Since the premiere of “South Park” back in 1997, fans of the popular series definitely wanted to play an interesting video game. However, previous licensed attempts were described by game critics as failure as well as be common players and even by the show’s creators. This time, they say, will be different.
On Tuesday, Trey Parker and Matt Stone who created the show, along with Obsidian Entertainment and Ubisoft, released South Park: The Stick of Truth, a game for Windows PC, the Xbox 360 and the PlayStation 3 which allows gamers to feel them part of a “South Park” episode.
Parker and Stone’s original premise was to make a role-playing game, as they used to play this type of game when they were young. They wanted the player to take on the role of the new kid in town.
“Trey and I had approached this video game like a big, long movie,” Stone revealed in one of his interviews. “We thought that was a really smart way to approach it. Turns out that wasn’t a supersmart way.”
For sure, the path for the highly expected game has been long enough, with several obstacles and delays. Really, the story starts in 1998, when the first video game based on “South Park” was released.
“We did a few games right when the show first came out, and it was the typical thing where someone just licensed ‘South Park,’ ” Parker explained by phone.
Previous unsuccessful efforts learned Parker and Stone to be more protective of their property, a decision that led to their increased involvement in The Stick of Truth.
“We don’t want anyone making a ‘South Park’ thing,” Mr. Parker said. “We have to do ‘South Park’ ourselves, all the time.”
The just released game has already received reviews that come from critics and players. Thus, for example, Justin McElroy of Polygon writes of “The Stick of Truth”: “In a world where most games seem terrified to push the envelope, The Stick of Truth pushes it off the floor, eats it and then vomits it onto a crowd of horrified onlookers.”
“In a AAA environment where homogeny reigns, it’s kind of thrilling to watch. It doesn’t hurt that the execution is almost uniformly hilarious. But that execution is much less uniform technically speaking. One glitch halted my playthrough for two days as Ubisoft and Obsidian tried to find a solution.”
He went on, adding: “I was told I was the only reviewer who ran into my particular issue and the game is still being patched up to release, so I’m hopeful this was an isolated incident.”
PC World‘s Hayden Dingman says of the game: “South Park the TV show has made its mark lampooning pop culture, and Stick of Truth is at its best when it’s cracking meta-jokes about video games—like lampooning me for spending so much time on side quests and urging me to get back to the main story.”
He concluded: “The game’s a lot of fun, though less in a laugh-out-loud funny way than a this-is-satisfying way. As I said, Stick of Truth throws a thousand jokes at you and most of those jokes don’t stick. There’s enough here, however, that South Park fans will want to check it out. This is a respectful and faithful adaptation—something other tie-in games could learn from.”