Review by xGhostchantx
The Stick of Mediocrity
So after a long, much-anticipated wait, South Park: The Stick of Truth is actually here.
Or, should I call it, the Stick of Buyer's Remorse?
The game, by no stretch of the imagination, is "bad," it's just plagued by mediocrity as far as gameplay is concerned.
The world of South Park might as well be constructed out of a facade like a live-studio-audience recorded sitcom. The world is shallow, uninspiring and uninteresting - there is little to no reason to interact with anything in the game that isn't quest related or a vendor, and little to nothing to do.
Almost all houses in the game use the same interior layout. A living room, a kitchen, an upstairs with two bedrooms and a bathroom. Each house will have a few drawers and cabinets that can be looted for vendor trash to simply sell.
You collect so much actual junk in this game that you are literally rolling in money by the time you hit level 5. What grade schooler has $1k to their name? Not that many, I assure you.
This takes the challenge out of finding and using gear, as you can simply purchase more powerful stuff every few levels to keep you in the game, voiding any sense of challenge whatsoever.
The map also leaves a lot to be desired. With nothing in the way of a minimap, you're going to find yourself hitting Select so often it will leave a permanent imprint of the button on your thumb. Worse still, the map is a little ... off, for want of better words. It is often difficult to marry up your spatial position in the game to that of the map.
Combat, too, is a shallow affair - there is no sense of strategy or urgency - you are simply God-like in your level of power, and most enemies (on normal) will die with the use of a single special ability. There are so many item and weapon mods for health points and power points that I may have used a health potion maybe seven or eight times in an entire playthrough, and never on the player character (played as a thief) - always on darn Butters - Speaking of Butters, I usually ran with him in my party as he's a healer (not that it was necessary...), he has few hit points and often hits the ground like a sack of concrete. Now, you'd think a dead party member would increase the difficulty, right? In any other game it would, however, this isn't any other game, it's The Stick of Fanservice, and you will see no change in difficulty (except maybe on a boss fight - but even that's a stretch) from your allies shuffling off this mortal coil.
Along with many other Obisidian games, we are once again treated to a myriad of game breaking bugs and general poor performance. The game stutters more than Jimmy as far as frame rate goes, sometimes dropping so sharply all I could do was get up and get a drink of water while it finally caught up. A quick search of "Stick of Truth bugs" on Google will turn up all sorts of game breaking bugs, one of which I encountered (O Canada) - by comparison, this makes Arkham Origins look flawless in terms of its programming.
Another gripe of mine is its' length. Much like Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance, we're met with a full price game with a very short lifespan.
I must give credit where credit is due, however, as the game is flawlessly animated and plays out like you'd expect an episode of South Park to, along with the script and voice acting.
Overrall, I didn't have an unenjoyable experience; I found myself chuckling away at a lot of points in the game, though it fails to live up to expectations as far as an enjoyable video game is concerned.
Rent before you buy.
Rating: 2.5 - Playable
Product Release: South Park: The Stick of Truth (AU, 03/06/14)
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