar fashion to Final Fantasy 7. Characters will traverse various environments, encounter enemies and enter turn based combat. From there, players will be able to select abilities, potions, weapons and special abilities to combat each enemy either individually or with area attacks. All characters in the party will be under player control during combat and players will also be able to summon larger, more powerful characters to help them in battle. The Story South Park: The Stick of Truth takes place in South Park during the kids’ LARP game. Playing as the new kid in town, players must make friends with the other characters of South Park to help them on their quest to secure “The Stick of Truth.” What the stick does is unknown at this time but it does spark an all out war between the powers of good and evil and with the help of Stan, Kyle, Kenny and Cartman, players will come out victorious and become one of the cool kids at South Park Elementary. ___ South Park: The Stick of Truth is currently set to release for the Xbox 360, Playstation 3 and PC in North America on March 4th, in Australia on March 6th and Europe on March 7th. It is a game that I personally am very excited for and will be picking it up at the earliest opportunity. Look for our coverage of South Park: The Stick of Truth in the coming weeks leading up to launch and be sure to check back for our review around release time.