It’s the same old story with a totally South Park twist. The elves versus the humans. Stan and Kyle versus Cartman.
While sitting in a demo room on the E3 showfloor last week, I was shown a portion of the upcoming South Park RPG game. The Obsidian developers controlling the demo showed off how combat would play out. And it involved a lot of gassy children. Ladies and gentlemen: it’s a South Park game, after all.
You play as the dragonborn new kid, who has to pick an allegiance at the beginning of the game, either to Stan and Kyle or to the incredibly insulting Cartman. The main mechanic in the turn-based battling seems to be a flatulence-centric move that works well as either attacks or to break down barriers so that you can progress to other areas and battle arenas.
The first time we see the new kid pulling this move, he uses it like a molotov, throwing it like a bomb for an area of effect. As the developers lead him around the school cafeteria and up through a ventilation shaft they’ve gained access to thanks to slingshotting it open and alien probing their way up there, the new kid intermittently uses the toot-bombs and literal flaming bags of poop against his enemies.
They get to a mini-boss sequence in which the boss, Stan, calls his dear dog-friend Sparky to his side. We see everything from these kids amplifying their broken wind with lighters to spraying fire extinguishers to slamming a hammer down on each other’s heads. They use fireworks and have somewhat fancier, magic-like moves like lightning volts and a “hammer storm” with a similar, electrified effect. The new kid can eat a chipotle burrito to gain mana for extra gas-related moves.
After the boss fight against Stan, the new kid rescues the Fair Maiden Red and gets a friend request from her on Facebook. Interactions with NPCs that you meet later down the line will work similarly, and you can consider them a part of your crew once you help them in sidequests like this.
At the end of the demo, after our developers have chosen to go against Cartman and fight him in a boss battle that is basically the gassy equivalent of the magic-locked battle between Voldemort and Dumbledore, the group of kids realise they have a bigger problem than just each other. The Stick of Truth is gone, but its location seems to point to some other kid.
Enter Clyde, the real villain. He’s got a pile of mysterious, toxic barrels of green stuff that can raise an army of the dead. He tries it out on his dead cat and, voila, up rises Nazi cat. There’s nothing this game won’t touch. And that’s appropriate. Because this is a god damn South Park game.
South Park: The Stick of Truth will be out this holiday season for the PS3, Xbox 360 and PC.