When South Park: The Stick of Truth appeared in the Steam sale one time, I decided it was high time I finally gave it a try, and for any self-respecting South Park fan, it’s a definite must. The game is crammed full of references to the episodes and their characters, and junk items of key props from the show make for useless but fun collectibles. A large part of the story plays like you’re watching an episode, and between cut scenes you can travel around South Park as you please, looking for secrets and befriending characters. While the style of game play for story progression is some sort of cross between casual open-world exploration and a visual novel, the combat element is turn-based RPG style, where timing of your strikes is impeccable, and your foes could be anyone from elves to ginger kids to underpants gnomes. The story is a little farfetched, but this is almost the absolute perfect game, and it aligns with the trilogy of episodes set in this universe too. It has humour and references aplenty, and is as shocking an inappropriate as you’d expect as you work to discover the truth behind the alien ship and the new Taco Bell in town.
I could talk for ages about all the amazing elements of this game, but it’s getting old now and while it’s never too late to start something up, I’ll probably be mostly relaying information you already know. The point is, the is game feels very much like an episode, and it’s fantastically well executed. I was pleasantly surprised by how consumed in The Stick of Truth I became, and I want to have that feeling again. And with any luck, the next South Park game, The Fractured But Whole, will deliver as much fun and filth as its predecessor. And as if the precedent wasn’t enough, the theme this time round is Coon and Friends – and I really don’t know how you top that one!