The South Park sequel we’ve been waiting for
The South Park crew are back on home consoles with a game as funny and outlandish as the first game. Once again, the creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone hit a homerun with a game as irreverent as it is fun. How irreverent you ask? Well, with a title as silly as South Park: The Fractured But Whole you know it’s not taking things seriously. Let’s take a closer look at The Fractured But Whole!
Platform(s): PS4, Xbox One
Created for South Park fan
Let’s get straight to the point: if you don’t enjoy the South Park TV show, this game probably isn’t meant for you. The Fractured But Whole fits in rather nicely with its TV counterpart, being just as crude and silly all around. Don’t worry if you’re a lapsed fan of the show, even if you watched it years ago you’ll find plenty to like here. Stepping back into South Park’s crazy universe has never been so fun.
You could even say that it’s an incredible tribute to the series, complete with funny nods long-time fans are sure to pick up on. Keep in mind this is South Park though, so expect a lot (and I do mean a lot) of vulgar talk and situations. The script was written by the creators of the series and it’s pretty clear that they had little censorship.
The story continues
The game begins a few moments after the end of the previous game, South Park: The Stick of Truth. To put in context, the previous episode was a parody of the fantasy movies, particularly The Lord of the Rings. Cartman, being the perpetually disruptive guy he is, decides fantasy time is over and everyone should switch to being superheroes.
Cartman then starts to dream (like he always does), imagining shooting movies and playing the starring role of superhero. The only problem with all this is they need money in order to accomplish all these things. But of course, money isn’t an issue as Cartman naturally has a plan in mind. That is to find and rescue the neighbour’s cat to collect that sweet $100 reward. Apparently, Cartman believes that’s enough dough to shoot a superhero movie. Just wait until he finds out!
True to the series
If you played the first game, you’ll know what to expect when it comes to game mechanics. There’s nothing that new this time around, but that’s not really a bad thing. The original was super fun to play and that sentiment carries through to the sequel.
You begin by creating your own character, or superhero if you will, and already the game makes a huge statement. As you increase the difficulty of the game you’ll see their skin colour become darker. It’s a pretty bold statement, something South Park is widely known for. Interestingly, your visual appearance can be changed later.
Afterwards, you will have to choose the class of your character. Initially, you will have three choices: the Speedster (a very fast character), a Brutalist (a strong character) or the Blaster (a long-range attacker.) Later, you’ll have the option to pick new classes, but I’ll let you discover them on your own.
Finally, Cartman makes you install the application Coonstagram. This app awards you more followers and more experience points whenever you meet someone and take a selfie. The other way to earn experience points and use all the toilets you find along the way. Inside the washrooms there are little games to play, and they’re all quite funny.
Gotta find that cat
To succeed in your mission to find the neighbour’s cat, you’ll need to search the city of South Park. This includes visits to the houses of all your friends, as well as several other places from the show like the school. What’s amazing is the visuals are exactly the same as you’d see in an episode of the series. The more you play the more areas of South Park will open up, too.
When you encounter an opponent, the game switches to a turn-based combat screen reminiscent of old school Final Fantasy. Each turn, you’ll have the option to move your character and select what kind of attack to do. You’ll soon realize combat is the extremely solid and serious aspect of the game. At least from a technical point-of-view that is, as your actual attacks themselves are downright funny at time.
In order to succeed in combat you have to rely on characters’ strength and create a balanced team. This includes having heavy hitters, defensive characters, and healers. Over the roughly 15 hour campaign you’ll have lots of time to practice your battle strategies. Overall the strategic depth is quite good, about on par Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle or the Final Fantasy series.
As mentioned at the top South Park: The Fractured But Whole is meant for South Park fans. If you don’t enjoy the series’ signature crude humour, this game likely isn’t for you. Like the TV show, the game pushes the limits of acceptability to the extremes. Fans will know what to expect and by all means this game delivers.
+ A hilarious story written by the creators of South Park
+ Excellent battle mechanices
+ Graphics that look just like the TV show
+ Fun character creation system
+ Like of side quests and things to do
– Game is a tad too short
– For South Park fans only
Lasting Appeal/Replayability: 3.5/5