It’s normal to be wary of licenced games. More often than not they’re shoddy rush jobs, farmed out to a studio’s B-team to capitalise on the release of a film or TV show. But The Stick of Truth is an oddity in that it’s not only faithful to the material, but good too. You really couldn’t ask for a better South Park game. It looks and sounds identical to the series, and is just as gleefully offensive. But it’s also a very decent RPG, with rich customisation and slick turn-based combat.
To say that South Park: The Stick of Truth will be provocative is like saying the next Call of Duty will be about some guns. It's a game that seems to actively goad the player - daring them to take offence. Thanks to our office layout, I've been experiencing it entirely through the facial expressions of our reviewer Andy Kelly. He's been on a rollercoaster of shock, disbelief and amusement - partly because, in the UK, the PC version of the game hasn't been censored.
As reported by BT.com, Ubisoft have censored certain scenes from The Stick of Truth for the game's European console release. On PC, things are little more complicated. Most countries will receive the game in its uncensored form but, according to a Tweet by digital retailer Get Games, censoring will occur in "Germany, Austria, Australia, Singapore, Hong Kong & Taiwan".
InXile Entertainment's upcoming Torment: Tides of Numenera is licensing technology from another prominent, in-development RPG—Obsidian's Pillars of Eternity. Both are reboots of classic RPG experiences we know from the past, but according to a new update from Torment project lead Kevin Saunders, the partnership should allow InXile designers to get a head start in some key areas.
The upcoming Pillars of Eternity remains mostly a twinkle in the mind's eye of RPG fans, but that hasn't stopped Obsidian Entertainment from peering into its own future. The studio's CEO Feargus Urquhart told Rock, Paper, Shotgun that it's his "hope" to have something more concrete to share by March or April about a second Kickstarter campaign.
South Park: The Television Show is famous for the quick production cycle of its episodes. South Park: The Stick of Truth: The Game Based on the Television Show? Not so much. In a continuation of Ubisoft's aversion to the year 2013, the Obsidian developed RPG - originally due to release this December - has been delayed until March next year. In an attempt to prove that it actually exists, Ubisoft have released seven minutes of footage, showing what the game should (eventually) look like.
The folks at Obsidian Entertainment might be swimming in gold pieces after their successful Kickstarter, but luckily for us, Project Director Josh Sawyer had enough time to dry himself off and answer a few burning questions in a Project Eternity Q&A held by RPG Codex.
It almost goes without saying with the in-depth lore that is being created for Obsidian's upcoming isometric RPG, Project Eternity, but the minds behind it never intended for it to be a one hit wonder. Obsidian would like to keep making them for... yeah, Eurogamer got to the obvious joke first.
Looking over a list of Project Eternity's races is initially like checking boxes: Humans? Dwarves? Elves? Yep, the gang's all here. It's those two words that aren't recognizable by anyone who has ever picked up a fantasy book that evoke interest: the orlan and the aumaua. In today's official update, we got our first look at in-game assets in progress for the former, a small, stealthy race with a more civilized "Hearth" variant, and an 80% furrier "Wild" variant.
Obsidian's Feargus Urquhart recently spoke at a GDC Russia panel entitled "The decline of the gaming industry as we know it—is there a way out?" While he cast doubt on the notion that huge, console-focused, "AAA" titles are going anywhere, he declared them "not relevant for the development community as a whole." The inflated budgets and team sizes required to make such titles, he cautioned, can also be detrimental to the creative process.
In news that's likely to make you go, "wait, what?", Mail.ru have announced that Obsidian Entertainment will be collaborating with Allods Online developer Allods Team on their upcoming free-to-play MMO Skyforge. Wait, what?
The announcement was made last week at KRI 2013, the Russian Game Developer's Conference. While Obsidian are no strangers to getting involved in other people's licenses - having previously taken on sequels for BioWare and Bethesda - this is their first MMO collaboration with a Russian development team. It's an unusual move for the studio, who are also currently working on the Kickstarted Project Eternity.
I think inXile might be planning to steadily release screenshot after screenshot of Torment: Tides of Numenera until this site is naught but a gallery of lovely 2D art. Well it won't work, dammit! Still, this one gets a mention because, 1) it's a much nicer picture than the previous preview of the dark, creepy, decidedly organic Bloom, and 2) it coincides with news that Obsidian's Chris Avellone, lead designer on Planescape: Torment, has been drafted to help with the game.
On my last day to explore GDC, I received a real-life quest via e-mail. "Meet me at Metreon Park, by the bronze statue with 3 hands." My quest-giver was none other than Obsidian's Chris Avellone, of Planescape: Torment and Icewind Dale fame, currently working on Project Eternity. He also holds the distinction of being a stretch goal in the Kickstarter for inXile's Torment: Tides of Numenera.
If you ever wanted quantifiable data as to how much old-school RPG fans really liked Planescape: Torment, just look at the Kickstarter for thematically linked follow-up Torment: Tides of Numenera. Within just six hours of inXile's launch, the game had secured its $900,000 target. And the money kept rolling in. The game is currently sat at $1.66 million - although who knows what that total will be by the time this article has been written, published and delivered to your eyeballs. Old-school RPG fans really, really liked Planescape: Torment.
Given that people are hurling fistfuls of dollars at them, inXile have announced the first round of Torment stretch goals. Most of them have already been hit.
What's next for RPGs? Obsidian's Feargus Urquhart and BioWare founder Ray Muzyka say it's asynchronous multiplayer
During last week's D.I.C.E. (Design, Innovate, Communicate, Entertain) conference in Las Vegas, Obsidian CEO Feargus Urquhart and ex-BioWare boss Ray Muzyka spoke about the possible next steps for the RPG genre. They suggested the biggest gain would arise from stronger social features and asynchronous multiplayer, which Urquhart compared to "putting the water cooler into the game."
Fallout: New Vegas deviated from the post-apocalyptic franchise's extreme isolationism by populating its ruins with lots of people, smelly dogs, and those freaking annoying butterfly-hornet things. The wastelands seemed alive—but the tale of how people flocked to New Vegas remains untold. Until now: The in-development Fallout: Project Brazil mod sets up the backstory.
Obsidian's uncannily accurate recreation of South Park's art, animations, and fart jokes in its upcoming Stick of Truth RPG first came into being without a budget. Kotaku's lengthy profile of the storied studio revealed that CEO Feargus Urquhart and his team constructed early prototypes for show creators Matt Stone and Trey Parker without financial support.
In the first art update for Obsidian's isometric RPG, Project Eternity, Rob Nesler, the game's art director, has provided some new prototype renders and information about how the game's artists are fleshing out the world. The basic gist is that they've got a lot of work ahead of them.
We've just finished moderating a live Project Eternity Q&A with the Obsidian team -- thank you to everyone who participated! Project Director/Lead Designer Josh Sawyer did most of the talking, but also in the chat with us were Obsidian CEO/President Feargus Urquhart, Project Manager/Lead Programmer Adam Brennecke, Gameplay Programmer Steve Weatherly, Senior Environment Artist Hector Espinoza, and Lead Sound Designer Justin Bell. If you missed it, the highlights and full transcript are after the jump.
With five days left to go in the Kickstarter for Obsidian's isometric RPG Project Eternity, the first-ever in-engine screenshot has been revealed. It depicts a temple entrance beside a very attractive waterfall. Alongside it, the biggest chunk of pure lore we've seen so far has been rolled out, which made me squirm in my chair with jubilation. Seriously. It was slightly embarrassing.
Obsidian's Project EternityKickstarter continues to absorb all human wealth with a hunger that lies somewhere between The Little Old Lady Who Swallowed A Fly and a supermassive black hole. They've now announced an additional $165 digital-only contribution tier that promises donors a copy of Wasteland 2 (inXile's Kickstarter-funded RPG sequel) as well.
And not only that! But contributions of $165 or more will snag you the first expansion pack for the game on top - which should ship six months after the game's release in April 2014.