A month ago, a surprise announcement of new video game based on South Park caught our attention. Previous tie-in games of the show weren’t of the highest quality, but this particular project – titled South Park: The Game – from Obsidian and THQ sounded promising, especially since show creators/writers/voices Matt Stone and Trey Parker had hand-picked the developer and were going to be writing the game themselves.

The promise of the game only existing if it looked and played exactly like the show – controversial humor included – caught our attention and then the first South Park: The Game screenshots blew our mind. Today, we have official screenshots and art renderings of the main characters.

From what we know of the game, South Park is an RPG that draws from Paper Mario and Mario & Luigi for its turn-based combat and Final Fantasy VII for its crafting. It uses the game engine from  Dungeon Siege III but maintains the 2D, hand-drawn art style of the series. Players can choose from one of five classes, from the traditional Paladin, Wizard, Rogue, and Adventurer to the fifth, special class coined by Cartman in appropriate South Park fashion: The Jew.

Below are the four character renderings THQ released today:

And our first batch of official South Park: The Game screenshots (for more, check out the previous screenshots):

Developed in collaboration with South Park Digital Studios LLC, the joint venture between South Park creators Matt Stone and Trey Parker and Viacom Media Networks and Obsidian Entertainment, Inc., South Park: The Game is an epic role-playing adventure that will allow the user to befriend Stan, Kyle, Cartman and Kenny and explore the quiet little mountain town like never before.  South Park: The game is scheduled for release this year (2012).

With what Obsidian has done with the 2D art, the game is literally an interactive version of the TV series. Everything we’ve see so far from South Park: The Game points to the RPG being the ultimate fan service for viewers of the show and as fans of the series ourselves, we couldn’t be more ecstatic that Parker and Stone are continuing their devotion to the South Park in all its forms and doing their best to bring a game for players that will serve the show justice.

Follow me on Twitter @rob_keyes.

South Park: The Game should be available in 2012 for the Xbox 360, PS3, and PC.

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