Along with Watch_Dogs and The Crew, now South Park: The Stick Of Truth has fallen into next year. The game already slipped and slid when it was THQ’s property, and it doesn’t seem to be getting a grip on the town’s famously snowy streets under its new rulership. Having previously been given the 10th December for console (although PC was conspicuously never announced, and naturally Ubisoft ignored all our enquiries as to why), it’s now three months further on, on the 7th March 2014. Ubi are hoping a genuinely good video will make us calm. It’s less likely to work on their shareholders, who are already throwing their stakes out of the window and running screaming into the hills.
The news, as so often is the case, is delivered in a nonchalant press release that doesn’t actually say that it’s slipped. However, it comes with a statement from South Park creators Matt Stone and Trey Parker rather taking the piss out of the issue.
“We always wanted the game to feel like you’re actually in an episode of South Park,” says Matt Stone and Trey Parker. “Getting the game up to the crappy standards of the show has been a real challenge and we’re excited to say it’s taken way longer than we thought it would.”
To appease the masses, there’s seven minutes of video, showing not only that the game certainly does look like an episode of South Park, but also exploration and turn-based combat. And farts. And the player character appears to be called “Douchebag”.
I really hope, if it ever actually comes out, that it will be more than just game spoofing. What makes South Park today so strikingly different to South Park ten years ago is the ambiguous social commentary, and topicality. The latter is clearly impossible for a project that’s going as wrong as this one, but the former would seem a conspicuous absence in 2014.