Saturday, December 3, 2011
A Look Ahead - South Park: The Game
If you haven't seen it already, South Park: The Game exists, development-wise, and details about it have surfaced already. Details that are quite quite good, almost a little too good sounding to be true in all honesty. Now while your first instinct might be to ignore this news, whether it might be of your opinion on the show or your opinion of the South Park games, I would encourage you to not give it quite that passing glance unless your vitriol towards the subject matter is quite enough to paint anything about the game negatively. In that case, 'Nothing to see here, move along', but otherwise, pull up a chair for a moment while I share the details that we know so far.
Now, the first thing one should mention about the game is the fact that it is actually being handled, script and dialogue-wise by the creators of South Park themselves, Matt Stone and Trey Parker which is a first for any South Park-related game, surprisingly. This is important to mention because a little studio you might know named Obsidian is also working on the game as well. Obsidian, as you know, usually paints their strong point (or at least the fans paint it as such) in their writing, so to have them on a game and not handling the script might almost seem a little wasteful. Of course, as South Park: The Game is an RPG, they will likely be handed quests and such to write out themselves, so it's not like they'll only be working in everything non-writing. Mentioned, however, is that Stone and Parker have given Obsidian fifteen years worth of previously used South Park assets, designs, colors and textures so they can make sure the game looks like South Park does.
Secondly, even though I already let this one out of the bag, is that the game will be an RPG, possibly even in the classic style of them. Everything appears class-based as, when you start the game, you get to pick your class from a selection of five: Paladin, Wizard, Adventurer, Rogue, and one last class that likely won't be announced until the game comes out, as it's something made up by Cartman himself, apparently. The details that have surfaced have given me a sort of classic vibe, since they claim the combat is going to be like Paper Mario and the Mario & Luigi games (which are turn-based if I'm not mistaken), with encounters on-screen, so that if you initiate, you get to attack first and the other way around (I imagine in the Surprise Attack/Back Attack type.) As well as that, there will be a summoning system that hasn't been explained just yet, but most worth mentioning is that they've planned a "Final Fantasy-like Materia system to augment weapons with various abilities and elements" which is just goddamn amazing-sounding.
In the game you play as a new kid to South Park (who is going to be a Silent Protagonist, another nod to the 'classic' style) who happens upon the local kids in the midst of LARPing, and I imagine that's when you're approached by Cartman who asks you what you want to be. At least, that sounds like the most natural way to really start up the game. Your character is going to be completely customizable, they assure, and as mentioned, you'll be able to pick one of five classes on start-up. In the vein of the Lord of the Rings episode (at least, to me), the boys all have aspirations to go on real quests and will eventually do so, hence the game, which just sounds perfect. Really, I figure setting up some sort of fantasy setting like this is the best way to really get a game out of the show, and I'm excited of the possibilities because of it.
That's right, I said I'm excited by a South Park game. It feels like I'm in some sort of bizarro world or something, because while I enjoy South Park (not a super fan, but I don't dislike the show), the former games for it (from what I played which was not much) just weren't all that great and it's not so much of a surprise now that we know the creators had nothing to do with them. But they are with this one, they have Obsidian behind them as well, and all these details just make it sound like it's going to be something really really good. There's things I haven't even pointed out but are right here in a neoGAF post that was also linked in the Joystiq article linked above. It's a really interesting read if you're looking forward to the game at all. Which I am. Let's just see how it turns out.