South Park: The Stick of Truth is finally released; here's our glowing South Park: The Stick of Truth review.
Gosh,” we’ve said, whenever faced with a Stick of Truth trailer. “It looks just like South Park!”
And it did, which was nice, but it never looked quite like a game - a fact that’s become increasingly disconcerting as we’ve approached its December 10 release date.
Now two things have happened to assuage that worry: first, Stick of Truth has been pushed waaaaay back into next year. And second, Ubisoft have offered up a seven minute slice of game footage for us to scrutinise.
“We always wanted the game to feel like you're actually in an episode of South Park,” said South Park kings 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.”
Har har. Right. Here’s the game in action:
It looks good, doesn’t it? Different. Not least those 2.5D exploratory environments, more reminiscent of Monkey Island than anything in Obsidian’s back catalogue.
Obsidian have done a shrewd thing here: they’ve smuggled their first fully turn-based battle system since Fallout 2 into the public eye under the sidelong guise of Final Fantasy. Once in the thick of it, though, we’re met with a BioWare-like network of buffs and attacks nestled within a complex command wheel. The positioning of enemies does seem to matter, too - in one instance, a melee attack carries status effects back to the fancy dress elf goons behind.
Elsewhere, a ground stomp attack offers the only thing approaching a QTE - a well-timed strike will deal more damage.
In other scenes, enemies are handled outside of the battle system, in odd puzzle moments that require repeated use of a thrown basketball.
Oh, I liked the UI joke too. Not so much the rape stuff - and I think that’s going to be the dealbreaker, not the battle system. Stick of Truth is just like South Park, and that’s not a thing everybody likes.
It’s out on... March 4? Really? That is a long, long way away. Can you hold your breath till then?