Gamescom 2013: South Park: The Stick of Truth Preview - Jimmy Laid Bard
Written Thursday, September 05, 2013 By Dan WebbView author's profile
A lot has happened since we last saw Obsidian's South Park: The Stick of Truth back at E3 2012, where the game actually won our Best RPG of the Show award. It's not only been famously delayed, but it was the subject of a bidding war when THQ unfortunately went under earlier this year. Ubisoft was the winner in that particular bidding war and since then, we've heard and seen effectively nothing. Hardly inspiring. Thank the maker for Gamescom then, and the return of South Park: The Stick of Truth. Huzzah.
The Stick of Truth throws players into role of the fully customisable Sir Douchebag, as named by Cartman very early on in the game, amidst a South Park wide LARP game pitting the wise wizard Cartman and the humans against the elves led by Stan and Kyle. With a script penned by Trey Parker and Matt Stone themselves - with them both providing their voices to the game too - you can expect the true South Park experience with more Rochambos than you shake a magical Shake Weight at.
We pick up with Cartman and Sir Douchebag, hot on the trail of the Stick of Truth and in search of the bard, an elf who specialises in musical magic to enchant and destroy his enemies. Their adventure takes them to the Inn of the Giggling Donkey, which is essentially someone's home, decked out to look like an inn.
"Butters, are you sure the bard is hiding out in there?," asks Cartman. "That's what Twitter says…," the blonde haired numbskull responds. "CARRIER RAVEN, BUTTERS!" shouts Cartman. "Sorry, that's what the carrier raven says."
Upon entering the establishment, Cartman probes the barman as to the whereabouts of the bard, and after a bit of nudging, he finds out the bard is in the basement, where Butters and Sir Douchebag are sent to seek him out.
Before slipping down the stairs though, Obsidian showed off the game's newly tweaked inventory screen, which now takes the form of a social media site like Facebook. Here you can accept friend requests, take on new quests and equip weapons and gear, and without further ado, Sir Douchebag is equipped with the Vibroblade, whilst wearing a Valkyrie outfit - fresh with a tiny metallic bra.
"DOUCHEBAG, IT'S A TRAP!" shouts Cartman as the pair descent into the basement and come across the bard...
"You should have never come here humans! I am a level 10 bard and with my lute I shall power up my elven guard with magical songs of enchan… magical songs of enc… magical songs of enchaaaaaannn… mag… magical songs of enchaaaannn… magical songs of enchan, magical songs of enchantment!" Yes, Jimmy is the bard.
Sir Douchebag is then thrown into a short battle - if you're unaware, South Park: The Stick of Truth is a turn-based RPG - where they'll fight Jimmy the Bard's elven guards.
"There's once was a maiden from Stoneberry Hollow…" sings Jimmy in the background as he buffs his elven soldiers and Sir Douchebag and Butters bring the pain.
"She didn't talk much but boy did she swallow…" Jimmy follows up, but even his buffing was no match for Sir Douchebag's 'Assault and Battery' and Butters' 'Hammer of Justice'.
"Get down there and finish them off, I will protect the Stick of Truth!" shrieks Jimmy, as the gameplay flips to a traditional turn-based RPG level layout, with enemies roaming that will trigger actual turn-based battles. By and large this is every much a typical JRPG, with all the experience and levelling up aspects, as well as the looting, potions and mid-battle buffing - the Armour of Reynolds ability wraps the user up in tin foil to lessen the damage of the next physical attack.
One of the newer aspects that Obsidian was showing off were the special field abilities that players can use to thin down the number of foes they'll take on in the turn-based screens. One of them being the "fart" ability, which can be used to knock out foes before a battle, or even to use environmental aspects - like a hanging light - to the same effect, but with more devastating consequences, which Sir Douchebag does, moments before they discover Cartman in the kitchen.
The wise wizard lay on the tiled floor, injured, spitting up blood… well, when I say blood, I mean ketchup. "His powers were too strong, the bard, he's up in one of the rooms," mutters Cartman before sucking out some ketchup from a sachet and spitting it onto himself. "They took princess Kenny, I'm sure they're going to rape her, don't let them rape her!" Cartman shrieks, and with that, the demo ends.
I must say, the only disappointing thing about the Gamescom 2013 demo was that it was rather short. A bit too short in fact - Obsidian must have only showed about seven minutes of gameplay at the most. For a game that's out this year, part of me thinks we should be more than a little worried about that. On the other hand, it's an RPG with South Park characters, written and voiced by Trey and Matt themselves, can they really get it too wrong? Everything we've seen thus far has been brilliantly written and hilarious, maybe they just don't want to give too much away? If they can keep the level of intensity up for the entire game, in terms of jokes, nods to the fans and captivating South Park moments, we're onto a winner here, but we won't know that for sure until we've got our mitts on the final game. We know one thing though, and that's that we look forward to finding that out eventually, if we ever get a release date that is!
South Park: The Stick of Truth is scheduled for release this year…. supposedly! It's on Ubisoft's release schedule as 'TBC'.