E3 2013: South Park: The Stick of Truth (Impressions)
6/21/2013 9:00:00 AM
With a change of publisher to Ubisoft, developer Obsidian showcased its upcoming South Park: The Stick of Truth at E3 with some actual gameplay footage. The game's narrative has players creating their own South Park-style character and embarking on a live action role-playing game adventure alongside all of the iconic characters from Cartman to Butters. The game's visual style matches the show exactly making it seem that the player is actually participating in an episode.
Exploration of the environment has players moving through various 2D planes, which then switch to a Final Fantasy-type battle encounter mode when directly confronting enemies. Aside from the battle encounter mode, players move a cursor around the screen which provides the ability to solve puzzles, trigger environmental traps, and directly attack enemies with powerful magic such as fart blasts. Following in the tradition of past games from Obsidian, players will be able to choose from various decisions during dialogue sequences that will decide their allies and enemies.
Other elements from role-playing games were also showcased including the game's inventory and loot systems in which players can discover an array of wacky clothing and armor items for use in customizing their character. Another feature briefly shown was a Facebook-type menu page that listed the player's in-game friends such as Kyle and Stan, which seemed to follow in line with companion systems from traditional role-playing games. The best use of the role-playing genre was the South Park take on traditional turn-based role-playing combat, which included an excess amount of fart duels and other hilarious animations and voice work for both standard and special attacks.
From the brief presentation I saw at E3, I can say that fans of South Park should be excited for what's in store from the creative minds behind the game. It was clear that this wasn't another cash-in game on the television series, but a full-fledged effort at creating a worthy addition to the franchise. While a lot of details are still unsure regarding the game, the footage shown at E3 has replaced many of my worries for the game with utter delight.
South Park: The Stick of Truth will be available this holiday season for Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, and Windows PC.