Many said it would never be released. More have said that a good South Park game wasn’t possible. While the latter has yet to be determined and the former could still be moved back, the often delayed South Park: The Stick of Truth is finally available for pre-order on Steam after already being available for many months elsewhere. A large “Grand-Wizard” Collector’s Edition is also available.
For a game based on a comedic cartoon, The Stick of Truth has had quite a dramatic development process. When its former publisher, THQ, filed for bankruptcy the future of what was supposed to be the ultimate South Park game has uncertain. That was until Ubisoft bought the rights during THQ’s sell-off. The game then saw at least two more delays and many fans became worried that Ubisoft (which tends to be a more controlling publisher) would somehow ruin the game. Quite unexpectedly, however, the game came back into public view with a new trailer and the announcement of a very un-Ubisoft-like pre-order DLC package that is much smaller than originally offered under THQ. In-game items based on popular show themes such as the super-hero Mysterion and the anime-style “Good Times with Weapons” episode used to only be available separately for those who pre-order, and even then some were exclusive to the Xbox 360. You know, the kind of jiggery-pokery that usually makes us Steam users wait many more months for a Complete Edition to be released before we finally play it. But now, no matter what platform you decide to get it for, a single pack of four in-game costumes with small stat boosts is all a pre-order will get you. Whether or not the former DLC items have been integrated into the full game has not been confirmed.
In the Stick of Truth you play the “new kid” who you name, create, and customize Skyrim-style (but with no cat-people) and take on an adventure through varied settings in “a quest to become cool”. Gameplay is akin to a classic RPG with turn-based combat and a party system which the developer, Obsidian Entertainment, is well-known for in games like Neverwinter Nights 2 and Star Wars: Knights of The Old Republic II: The Sith Lords. Unlike other South Park games, The Stick of Truth is written, voiced, and directed by the show’s creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone using the same processes they employ when creating an episode of the show itself. In fact, a recent trilogy of episodes that aired during Black Friday 2013 serves as a prequel/tie-in of sorts for the game. The game also features a unique graphics engine that copies the look of the cartoon exactly and shows off the town of South Park completely mapped out for the very first time. Release date is currently set for March 4, 2014.