(My Header image for this was lost during the October 2012 site update, blame Niero!)
When I was a kid, I had an older brother. I still do, but I used to, too. He was a teenager when South Park first became a thing, and having not-terrible tastes, he was a fan of it. He had the first season on VHS. Being like nine years old I was not allowed to watch it and, as you do when you're a kid, I wanted to watch it more because of that. One night back in the early noughties I was left alone in the house with the bad parent and managed to watch the South Park movie like three times in a row. The point is, South Park has been with me for quite a while.
South Park hasn't gone anywhere since then, and doesn't appear to be leaving any time soon either. The show has varied in quality and popularity and has (in my opinion anyway) settled into a formulaic yet watchable (if a bit preachy) show for now. After 15 seasons there is an immense wealth of characters and locations based in the fictional town of South Park yet there has never been a game that could take advantage of it, no games that have been the right genre. The early games didn't have much to go on, and were genre mismatches; the more recent release of South Park Let's Go Tower Defense Play! was a tower defense game and the upcoming South Park: Tenorman's Revenge is a platformer. And now set for release in 2012 is the inventively titled South Park: The Game, a fully sized RPG for Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and Microsoft Windows!
This game is promising to be everything a South Park game should be, and that's because it is a labor of love from Matt Stone and Trey Parker who have been writing it, voicing it and directing the game based on their personal gaming preferences. If I have learnt anything about these guys over the years it would be that the TV series is one of the least amusing things they have produced, and so I have high hopes for this game. The setting is, as you would expect, the small Colorado town of South Park. However, it appears to be based in the town as imagined by the characters during their fantasy role in the episode titled The Return of the Fellowship of the Ring to the Two Towers. The brilliance of this being that you'll be playing a character in a game who is playing a character in a game. Shit's meta. You'll also be playing as your very own silent protagonist which is unsurprising when character generators like this this (or this if you're a Limey) have been around for over a decade.
All the information that has been released since this was announced late last year points to it being the South Park game we deserve and it's exactly the sort of project that we ought to see more of, tie-ins that are made with as much love as the thing they're tying into. Hell, if the game should fail there is at least a place it can be sent to etch out its days free of reviewer mockery...
All images used were taken from the show and not from released game assets. Deal with it.