The Stick of Truth should be every South Park fan's dream: arriving in town as generic new kid, players quickly find a self-aware RPG with a distinct Elder Scrolls/Game of Thrones vibe. As is tradition, events escalate and sinister forces descend upon the quiet mountain town, leaving more than just the titular stick at stake.

At a glance it's visually indistinguishable from the show, the lack of HUD a shrewd choice. Though a juddering frame-skip issue frequently rears its head when screens scroll (on 360 at least), cutscene transitions are seamless, and the whole affair feels authentic, with regards to audio/visuals at least. South Park’s greatest strength is riffing on the zeitgeist – each episode has a mere six-day production cycle – and the game loses something without topical references. It's dense with fan-serving detail – a trip to Canada is a particular treat – but sadly that’s not enough.

Though keen to poke fun at RPG tropes, ultimately its subversion is superficial, with a wealth of uninspiring fetch quests, unchallenging minigames and turn-based combat that has a tendency to drag. It’s a shame, because so much attention has been lavished on animating your buddies’ special moves – a personal favourite being Jimmy’s ‘Brown Note’, which sees him blowing a bowel-loosening tone from a pipeline-sized Alpine horn, causing foes to soil themselves – but sitting through the same sequences time after time saps amusement.

As expected, it's crammed with lewd material, worshipping at the altar of fart gags, though at times feels like a middling clip show of classic episodes – jokes rehashed, old content remixed, sound snippets familiar and repetitive. Don’t expect an RPG of great length, depth or replayability, either – after 14 hours, mopping up the last side quests and collectables, I’d seen everything on offer.

TSoT is the best, most faithful South Park game to date, but it’s still just an okay game. That said it might also be your only chance to fart on a flaming, used tampon and hurl it at Nazi zombie fetuses, unless they make another Postal.

Version Tested: Xbox 360. Played for 14 hours.

6 / 10

  • Brimming with show references.
  • A meticulous depiction of the show.
  • Very much RPG-lite.
  • Has the spirit, but not the smarts.

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User Comments

Sharonturn123's Avatar

Sharonturn123

I think this game is great. This is one of the best TV series games ever made and it deserves more than a 6.
Posted 08:48 on 26 March 2014
Karlius's Avatar

Karlius@ Exnor

Sounds great Exnor.
Posted 17:10 on 11 March 2014
scaz2244's Avatar

scaz2244

well i think so far the game is great it has what the fans want comical elements but also making south park universe fun to explore, while the RPG elements arent that great or do anything new they are still fun and easy to play! VG should really of thought of doing that update Exnor is on about when they changed their review style! and maybe get a better reviewer for games like this.
Posted 15:51 on 11 March 2014
Woodfella's Avatar

Woodfella

wha wha wha, this obligatory number at the end of the review is lower than others I have seen , wha wha wha! I disagree with said obligatory number even though I haven't played it wha wha wha!
Posted 17:34 on 05 March 2014
Lalaland's Avatar

Lalaland

Eh I'd sooner have one reviewers honest opinion than have them indulge in some sort of horrible regression to the mean that just produces bad writing and dull articles. I'm a huge South Park fan and multiple reviews have convinced me I will enjoy this immensely but it's clear that the disinterested random RPG fan is going to be disappointed w/TSoT. I'm guessing that the author approached this as a person expecting an Obsidian RPG and that person is likely to be disappointed me thinks.
Posted 16:07 on 05 March 2014
Neon-Soldier32's Avatar

Neon-Soldier32@ Exnor

Is there an ETA on the new site and are there any other new features you could spill?
Posted 13:58 on 05 March 2014
Exnor's Avatar

Exnor

As some of you may have heard in the Podcast, not all the staff agree with this verdict of the game.

This is one of the reasons that in the new version of our site we're working on now, we'll be able to add multiple reviews of the same game. Very helpful in cases like this!
Posted 13:56 on 05 March 2014
TenBensons's Avatar

TenBensons

I do have an issue with the score. A six is like saying "its only worth picking up when its been heavily reduced". Should have been a seven which is more akin to the good but flawed game the reviewer is describing.

Having played it for about 10 hours I can say that it's very enjoyable and I'm only a mild fan of S.P, if I was a mega fan this would probably be my GOTY lol.
Posted 09:38 on 05 March 2014
Bloodstorm's Avatar

Bloodstorm

8s, 9s, 10s from everywhere, yep, must be the FNG trying to be different.
Posted 14:46 on 04 March 2014
Karlius's Avatar

Karlius@ BritishWolf

I have no issue with the score, as a score is a personal opinion.

From what I have read and viewed elsewhere GeoH2102 is completely correct.
Posted 13:56 on 04 March 2014
BritishWolf's Avatar

BritishWolf

This has been getting 8s from other outlets. VG always seen to be hard to please
Posted 12:35 on 04 March 2014
GeoH2102's Avatar

GeoH2102

The review isn't bad if you're just reviewing it as a game. If you just want an RPG game, yeah it's probably about a 6.

However, if you're a big fan of the TV show and want a South Park game, it's easily an 8. The sheer amount of fan service is so dense that it's been an absolute joy for me so far.

Agree with what others have said - all of the content about one game should be handled by one person, otherwise things can feel a little incoherent.
Posted 12:32 on 04 March 2014
cocobrice's Avatar

cocobrice

Hey Dan, do you like fish sticks?
Posted 12:27 on 04 March 2014
JonBar's Avatar

JonBar

Who was really expecting a full depth RPG from South Park: The Stick of Truth? In my mind no one. The point of this game (as said in the review) seems to be aimed at twisting the RPG genre into the mocking world of South Park. And to be honest I think that being able to do this while exploring the town of South Park will be wanting. I also imagine that attempting to make the RPG elements anything but basic in the game, would harm a game that basically wants to make you laugh.

And on the point of making you laugh, while I can understand the point about the lack of topical references may cause it to loose some of the South Park edginess for some people, I personally disagree. I can still go back and watch an old episode of South Park now, that has no topical references (or maybe ones that I don't know about as I was younger), and still completely enjoy it. The humour is generally fairly universal and lewd, in a way that means that if someone doesn't understand the topical reference they will still find it funny.

In the end, what I want from this game is a funny, basic RPG that I can sit back and enjoy in the world of South Park. I really look forward to playing this, and I hope that I won't look back at my comments here and think "wow, I was completely wrong".


I also agree with the people who would like to know Mr Simon Miller's opinion, as I think his view will on the game may be closer to that of my own than that of the reviewer's.
Posted 10:16 on 04 March 2014
Neon-Soldier32's Avatar

Neon-Soldier32@ Karlius

Agreed. I want to know what Simon thinks of it.
Posted 10:02 on 04 March 2014

Game Stats

South Park: The Stick of Truth
6
Out of 10
South Park: The Stick of Truth
  • Brimming with show references.
  • A meticulous depiction of the show.
  • Very much RPG-lite.
  • Has the spirit, but not the smarts.
Agree? Disagree? Get Involved!
Release Date: 07/03/2014
Platforms: Xbox 360 , PS3 , PC
Developer: Obsidian Entertainment
Publisher: Ubisoft
Genre: RPG
Rating: PEGI 18+
Site Rank: 363 11
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