South Park: The Stick of Truth Review Roundup

The developers of Fallout: New Vegas made a licensed game; here's how it fared.

South Park: The Stick of Truth is out today for consoles and PC, but should you buy the new role-playing game from Fallout: New Vegas developer Obsidian Entertainment? To help you with your decision, we've rounded up what the critics are saying. The game is available today for Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, and PC and is published by Ubisoft, which acquired the game from THQ for $3.26 million during the company's bankruptcy auction in January 2013.

Right now on GameSpot sister site Metacritic, the PC and PlayStation 3 versions of South Park: The Stick of Truth have a metascore of 84, while the Xbox 360 version yields an 82.

IGN -- 9/10

"The Stick of Truth makes one thing abundantly clear: I never want to play another South Park video game made without Trey Parker and Matt Stone's direct, intimate involvement. With a controller in your hand, you are almost literally--gloriously--playing a 14-hour episode of South Park. There’s much, much more here for series fans than the uninitiated, but it’s a light but good quality role-playing game in its own right. It is, in a way, Season 18 all by itself. It is funny, shocking, self-effacing, and pretty much everything I could ask for from a South Park game -- even if it’s mostly a one-and-done experience." [Full review]

Game Informer -- 8.5/10

"In the 17 years that South Park has been on the air, it’s never received a video game treatment that felt like more than a quick cash-in on the name. With The Stick of Truth, the residents of the sleepy mountain town have finally arrived on the gaming scene with the franchise’s humor intact. This is made possible thanks to the heavy involvement of creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone, and the result is a highly enjoyable and unique RPG." [Full review]

Official Xbox Magazine -- 9/10

"In Stick of Truth, Obsidian has created what’s essentially an incredibly well-paced, extended playable episode of the TV show, cramming in a tightly constructed “greatest hits”–style, kitchen-sink gag reel of everything that can make the show such a riot. For fans, it’s hard to imagine a better way to wind down the Xbox 360 console generation than with this gloriously gassy, burrito-fueled send-off." [Full review]

Destructoid -- 8/10

"If you don't watch South Park that often, you most likely won't enjoy The Stick of Truth as much as someone who does. The RPG elements are very serviceable but they're not going to satiate most of the hardcore genre fans out there. It's a good thing then that the rest of the package is filled with so much care from the show's creators, that it makes it something truly special." [Full review]

GameSpot -- 7/10

"Let's get super cereal, shall we? South Park: The Stick of Truth is the closest there is to an interactive South Park film. It nails the animated television show's look, its humor, and its obsession with the human anus. If you come to The Stick of Truth for the South Park-ness of it all--for Cartman's aggressive profanity, for Butters' good intentions, for Randy Marsh's masturbation addiction--then you'll enjoy 10 or so hours of hysterical, offensive, gross buffoonery. Does the phrase "anal beads" make you giggle? Have you daydreamed of tossing poop at the people you hate? Then you know where you can shove The Stick of Truth: right into your console's disc drive." [Full review]

Joystiq -- 3.5/5

"How you'll feel about South Park: The Stick of Truth comes down to how you prefer the peanut butter to chocolate ratio in this weird little flavor mash-up. To get the most out of it, you have to buy into its world; you have to play pretend. More than that, you're going to want to know the kids you're playing with. If you're well-versed in South Park history and can imagine cookies as a "health potion," you're off to a good start. If you can also forgive the repetitive nature of combat and some uninspired quests, it's worth taking up arms--or dildos--for The Stick of Truth's hilarious, disgusting adventure." [Full review]

Polygon -- 8.5/10

"It's a testament to The Stick of Truth that my enthusiasm for the game didn't dim in the face of those hiccups. Despite them--and the jokes that occasionally run out of steam--this is an experience that even the most casual fan of South Park is going to get something out of, and one of the truest translations from screen to game I can recall. At the risk of belaboring the metaphor I started with, other developers have painted Cartman's face on a stock car. Obsidian has ripped out the pistons and swapped in the still-beating heart of South Park. Other games treated the world Matt Stone and Trey Parker have crystallized over the past two decades as a prison they have to escape from. The Stick of Truth happily confines itself to that world, and manages to build a comfortable, hilarious home of its own." [Full review]

For more on the critical reception for South Park: The Stick of Truth, be sure to read Metacritic's full coverage of the game.

Eddie Makuch is a news editor at GameSpot, and you can follow him on Twitter @EddieMakuch
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Eddie Makuch

Eddie Makuch is a news editor at GameSpot, and would like to see the Whalers return to Hartford.
South Park: The Stick of Truth

South Park: The Stick of Truth

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186 comments
tightwad34
tightwad34

Can't help but notice how off this score is from most others. Not like it's a bad thing, but I can't help but think Gamespot is becoming sort of a hipster site. Seems like a lot of the review scores are a lot lower than the median. Plus the influx of completely pointless articles. No wonder so many people jumped ship or just left because they saw the BS coming with the overhaul of the site.

psuedospike
psuedospike

Bottom line, this game is hilarious and very well made.  The score being on the low side is just a product of Kevin's love of nit-picking things he doesn't like to death.  Tom does the same thing, As a general rule it's best to just ignore their attention whoring reviews.

oflow
oflow

The more I play this game the more I realize how brilliant it is.

Kevin's review kind of bashed the game for not really being that great of an MMO but I dunno know about that.  The quest system in the game is ingenious, and its much more engrossing than say the quest system in most MMOs.

The best part about it is you can tell the actual creators put in a lot of work to actually make the game really represent their show.

The only thing that I can think that would really make it better is if it had a co-op mode.

majere613
majere613

It looks to me like the developers of SoT stuck pretty closely to the trail blazed by the first two Penny Arcade RPGs- get the original writers and artists involved and bolt it onto a solid RPG core. A wise strategy!

I can only handle South Park in small doses, so the trailers and gameplay footage are enough for me, but this deserves to do well. I enjoy most of it, but Mr Hanky just pushes my buttons in the wrong way.

balto70
balto70

Personally, I don't read reviews until after I finish the game.  A review should only be a paragraph or two, certainly not three pages, or whatever.  Any more than that, and you're essentially just ruining the surprises in the game for me.  The reviewer had the chance to play it and be surprised, and I want that, too.  I like seeing what a collection of a game's scores are, but I really don't care what particular reviewers think about a game.

skipper847
skipper847

Prefer a proper Simpsons Game. I don't like SouthPark

BradBurns
BradBurns

I love what this game represents, honestly.

It's a well crafted game that blurs the line between the two mediums. 

I'm surprised no one has been able to achieve this before. Not of this quality, anyway. 

Who knew it would fall on Matt and Trey of all people. They really raised the bar. I'm not even a die hard South Park fan (I might be after this game, though). One thing's for sure, the standards for writing in games (especially Western ones) has been raised astronomically.

thegroveman
thegroveman

I'm glad this game has been received well, and hope it is successful.  I'm not the biggest South Park fan, but I'm a fan of Obsidian's work, and will support this game.

PosiTVEMinD355
PosiTVEMinD355

Imo this game deserved at least an 8.  Yea it may have it's flaws but this is the first truly unique South Park game that felt like watching a brand new South Park movie...only you get to play and control it.  


Overall, I like the game a lot and it definitely keeps me glued to the screen with laughter.  I don't think  there is any game based off a TV series that has accomplished what this game has done for its show.

No_SuRReNDeR
No_SuRReNDeR

Gamespot reviewed it as an RPG and not as a SouthPark game. I think depending on this its either a 7 or  9 - As a "South Park Game" Its the best one ever...unquestionably...but as an RPG its still kinda Meh... funny as heck meh... but still meh.

placksheep
placksheep

Looks like Kevin VanOrd's review score ties for the lowest! I just finished the game ~1 hour ago, and I'd give it an 8. I'm a huge fan of the show though. It's essentially a 10-15 hour episode of the show with RPG elements. That was enough for me to pre-order and take a day off work to properly enjoy it, and I wasn't disappointed :-)

meatz666
meatz666

AWESOME initiative, Gamespot, to put a "metacritic" analysis when a game get mixed scores around the internet.

Great, great idea!

Chaloner11
Chaloner11

(((SPOILER))) Go to house #1018 it's so funny!

djames12345
djames12345

"How come when i watch game of thrones all i see is floppy weiners" -Butters

Chefjase
Chefjase

I'm about an hour in, so far so good. I turned it up to hardcore, so it's a little more challenging but still fun. I've got two summons so far, looking forward to trying them out and playing the rest of the game. Crisp, vibrant animation with lots of lovely vulgarity....goes down smooth.

ocdgame
ocdgame

I don't buy games but thought what the heck and bought this. I am a pretty casual gamer and only about 3 hours into the game my thoughts are...the menu is pretty in depth to me. Lots of stuff to upgrade, weapons, bonuses, special abilities, party members(although so far I only take one with me, not sure if that expands), etc. Just what you would expect from an RPG. On normal difficulty it is easy. Super easy as a matter of fact, I have almost every consumable maxed out(because I really haven't had to use many) and plenty of cash. It is funny as hell. I have read reviews and some posts talk about all fart joke or same South Park jokes redone and I find it hard to believe they played the game at all, at least through the part I have played through. There is subtlety to a lot of the humor and some funny stuff in there. I have chuckled pretty hard several times already.--------SMALL SPOILER------------ Like failing at the beginning learning to fight and Cartmen in the background saying "Oh god, not another Butters"------end of spoiler------ That is pretty funny to me and subtle. Lastly, unfortunately because I bought the game I have found it so far, beside the funny parts, to be a grind to play without a ton of fun factor in the game although I have read it gets better later on. That is an opinion and possibly because I am not a huge fan of turned based RPGs but wanted to play South Park. It seems like the game play is pretty kiddie to me. 


Overall I would say I should have rented it. And you probably should too. Only buy it if you love simple turn based RPGs or possibly South Park or if you have money to just buy most games that come out. 

ajac09
ajac09

Its an amazing game! 9/10 only give it a 9 and not a 10 because of the lack of replability. But DLC aka more money will fix that. Still its a great game and love to see another "episode" of this south park!

drwhoiscool
drwhoiscool

I haven't completed it yet, but I'm pretty close to the end.  I have to say 7 is a fair mark.  I'm a HUGE South Park fan & turn-based RPG Fan, 7 fits this game.  There are to many bugs that stop for giving it a higher mark.  Having the Save feature disable in the middle of the game, things not activating when you click on them (farting @ the school doors to open them for your friends)  the game locking up.  Its not as bad as other obsidian games (bug wise) but come on..  these sorts of things should have been ironed out.  Its not funny, its South Park Nestalga  (cool, I remember that episode )  . I laughed less then 10 times.  The Grand Wizard Edition Is NOT worth the $ unless you want a cartman Do-Da.  I bought it for the Ultimate Fellowship Pack.  everything they give you is UTTERLY Useless after 25 minutes of game play.  I feel ripped off for $85.00 .  The regular edition is fine & the game is worth playing.  in a few weeks when the bugs get worked out properly, it should get a 7.5

Immolation01
Immolation01

Sorry I forgot to say, have some time to explore. There are many things to unlock. If you rush it and don't die a lot, it might take you around 15 hours, if you explore and take it easy it might take you 20+ hours. I liked to go around exploring everything... Ok, ave fun with the game

Immolation01
Immolation01

Ok.... well I have enjoyed the game. I would give it an 8 for the people who follows the series. There are many things to do, side quest, getting the summons, etc... I have played for around 10 hours and I am not dissapointed. I haven't seen a single glitch, sometimes I lag a little bit but that's it. Cartman is always making funny jokes and you can customize your character with many perks, abilities and items. If you like the series, get the game, if you don't, wait until the game has a lower price. It takes time to level, just do side quest if you find fights difficult (Jesus might help you... literally). I just got a new summon :D The game is good, just take time to learn how to fight and you will enjoy it. Well, Im going to play some more. have fun.

Xenro4
Xenro4

I want to know how long the game is including all of the side quests and if there is any challenge present at all.

Avalanched
Avalanched

@tightwad34 You really are a tightwad. Make your own review site give everything 10/10 and see how many people visit it. Gamespot gives a lower than 8 score people think they are hipsters. Gamespot gives a game higher than 8 and they are Game$pot and have been paid off. I am so sick of people who whine about something that does not affect them in anyway. Reviews are just informative tools to help you wisely spend money. 

Name one point in Kevin's review that wasn't valid.

Avalanched
Avalanched

@psuedospike If you actually read the review,  Kevin LIKES the game. He was just objectively reviewing it. The actual mechanics of the game are not very deep and the game itself is pretty easy. He was just pointing out the facts that some gamers might have issue with and may want to wait to buy the game. I have enjoyed this game quite a bit but it doesn't mean I'm going to be a little b**** about someone giving this a 7/10. You should be thankful that gamespot reviewers actually criticize games instead of just throwing 9/10 and 10/10 scores around.

oflow
oflow

oops meant RPG not mmo

Igal-Ze
Igal-Ze

@BradBurns   Absolutely agree.

Gamespot missed the point with this one. What they saw as a funny but an underdeveloped RPG is in fact the first incarnation of an interactive movie/tv experience. 

This games makes you forget that you are playing a game. This is, in many ways, SouthPark season 18 - done in a very unique manner.

And it's great.

Avalanched
Avalanched

@PosiTVEMinD355 @BradBurnsWhat you have to realize is re-playability and depth are valid criteria for games. This isn't a $19.95 Xbox Live Arcade Game. This is a full release $59.99 game. I am a huge south park fan and have had nothing but fun with this game. I laugh almost every 2 minutes and it's been a blast for me. But not all gamers looking at this game are going to be huge South Park fans like me. They still deserve an objective review that tells them the facts: This game is only 10 hours long and does NOT have a large replay value. The mechanics of the game are shallow at best, even if they work well. For someone who is looking at this like an RPG and is being thrown in the ring with other full price RPG experiences it's gotta be criticized for what it is.


BradBurns
BradBurns

@PosiTVEMinD355  Yes, I agree with you. I believe there's a place for these sorts of "playing once is enough" type games. The question is: Is the game well made and entertaining? If so, it has earned a favorable review, in my opinion.

teknic1200
teknic1200

@No_SuRReNDeR  I think the thing is that this game will only be good for actual south park fans, if you are not a fan you won't like it.


personally, I'm a fan.

QingJao86
QingJao86

@No_SuRReNDeR I agree with that totally.  I played it a bit at my clients house, way too short and way too easy (I didn't beat it but my client has, in a day), which is exactly why Kevin scored it pretty low.  When you create an RPG you are going to be compared to the likes of Skyrim, New Vegas, Mass Effect, Ni No Kuni, FF XIII, and the like.  Try to beat everything in one of those in 11 hours.  I think it was a 5 as an RPG, and a 9 as a South Park game... average the two... and I sorta agree with Kevin.  Would have been a great budget game but not a great $60 game.

BradBurns
BradBurns

@placksheep  And that fact alone makes it one of the best written games in the medium. It's just funny.

BradBurns
BradBurns

@djames12345  "Horses are the best form of transportation. They have something all the other don't." - George R. R. Martin

placksheep
placksheep

@drwhoiscool  
I could have told you $85 was a rip off, but if you couldn't tell that yourself, well... then there is no hope for you.

Psycold
Psycold

@drwhoiscool  The game itself is fine, I would say around 8/10 but you have nobody to blame except yourself for preordering some ridiculously overpriced special edition. Learn to have some patience, wait for reviews and always remember  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wp98SH3vW2Y

Tobajas
Tobajas

@Immolation01  Actually I just finished the game, I got every friend, every collectable, almost every item, max lvl, all side quests. I almost did a 100% complete run. I even spent an hour at the start trying to lvl up because the hobos beat me up so bad and I did like 1 dmg to them so I though lvling up would make it easier then I noticed that when I lvl up everything else lvls up so it did'nt matter. My save say's my game time was 10 hours 00 mins and 03 seconds. Also I checked all the places for new side quests everytime I finished a main quest part. And yes I did'nt skip anything I even listened to Jimmy's stammering all the way to the end.

Tobajas
Tobajas

@Xenro4  An almost complete 100% run with no skipping took me 10 hours.

Sumpskildpadde
Sumpskildpadde

@Xenro4  All reviews says that it's not challenging at all, though it succeeds in being a fun experience despite this. And I think it's 15 hours max if you really take your time and experience everything.

Darkhol0w
Darkhol0w

@Xenro4 Around 13-15 hours. If you really take your time you can maybe get around 20hours.

psuedospike
psuedospike

@Avalanched @psuedospike  You're not going to be a little bitch about it...but you will be a little bitch about others being a little bitch about it.  lol


Some ppl don't like critics being overly critical just for the hell of it.  Good for you if you do.

mirage_so3
mirage_so3

@Igal-Ze Wouldn't call it a season. It pretty well fit the plot of something like a three part episode.

oflow
oflow

I think the rpg portion of the game is actually better and more interesting than most of the games you just named except Ni No Kuni.

The way they did the quest system actually draws you into the story without making you want to fast forward thru the quest dialogue like most  RPGs including the ones you named.

For example, how when you are walking down the street and Al Gore is going 'pssst' from the bushes to get your attention for a quest.

peddes
peddes

@QingJao86 @No_SuRReNDeR  I actually think you can complete the main story of Skyrim faster than the main story of South Park ^^


Just saying....

Avalanched
Avalanched

@psuedospike @AvalanchedHe wasn't being overly critical. He is a GAME CRITIC. He offers a CRITIQUE on the game. All his points were valid. The score isn't that important.