Despite an ugly track record of franchise releases, the next video game to bear the South Park name had the Game Rant staff so excited that it easily made our list of most anticipated games of 2012. Like several other titles on that list however, South Park: The Stick of Truth was delayed by THQ and Obsidian to next spring.

We still don’t know if the delay was due to THQ’s financial woes and layoffs at Obsidian Entertainment, or if it was to avoid a busy fall release season and allocate more time to polishing the game and it’s 2D art style which perfectly replicates the South Park television series. If the latest screenshots are of any indication, the game looks in good shape.

When South Park masterminds Trey Parker and Matt Stone met with Obsidian, one of the requirements of them developing an RPG based on the series was that it would have to offer a proper adaptation of the 2D cutout art and animation style from the TV show. Combine that with Parker and Stone offering the story and character voices, with the RPG history of Obsidian, and The Stick of Truth – at least as an idea – was a formula for success.

Earlier South Park: The Stick of Truth screenshots showcased a variety of different environments and enemy types, all faithfully taken from the series. The latest set of four in-game images bring fans into the South Park cemetery (home of the Goths), the schoolyard, Mr. Kim’s City Wok and last but not least, The Kingdom – the hub area/home base where players can access their armory, stables and other funny adaptations of RPG tropes.

We had the chance to preview the game at Comic-Con where we experienced what it was like to be the new kid in town on an adventure with the stars of the TV series, and we can safely say that The Stick of Truth is the game South Park fans have been waiting for.

Follow Rob on Twitter @rob_keyes.

South Park: The Stick of Truth releases March 5, 2013.