South Park: The Stick of Truth Review
If you're a fan of South Park, you've most likely played 2014's The Stick of Truth. After years of mediocre South Park video game adaptations, this RPG was a breath of fresh air, with series creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone having been heavily involved in its creation. Furthermore, Obsidian, the team behind the critically-acclaimed Fallout: New Vegas and Knights of the Old Republic 2 RPGs, was the lead developer for the title.
However, The Stick of Truth was released at the end of the 7th console generation lifespan, so some gamers may have missed out on it. Luckily, series fans who pick up the newest South Park RPG, The Fractured But Whole, will have a chance to play its prequel, as a free copy of The Stick of Truth is bundled with the new game.
The Stick of Truth: Then vs. Now
If you're expecting anything new from this version, you'll be disappointed -- outside of the DLC content and a few tweaks here and there, there's nothing really new in this version of The Stick of Truth. It's free game, though, so it's a little more excusable than most remasters that do just the bare minimum.
This version of the game is a little cleaner, now running in 1080p and with PS4 Pro support, but don't expect that much of an improvement. A lot of the frame rate drops that plagued the original have been ironed out, though you will still notice a couple hitches when there are a lot of enemies in battle.
Some minor changes have also been made to address some of the game's more difficult sections. One of the biggest changes includes a fix for the infamous anal probe scene.
It's nowhere near as difficult and frustrating to get past this section now, making the pacing of the game much smoother. That said, the other annoying section, a boss battle with Cartman, still requires too much button mashing. Yeah, I know it's part of the joke, but the joke loses steam when you're forced to partake in it, and it can last for what feels like forever.
Outside of these changes, The Stick of Truth still remains largely the same.
However, if this will be your first foray into the game, you've got a lot to look forward to either as a fan of the series, as an RPG aficionado, or both.
What to Expect from The Stick of Truth
In The Stick of Truth, you control your own custom-created character and explore the town of South Park, interacting with the various characters from the show. Exploring the town is still a blast, as you watch the various NPCs go about their day, and you even get to befriend some of South Park's most iconic characters.
While a good amount of time is dedicated to exploring the world and solving simple puzzles, most of your time will be dedicated to combat, which takes a few inspirations from the Paper Mario series. Like in Paper Mario, you have the ability to block enemy attack and press buttons in conjunction to perform various special attacks. These mechanics keeps combat exciting, and you won't just be watching your characters standing around and waiting for their turns.
Each of the four class have there own unique skills, ranging from mage and Jew "magic", to special archer and warrior abilities. The only downside is that every weapon and piece of armor you gain isn't specific for each class, which does take away from each of the individuality of the classes. Why try a different class when you can still use a sword or staff?
Despite this, combat is still satisfying and fun. Each of the various villains you face have their own weaknesses, which will have you wanting to change out your party members to alter your tactics. The downside to this is that you can only have one other person in your party -- that's not say there aren't that a lot of them, with each having their own special abilities, but it would have been nice to have at least three characters rather than just two.
So, does The Stick of Truth hold up? Yeah, it's still a good game. The combat is fun, if on the easy side, it's funny as hell, and manages to tastefully recapture the look and feel of the show.
Its age will show, especially with the vastly superior Fractured But Whole having been released, and it still could've done with a few more fixes with some of the mechanics, but if I'm going down to South Park, I wanna have myself a time.