Have You Played… South Park: The Stick Of Truth

Have You Played? is an endless stream of game retrospectives. One a day, every day of the year, perhaps for all time.

I don’t watch South Park anymore. I bought the first few ‘volumes’ on VHS back in my teenage years but I fell out of the habit of watching shortly after seeing the film at the cinema. It’s not that I have anything against the show – I don’t even keep up with the controversies or conversation around it so I have no idea if it’s still to my taste – I just haven’t made time for it in my life for a long time.

Obsidian’s game, though? I made time for that and I’m glad I did.

It’s a South Park game, with the creators directly responsible for much of the writing, more than it’s an Obsidian game. But, damn, it was good to see one of my favourite studios making something that not only seemed confident as an adaptation but that seemed like it must have been extremely enjoyable to create.

The Stick of Truth isn’t just a very funny game, it’s an extremely well-pitched idea for a game. What better way to adapt South Park into an RPG than by having the town itself become a hub of live action roleplaying. I love that enemies defeated in battle sometimes throw down their weapons and complain that they don’t want to play anymore, and that Butters actually apologises if he pulls off a perfect strike with his hammer, worried that he might have actually turned playfighting into real fighting.

I’m certainly not the only person who reckons the combination of Alpha Protocol plus a successful cartoon adaptation makes Obsidian the perfect studio for that Archer game we all so richly deserve, but the brilliance of The Stick of Truth isn’t just that it nails the visuals and the humour of the source material, it’s that it creates a fitting story for those characters and that world that also suit the kind of game Obsidian made. A similar treatment wouldn’t necessarily work for Archer. But, god, I’d love to see what they’d come up with.


  1. Spakkenkhrist says:

    I finished it yesterday, you’re creeping me out.

    The best joke is right at the start, you know, the one about your name.

    • int says:

      I challenge with… Audio Logs!

      • Spakkenkhrist says:

        They were very good too, it’s not short on good jokes which I realise now my post might sound like I was implying.

    • Jason Moyer says:

      I liked the way the name joke came back at the end of each act, too.

    • Nick says:

      That was a great joke… of which the game is full. I love the mix of game parody and just regular South Park style humour within the game. Al Gore on Facebook (or whatever they called it.. friendface?) was a wonderful commentary. The fart mechanic was unfunny and tiresome, but pretty much every other aspect of the game was a smart parody or a genuinely funny joke or observation. I loved it even though the combat was shit and easy as fuck. I can’t wait for the sequel.

  2. AutonomyLost says:

    I didn’t know I wanted an Archer game until it was mentioned within this article.

  3. fearandloathing says:

    Sad that the combat was utterly bollocks and quickly got very easy

    • DelrueOfDetroit says:

      You could stack status effects way too effectively. If you had a bow that fired 3 arrows and caused bleeding then the enemy would get a triple bleeding effect. They would not survive the next turn.

  4. magogjack says:

    I find the last eight or so years of south park to be far above the rest in quality.

  5. Avus says:

    Jew class FTW

  6. Ser Crumbsalot says:

    I just hope Fractured But Whole doesn’t prominently feature nazis. The way Stick of Truth was censored in Germany was just so, so bad.

  7. DelrueOfDetroit says:

    The biggest thing that annoyed me about this game was the not at all subtle product placement.

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    buenaventura says:

    Why the flip would you want the Archers made into a game? ;)

  9. Tyrric says:

    I loved how they setup the LARPing during season 17, with the episodes “Black Friday”, “A Song of Ass and Fire”, and “Titties and Dragons”.

  10. onodera says:

    I have, loved it, but was somewhat disappointed by the “best memes of the last 15 seasons” plot.

  11. Shiloh says:

    Yep, absolutely loved it, shit combat or no shit combat.

    Favourite bit? Hmm, “O Canada”, I think – turning the country into a lo fi 8 bit 90s game was a stroke of absolute genius.