As the new kid on the block, known as New Kid or Douchebag, you join Cartman’s Humans who are at war with Kyle and Stan’s Elve (or is that Elvish) Kingdom who are battling it out for The Stick of Truth. A twig that holds limitless power. And in the meantime UFOS crash land and a whole lot of other South Park craziness happens.
After spending a few minutes customizing my new character and giving him an awesome RPG nickname, (it’s irrelevant what I called him because after Cartman christens you with Douchebag, that’s all you’re known as) it was obvious this game was going to be a treat. First off, the graphics. Utilising the power of the PS3, Xbox 360 and later, it’s as if you are actually playing an interactive South Park episode. Besides that, the game is more or less open world which allows you to walk around and explore, giving fans a complete layout of the little town.
You play as the silent new kid on the block who has a dark past. At first I wondered why Matt Stone and Trey Parker didn’t give the character any lines but then again, as a fan you want to hear and interact with the others or maybe it was a nod to the developer Obsidian’s previous entries such as Fallout and Elder Scrolls who all have silent protagonists. Plus, the rest of the cast do make funny comments on the protagonist’s silence.
So in the beginning you join Cartman’s group of Human warriors who are at war over Stan and Kyle’s Elves Kingdom. Then the usual RPG challenges come, go collect this. Go deliver that oh but you can’t unless you do something else. Would have been repetitive but in this setting, its fun.
Combat is turn based and for the most part, you will always have a sidekick starting with Butters who in all fairness has some of the strongest and craziest attacks. Later you will be able to buddy up with Cartman’s wizard and Stan’s warrior and even Jimmy’s Bard character’s.
Levelling up is done by combat and your popularity. The more friends you add on Facebook or whatever, the higher your status becomes which unlocks perks that help in combat. As you progress through the game you will also pick up different weapons which can be switched whenever, costumes, face-paint, glasses etc. All of them can be upgraded by collecting Strap-ons. Yeah you can tell that they didn’t hold back in terms of crudeness.
As for the crudeness, if you’re in Europe, you might want to look for the American uncensored version. Later on the game, Douchebag will be abducted by aliens along with Randy. Scenes which include poor old Randy getting probed are censored in this country but Stone and Parker still keep it funny by adding a blue screen with a page of text explaining what we are missing. Funny how that got censored but the level with you shrinking to gnome size and tunnelling up Mr. Slave’s bum didn’t. Just typing that up brought back some shiver inducing memories, but hey this is South Park after all.
Much detail has also gone into the design of the weapons if you can call them that. At the end of the day, they are children playing around so the weapons are everyday household items crudely glued or shaped together. Close range weapons differ between toilet plungers, to actual Katanas which you can purchase after a certain level.
Long range attack weapons could be a child’s sling-shot or an Alien Ray Gun. All weapons can be touched up with perks or as mentioned Strap-ons (that never gets old).
So any complaints? Very minor and few such as the lack of tutorials but then again on first playing I just jumped straight in without looking at the menu screen. A few control glitches here and there but nothing major. Overall, this game is a blast and if you haven’t played it yet, go for it, especially since the next one South Park: The Fractured but Whole (hehe geddit?) is coming soon.
Story: 4.5/5– brings the best elements of South Park together in one massive game.
Gameplay: 8/10 – sometimes the weapon select wheel can go fuzzy but its minor. Battles are fun and the free roam is great.
Graphics: utilising the power of the next gen consoles, you are actually playing an episode of South Park, a rather long one at that.
Sound: Voice acting and dialogue is on top form as usual, whenever you load a game you get that little banjo riff. Walk into some shops and you will hear classics from the show Jennifer Lopez’s Taco Song stuck out the most.