What hasn’t been said about South Park? Known for their twisted humor and dark satire, the story of four potty-mouthed boys in South Park, Colorado has entertained millions of viewers and angered just as many others since the show began in 1997. Originally thought up as two animated shorts in the early 90’s by the show’s creators, Trey Parker and Matt Stone, the show has come a long way since its cardboard cutout origins and VHS viral video days. Now the show holds some of the most consistently high viewership numbers of any basic cable program and remains one of Comedy Central’s most successful programs of all time.
Slated to stay on the air until at least 2016, the show has found its way back to video gaming with South Park: The Stick of Truth.
Developed as a role-playing game in which the user gets to create their own character in the extremely expansive South Park universe and fight alongside all of the famous characters from the show, all while dressed up as characters from the realms of fantasy. South Park is centered on poking fun at politics, socials norms, and other aspects of life, and has more than once made fun of both World of Warcraft and Lord of the Rings. Decked out in make shift armor, silly hats, and crude weapons, the game in designed to be as much of a parody of role-playing games as the show mocks everything.
Do not think this game is some cheap attempt to make money, though. There is some serious power behind the games development. Obsidian Entertainment, developer of the game, is responsible for the development of impressive role-playing games in the past such as Fallout: New Vegas and Knights of the Old Republic II. The completion of The Stick of Truth has finally been announced to be finished after a long and tumultuous road filled with setbacks and even a studio closure.
The road has been tough. The Stick of Truth was originally being developed and published by the now defunct THQ studios. Originally slated for release in 2012, THQ pushed the game’s release to the end of April, 2013. Sadly, THQ never had a chance to finish the product. At the end of 2012, THQ announced that they had defaulted on $50 mil from banks and were facing bankruptcy, and the studio was shortly thereafter liquidated. Publishing rights to the game were purchased by Ubisoft, who then said they would be delaying the release to an unspecified date to re-develop. After a release date was set for the holiday season last year, it came as no surprise that another set-back stalled development further. A new date was been set by the development team at Obsidian Entertainment. It was announced last week that the game has officially gone gold, the master CD has been completed and sent off. The master CD is the CD in which all of the other copies of the game will be pressed from.
South Park: The Stick of Truth will be released March 4, 2014. Much like the TV show, Stone and Parker have been working at a hands-on level throughout the development of the game. Writing the script, overseeing the project, and lending their voice-acting, the shows two creators have nourished this project since day one. Since South Park’s beginnings, the two friends from college have managed to pick up multiple Emmy Awards for their show, as well as seven Tony Awards for their 2011 musical, The Book of Mormon. These guys know what they’re doing. The game will feature characters familiar to anyone who is a fan of the show as well as the 2-D cutout animation style that South Park is so well known for. Knowing that the game is designed in the same manner as the show, consumers should be expecting a lot of swearing and crude jokes. This shouldn’t really come as a surprise to anyone though, after all it is South Park.
The one major downside, however, is the release platforms. Those of you who went out and purchased a next generation consoles will not be able to play The Stick of Truth as it is planned to be released on the PC, Playstation 3, and Xbox 360. Hopefully you have a platform to play it on. Despite the most tangible release date yet, fans should be skeptical until they have a copy in their hands. That being said, this release is exciting news.
Will you be the one to recover the lost Stick of Truth and join the infamous boys of South Park?