Opinion
293 Comments

South Park: The Stick of Truth let me do everything but be myself, and that's a bummer

I grew up on South Park. I was 9 when the first episode debuted in 1997, and I'd snuggle into our family room couch to watch it with my father. I know what South Park is about. I ripped the packaging off The Stick of Truth hoping the game kept the tone and spirit of the show. (Note: This piece will contain a few spoilers for the game.) Within minutes of booting up the game I tweeted a picture of my in-game character. "New kid" Alexa even had some seriously shitty bags under her eyes, which isn't far off from how I look on particularly trying days. Pink hoodie, bangs in her eyes, my "new kid" was me, and through her I would befriend the kids of South Park and defend the Stick of Truth. About half of that was right. After the opening character creation menu I met my in-game family, who...

News
45 Comments

South Park's Matt Stone talks game censorship

South Park co-creator Matt Stone said today that censorship compromises made in the show's new spin-off game in certain countries don't change the experience significantly. Speaking to The Guardian he said that changes made in Germany and Australia to South Park: The Stick of Truth "doesn't change things that much." Developer Obsidian switched out static jokes for offending scenes in countries where content caused trouble, making reference to the deleted gags. In Australia, censors took offense to a joke about anal probing (see below), while German laws prohibit the display of swastikas. "I was told that we had to submit it for ratings and they come back and tell you this will pass, this won't," said Stone. "Ultimately, the full version of the game is in North America, so at least...

News
24 Comments

Why South Park: The Stick of Truth was delayed in Austria and Germany

South Park: The Stick of Truth has been delayed in Austria and Germany because developer Obsidian Entertainment's role-playing game includes swastikas, which is a "symbol of an unconstitutional organization," a representative from Ubisoft confirmed to Polygon today. The game was originally set for March 6 release. Ubisoft has not yet announced an updated release date but will reveal one "shortly," according to a statement from the company. "The German and Austrian version of South Park: The Stick of Truth contains a symbol of an unconstitutional organization, whereupon we stopped the distribution of the game and unfortunately will not be able to release it as initially planned [in] March 6, 2014 on the German and Austrian market," the statement reads. "This concerns all...

Video
74 Comments

South Park: The Stick of Truth - Overview video

It certainly qualifies for that alert — there are sights in this Overview of South Park: The Stick of Truth that cannot be unseen, utterances that cannot be unheard. Sure, a lot of it is fairly benign; there's nothing particularly unsavory about the game's plethora of character progression and customization options, nor is its explorable open world inherently unpalatable. But there are certainly, definitely things that are not suitable for consumption in work environments. Or home environments. Or Earth, in general. In this Overview, Justin and I walk through an early section of Obsidian's new role-playing game, engaging in an at-length discussion of flatulence and its place in the interactive arts. Enjoy?

16 Comments

How did South Park make video games funny?

If this is your first episode, Friends List is a daily web series where we have one-on-one talks about a single question related to video games. The goal is to give both Polygon's many team members across the globe and those involved in covering, designing and releasing games, an opportunity to speak with you. Today on Friends List, Editor-at-Large Chris Plante and Managing Editor Justin McElroy ask: How did South Park make video games funny? The episode will begin at 2 p.m. ET (or thereabouts!) and will be available via YouTube following the recording. While you wait you can watch the previous episode: What the hell is happening with Duke Nukem? Enjoy Friends List anywhere, anytime: Bookmark the Friends List video page. Subscribe to the audio-only podcast: Friends List on iTunes. ...

Opinion
12 Comments

The Stick of Truth lets you know the story is pretend, and that makes everything feel real

It's the sort of "mistake" that adds character to a film, the unplanned touches like the blood on the camera during a climactic shootout in Children of Men. That movie was also, not coincidentally, directed by Gravity's Alfonso Cuarón. The decision to make the camera feel like a physical part of the scene is effective. Suddenly you feel as if you're watching something shot on location, and seeing objects with physical reality. Much of Gravity was created inside a computer. The special effects team, likely under orders from the director himself, decided to "fake" the idea of a camera to give you a sense of watching something that was filmed by humans in space. During one scene you even see the film crew in the visor of an astronaut, complete with their own space suits and camera...

Review
105 Comments
8.5

South Park: The Stick of Truth review: pen and paper

You'd be forgiven for thinking that's something of a backhanded compliment. The five previous games based on the cartoon have been met with abject scorn, save for South Park Let's Go Tower Defense Play! which was pleasant, if not exceptional. But that's part of what makes The Stick of Truth such an achievement. South Park, like all episodic comedies, is an engine built to generate laughs. And developer Obsidian has built a 10-12 hour game that is perfectly crafted to house that engine. South Park is an engine built to generate laughs You are The New Kid in the town of South Park. Moments after being forced out of the house by your parents to meet the neighborhood kids, you're swept up in their town-spanning, Dungeons-and-Dragons-inspired battle for The Stick of Truth. Cartman,...

Video
11 Comments

Watch the first 13 minutes of South Park: The Stick of Truth

"Do you really think it will be better for ... him?" So begins the introduction to South Park: The Stick of Truth as the new kid's parents urge their child to explore their new town in Colorado and "make some friends." He (that is, you) are soon in the company of Butters, Kenny and Cartman, "the Wizard King." The intro and tutorial to the game is 13 minutes long and offers a first look at the boys' fantasy world of Kupa Keep, a chance to pick a character name and class, including some Cartmanesque offensiveness, and a look at basic combat mechanics. Take a look at Polygon's recent play-through of the game's early levels.

Report
44 Comments

A first play of South Park: The Stick of Truth

South Park: The Stick of Truth offers an exception. The empty character that greets you upon entry to Obsidian's cartoon RPG, awaiting your individualized tricks and trinkets, is chuckle-out-loud pathetic, a forlorn, human maggot in underpants. The game seeks not merely to infuse funny into a game narrative, but into its very mechanics. When the player goes on to choose a character name, there's another joke that toys with gaming conventions in a way that reeks of the television show's manic verbal horseplay. It's not one of those games where you traverse the world for a bit, press A, wait for a funny cut-scene and then move on, suffering the aural pain of repeated catch-phrases (though that does occur). It's a roleplaying game with an overworld and quests. There is a turn-based...

News
13 Comments

Ubisoft Q3 earnings down 35 percent

Ubisoft reported a year-over-year decline in earnings for the third quarter of its 2013-14 fiscal year today, and blamed the "console transition" for the drop. The French publisher recorded sales of €520 million ($709.34 million) for the quarter ending Dec. 31, 2013, a decrease of 35.2 percent from the same period one year prior. Sales for the first nine months of the 2013-14 fiscal year were also down significantly, by 24.8 percent from revenue of €1.08 billion (April-December 2012) to €813 million (April-December 2013). The third-quarter sales came in right in the middle of Ubisoft's guidance for the quarter of between €500 million and €540 million. "Over the short term, the high quality of our titles — which is unanimously recognized by gamers — has enabled us to...

South Park: The Stick of Truth Releases
North America
  • Windows
    • Released 2014-03-04
    • Publisher Ubisoft
    • Developer Obsidian Entertainment
    • Score 8.5
  • Xbox 360
    • Released 2014-03-04
    • Publisher Ubisoft
    • Developer Obsidian Entertainment
    • Score 8.5
  • PlayStation 3
    • Released 2014-03-04
    • Publisher Ubisoft
    • Developer Obsidian Entertainment
    • Score 8.5
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