South Park's irreverent brand of adolescent hilarity has always been deeply seated in pop-culture references and social commentary, and the upcoming Stick of Truth turns that satirical gaze towards video games. As The New Kid—who is also the Dragonborn, because of course he is—it's up to you to unite the town's warring factions.
You'll interact with Cartman's human militia (based out of his backyard), Stan and Kyle's elf warriors (who have taken over the elementary school), Clyde's undead army (filled with resurrected cats), and every other group of kids that has taken up arms in South Park's massive live action role-playing game. And by the power of Facebook, you're going to bring them together.
The Stick of Truth straddles the line between fantasy and (South Park) reality, finding a fun, real-world replacement for everything you've come to expect from an RPG. Mana potions are burritos and healing spells are friendly affirmations in South Park. Even the Dragonborn's magical dragon shouts are explained: he's very flatulent, and his farts are incredibly powerful—which, actually, explains why the burritos are mana.
When combat breaks out, it's a fairly classic RPG affair. Turn-based battles give each kid a chance to swing a baseball bat at his enemy, with timing-based interactions to block or do additional damage. It's simple, but surprisingly brutal—don't be surprised if you cringe when you see Butters smashed with a rake, or when The New Kid casts an electric spell by splashing water on his enemies and zapping it with a car battery.
The only supernatural abilities you'll have come in the form of tools taken from some of South Park's inhuman friends. Between brutal battles with other kids, you'll be tasked with traversing different locations from the show. Aliens' anal probe technology lets The New Kid teleport from place to place, and the Underpants Gnome's magical underpants let him shrink and grow with ease. If he needs to get past an outpost with torches, he can cup a fart and throw it at the flame, causing an explosion. There are even summons, like Stan's dog Sparky, that can show up if called upon.
Even the game's interface includes a nod towards pop culture. The Character screen, which is usually just an assortment of items and stats, has been reworked to look like a Facebook page. Here, you can change your armor, check your money, see what the other kids in town are doing, and, well, see how many Facebook friends you have. That's important, too.
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