Back in January 2012, GameInformer magazine published their January issue (#225) with an interesting cover. It displayed the various characters of South Park standing at the edge of a lake looking down at their reflections.
Fast forward to early February 2014 and forgo the changing of the guard with the publisher of the game (now, thankfully, Ubisoft).
After hearing about the game’s possible cancellation, then its new publisher, its delay and then its second delay only to finally reveal its official launch date of March 4, South Park: The Stick of Truth is finally upon us!
In hearing its official launch date, my first reaction was to Tweet out the follow message:
Needless to say, now that I’ve had some time to create my own character and role play in the “small little mountain town in Colorado,” that Tweet still holds true. But hey, it’s South Park. After 17 seasons of the show, I think I’m justified in feeling this way about the over-the-top, in-your-face humor from Matt Stone and Trey Parker – the co-creators of the series and of the nine-time, Tony Award-Winning The Book of Mormon Broadway musical.
So what about it? To put it another way, why should you play this game?
**To preface that response, let me say that you SHOULD NOT play this game unless you are 17 years or older. This is not one of those “With Your Parents Permission” kind of games thanks to the language, adult themes, and a few other things that are described alongside the “M” for Mature ESRB rating for the game. There’s a reason why the game is being censored in certain countries around the world, so parents, please use good judgement on this one.
But again, why should you play this game? Simple, because (a) it’s funny – in only a way that South Park can be and (b) it’s an immersive world that any new or long-time fan of the show would yell “Timmy!” in excitement to play.
Personally, I experienced the game on my standard, non-gaming PC via Steam. I played it with a mouse and keyboard – unlike my normal preference of the Sony PlayStation 3. Thanks to the game’s lack of next-gen, HD graphics – although the effort put forth to make the game look ‘exactly’ like the show is very apparent – it played just as smoothly as it would have on a console.
So whether you are new to role-playing games (RPG) or have been playing them for years, it really doesn’t matter because Obsidian, Ubisoft and South Park Digital Studios have done their best to make the gameplay as straightforward as possible.
That said, here are some tips that may help you along your journey to retrieve The Stick of Truth:
TIP 1: Gold Handles
Everywhere you see a gold handle, open the drawer or door and loot to your heart’s content. Beware, there are some “interesting” objects to gather.
TIP 1-A: Loot Downed Characters
Besides checking behind buildings, in garages and nightstands, whenever you score a ‘Victory’ in a fight, don’t forget to loot each character. They may provide you with money or a new object to help you with your next battle.
TIP 2: Explore, Explore, Explore
There is a lot of things to find in the game that will supplement your overall journey to retrieve The Stick of Truth, so don’t be afraid to knock over piles of snow or shoot arrows at objects that ‘glimmer’.
TIP 3: Be “Friendly”
No matter what class you select your character to be (Fighter, Mage, Thief or, yes, Jew), one aspect of your character that helps you to level up is your number of Perks. To get Perks, you need Friends. The more “friends” you have, the more perks you have. So walk up to faces familiar and unfamiliar alike and talk to them in order to get them to add you as a ‘friend’. Ahh, social media.
TIP 4: The Timmy Express
As with most games nowadays that require you to walk, drive or fly from place to place, a ‘Fast Travel’ option is usually available. For The Stick of Truth, the Fast Travel option takes the form of ‘The Timmy Express’. Every time you see a pole with a flag at the top and a small, red bike horn in the middle, walk near it to unlock that Fast Travel location. It will definitely come in handy when you need to quickly move from one end of South Park to another. TIMMAH!!
TIP 5: Side Quests
When you loot a nightstand or explore a building, you will most likely acquire an item that opens up a Side Quest. Just like making Friends for Perks, you’ll want to finish Side Quests to get special items or even helpful characters that will assist you in battle.
TIP 6: “Potions”
Although potions in the game take many forms (candy bars, bottles of water, etc.), the four that you need to keep handy throughout the game are (a) the Cure potion, (b) Health potions – large and small, (c) the Mana potion – again, it assorted sizes and finally (d) the Power potion – which will refill your ‘Power Points’ or, that’s right, ‘PP’.
TIP 7: Pre-Battle Prep
If you have the chance, use your “fire” or “throw” abilities to attack your opponents just before the battle begins. It will assist you in the main battle and will weaken your opponents. Note: Actions performed in pre-combat only last for so long.
TIP 8: Magic
From time to time you will have to do magic “outside” of combat. In order to do so, make sure you have enough Power Points and Mana. You can replenish your PP and Mana through the ‘Consumables’ section of your Inventory screen. Note: To select a Spell outside of combat, (for PC) press ‘E’ on your keyboard until you get the desired option.
South Park: The Stick of Truth is available now for PC (Steam), PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360. It’s been a long journey to bring this game to the world. But now that it’s here, your journey can begin…new kid.
Thank you reading. Follow Brooks on Twitter for more links to articles on the interactive entertainment industry.