Immediately upon entering New York Comic Con's main exhibition floor, you can see a partial recreation of the town of South Park. Ubisoft was on hand at the event to show off some of its upcoming titles, and now that South Park: The Stick of Truth has an official release date, we were excited at the chance to possibly get our hands on the RPG. Unfortunately, this demo was strictly hands-off, but we still got to see the game in motion for the first time.
The 10-minute gameplay video shown off at NYCC centered around a quest inside the Golden Donkey, a makeshift tavern built inside the living room of one of South Park's denizens. Here, Cartman, Kenny, Craig, Token and Sir Douchebag (the player character) were investigating the whereabouts of the mysterious Bard. Things kick off with some great cutscenes, seemingly cut straight out of an episode of the popular show, and it isn't long before the tavern's patrons grow tired of Cartman's prattling.
The player split off with Butters to search for the Bard in the basement, where we discovered Jimmy is the man we're looking for, and he's none to keen to give up the secrets of the Stick of Truth. A few elven soldiers were summoned to Jimmy's aid, and the first real battle began. Combat flows from the traditional turn-based style, and both Butters and Sir Douchebag have a few different moves at their disposal including Butters' Hammer of Storms and Douchebag's Bull Rush. With Jimmy in the background enchanting the enemies through song, the battle started off in the favor of the elves. They launched barbed arrows, which inflicted damage and bleeding effects, though after a few turns, our heroes would emerge the victors.
Jimmy then fled upstairs, and Butters and Douchebag gave chase. As the duo navigated the basement, now with more traps and soldiers on guard, we got a look at the way you'll be able to fight foes out of battle. Players could fart on enemies to stun them, or if there was a kerosene lamp nearby, take them out entirely with some flaming flatulence. Whatever status effects were inflicted showed through on the next battle screen, with a few elven troops already damaged or down for the count. Once back upstairs, we found Cartman being roughed up by more of Jimmy's lackeys. Another quick throwdown later, and the demo was over.
The humor of the show is there in spades, but without actually getting to experience the combat for ourselves, it's tough to say just how well South Park: The Stick of Truth plays. There's more than a little nuance to the combat, but the demo moved so quickly it was almost impossible to see the depth of the battle system. If the game's release wasn't a mere two months away we wouldn't be so worried, but it's getting a bit too close to launch for us to remain optimistic about an RPG we've never been able to play. That said, the elements for success are there. We just need to see more of Obsidian's effort before we get too excited.
South Park: The Stick of Truth will be out for PC, Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 on Dec. 10.