South Park: The Stick of Truth is a 2014 role-playing video game developed by Obsidian Entertainment in collaboration with South Park Digital Studios and released by Ubisoft for the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 video game consoles, and Microsoft Windows. Based on the American adult animated television series South Park, The Stick of Truth follows The New Kid, who has moved to the eponymous town and becomes involved in an epic role-play fantasy war involving humans, wizards, and elves, who are fighting for control of the all-powerful Stick of Truth. Their game quickly escalates out of control, bringing them into conflict with aliens, Nazi zombies, and gnomes, threatening the entire town with destruction. Development began in 2009 after South Park creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone approached Obsidian about making a role-playing game designed to look exactly like the television series. Parker and Stone were involved throughout the game's production: they wrote its script, consulted on the design, and as in the television program they voiced many of the characters. The Stick of Truth's production was turbulent, its release date was postponed several times from its initial date in March 2013 to its eventual release in March 2014. There was also a change of publisher, following the bankruptcy of THQ, the original publisher. The game's rights were purchased by Ubisoft in early 2013. The game was subject to censorship in some regions because of its content, which includes abortions and Nazi imagery; Parker and Stone replaced the scenes with detailed explanations of what occurs in each scene. The Stick of Truth was released to positive reviews, which praised the comedic script, visual style, and faithfulness to the source material. It received criticism for a lack of challenging combat and technical issues that slowed or impeded progress.
South Park: The Stick of Truth is a role-playing video game that is viewed from a 2.5D, third-person perspective.The player controls the New Kid as he explores the fictional Colorado town of South Park. The player can freely move around the town although some areas remain inaccessible until specific points in the story are reached. Notable characters from the series—including Cartman, Butters, Stan, and Kyle—join the New Kid's party and accompany him on his quests; only one character can be active at any time. The game features a fast travel system, allowing the player to call on the character Timmy to quickly transport them to any other visited fast travel station. At the beginning of the game, the player selects one of four character archetypes; the Fighter, Thief and Mage (which represent standard fantasy types), and the Jew. The Jew class specializes in "Jew-jitsu" and long-range attacks. Each class has specific abilities; armor and weapons are not limited by class, allowing a Mage to focus on melee attacks like a Fighter.
The New Kid and his allies possess a variety of melee, ranged, and magic attacks. Experience points rewarded for completing tasks and winning battles allow the New Kid to level up, unlocking new abilities and upgrades such as increasing the number of enemies an attack hits or the amount of damage inflicted. Magic is represented by the characters' ability to fart; different farts are used to accomplish specific tasks. For example, the "Cup-A-Spell" allows the player to throw a fart to interact with a distant object, the "Nagasaki" destroys blockades, and the "Sneaky Squeaker" can be thrown to create a sound that distracts enemies. Attacks can be augmented with farts if the player has enough magical energy.
The player has access to unlockable abilities that can open new paths of exploration, such as teleportation which allows the player to reach otherwise unreachable platforms, and farts which trigger an explosion that defeats nearby enemies when combined with a naked flame. Actions committed against enemies outside of battle affects them in combat; the player and opponent who strikes first to trigger a fight will have the first turn in battle. Combat takes place in a battle area separate from the open game world. Battles use turn-based gameplay and each character takes a turn to attack or defend before yielding to the next character.
During the player's turn, a radial wheel listing the available options—class-based basic melee attacks, special attacks, long-ranged attacks, and support items—appears. Basic attacks are used to hit unarmored enemies and wear down shields; heavy attacks weaken armored enemies. A flashing icon indicates that attacks or blocks can be enhanced to inflict more damage,or mitigate incoming attacks more effectively. Each special attack costs a set amount of "Power Points" to activate. Only one party member can join the player in battle. Certain characters, such as Jesus, Mr. Slave, and Tuong Lu Kim, can be summoned during battle to deliver a powerful attack capable of defeating several enemies simultaneously; Jesus sprays gunfire, causing significant damage while Mr. Slave squeezes an enemy into his rectum, scaring his allies away.
One support item, including items that restore health or provide beneficial status effects that improve the character's abilities or remove negative effects, can be used each turn. Weapons and armor can be enhanced using optional "strap-ons", such as fake vampire teeth, bubble gum, or a Jewpacabra claw. These items can cause enemies to bleed and lose health, weakening enemy armor, boosting player health or stealing health from opponents and disgusting foes to make them "grossed out" and causing them to vomit. Additionally, the "strap-ons" can set opponents on fire, electrocute them or freeze them. Some enemies are immune to one or more of these effects. Enemies can deflect certain attacks entirely; those in a riposte stance will deflect any melee attack, requiring the use of ranged weapons, while those in reflect stance will deflect ranged weapons.
The player is encouraged to explore the wider game world to find Chinpokomon toys or new friends who are added to the character's Facebook page. Collecting friends allows the player to unlock perks that permanently improve the New Kid's statistics, providing extra damage or resistance to negative effects. The character's Facebook page also serves as the game's main menu, containing the inventory and a quest journal. The Stick of Truth features several mini-games, including defecating by repeatedly tapping a button that rewards the player with feces that can be thrown at enemies to trigger the "grossed out" effect, performing an abortion, a make-over game to disguise the player as a girl, and using an anal probe. Some of these scenes are absent from some versions of the game because of censorship.