First details on THQ and Obsidian’s recently revealed South Park RPG have come out of the January 2011 issue of Game Informer. South Park creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone are writing the script and dialogue, making the Obsidian title the first South Park game the comedy duo have ever directly been involved in.
South Park: The Game is an RPG running on the Dungeon Siege III engine. The editor of the article says the game looks like an episode of the Comedy Central show. As far as 2D and 3D go, he says, “exploration takes the characters from the left to the the right (and vice-versa), but branching paths occasionally take them in the background or foreground to prevent the game from becoming overly linear.” Parker and Stone have provided Obsidian with over 15 years’ worth of assets from the show to use in the game.
You’ll create and play as a fully customizable character. He/she will never talk, as Parker’s always preferred silent protagonists in RPGs. Your character will have a smart phone, which acts as the game menu and features a Facebook-like app that shows your number of friends and how you currently stand with the game’s other kid factions.
The player – or you, rather – are the new kid in town. The theme of the game is fitting in and being accepted. The story kicks off with your character participating in a live-action RPG the kids of South Park are setting up, which eventually turns into a real-life adventure. Eric Cartman will help you get setup with your class.
Considering it’s an RPG, there will be classes – five in total. You’ll have the option to play as a Wizard, Paladin, Adventurer, Rogue, or a fifth unannounced class (an ‘unconventional’ class proposed by Cartman). Other RPG elements include: visible enemies on the map, health and haste potions (soda and Tweak’s coffee), melee and ranged weapons, a Final Fantasy VII materia-esque system that augments weapons with abilities such as fire or electricity, and a summon system.
The game will use a Paper Mario/Mario & Luigi-esque combat system. Encounters are described by Game Informer as ‘classic Final Fantasy,’ as they’re presented from a side view. Each screenshot in the article shows the player and another party member fighting 2-5 other enemies. If the player initiates the battle, they’ll attack first. If not, the enemy will have the initial strike. The X button (we’re not sure if it’s the PS3 or Xbox 360 button) is used for melee attacks; time it well and you’ll score multiple hits. The game also uses timed button presses for defense. Obsidian doesn’t want to force the player to watch battle animations, so they’ll be incorporating dynamic camera angles at certain times.
The game will feature plenty of collectibles to find throughout its environments. Some will appear throughout the game, while others appear in specific areas. The magazine mentions a Chinpokomon doll and magazine (Chinpokomon is South Park‘s parody of Pokemon).
When Obsidian initially came up with the idea for a South Park role-playing game, they brought a quest idea to Parker and Stone where the player fights a giant bat boss, manned by Ike, in a cave. The comedy duo disliked the quest, and said it felt more ‘generic video game’ than it did South Park. The pair suggested a different quest to readjust the developer’s focus.
The game will not feature any platforming elements. They tried jumping early in development, but it didn’t fall through. At one point, they had to remove a level because the perspective was off, since everything is hand-illustrated and animated.
A few pieces of concept art in the game (don’t read this if you don’t want to know potential locations) show areas labeled “Gnome Mine,” “UFO Crash Site,” “Gnome/Crab People D.M.Z.,” and “Christmas Town.”
South Park: The Game is due for PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, and PC next year. For more information and screenshots, pick up the January 2011 issue of Game Informer.