The First 13 Minutes Of The South Park Game Look Down Right Incredible

South Park: The Stick of Truth has been in development for some time, but as it nears completion we are getting more and more hints that it could be great.

To show off the game, the developers have released a video of the first 13 minutes of the game. The execution is so flawless that it is easy to forget that this is a game you can actually play and not just a clip from the tv show.

The game works on multiple levels. Stripped of its source material, the game is an RPG modeled similarly to the turn-based games popular in Japan. You collect loot, you go on quests, and when bad guys emerge you take turn attacking each other until they are dead. When you add in the massive world of South Park (a tiny town with a deep, absurdly rich history) you get a story that practically demands it be played. According to the developers, you can wander pretty much anywhere in town – including many of the places featured on the show. If you ever wondered what it would be like to live in South Park, this is the best you’re going to get outside of turning yourself into a two-dimensional construction-paper cut out.

Another great feature of the game is that it has kept all of the irreverent humor found in the series. It would have been easy to pull some punches in order to appeal to a wider audience, but that wouldn’t have been “South Park.” The show has always been over the top, and the game looks like it never blinks. Where else could you expect to choose your class as “Jew,” complete with rabbinical robes and staff? Only in a South Park game would a character suggest you block an attack before you get “hit in the balls.”

Your home base. Notice the variety of shops you can interact with.

According to those who have played it, the games fighting mechanics are surprisingly nuanced. Here is IGN explaining the various factors that go into a battle:

[Y]our attacks amplify or dull based on how well you do with timed button presses as you go on the offensive. For instance, one special hammer attack by Butters has you twirl the left thumbstick, then press A when you see a bushel of flames engulf the young Stotch. Take on the wrong enemy before you’re sufficiently leveled-up and you will die. I bit the bullet once during a brush-up with a herd of horse-riding Mongorians [sic] and, yep, another reference awaited me at the Game Over screen, as I found myself at Heaven’s pearly gates, greeted by a group of smiling Mormons. Collectibles abound, too, such as Chinpokomon. And you also earn a new Perk, such as Protect My Balls (take greatly decreased damage when critically injured), for every certain number of friends you make.

Ignoring the South Park humor, the mechanics would fit nicely even among the top-shelf RPGs. It’s refreshing to see a game developer taking a video game based on a television show seriously.

In the 13-minute preview, we see that the story revolves around a customizable new kid who arrives to South Park after a mysterious incident his parents don’t want to talk about. You very quickly begin making friends (and enemies) in town. When you meet Eric Cartman the game really kicks off. You’ll have quests assigned to you and side ones you can choose to complete, you can buy and sell items (mostly equipment that the kids have cobbled together), and explore the world. As you go through the missions, you will also learn more about your past. The overly-dramatic storylines are a major part of South Park’s ability to make us laugh, and this video game plays nicely to that. While fighting evil elves and casting spells, you may even forget that you’re still just a bunch of kids playing make believe. That’s about a good a description of childhood as any.

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