The sequel to the fun and successful South Park: The Stick of Truth delivers us more of the ass-kicking and butt hole farting RPG that makes the series more than just a TV show but also a game that can compete with any big title present today. The Stick of Truth was one of the funniest games ever made in this generation, and having a sequel for it is a must, as fans of the series wanted it more than ever. After several delays for its release, we all expect it to be better and bigger than the previous game. So is it worth the wait? Let’s dig deeper into the game.
Platform Reviewed: PS4, PC
Platforms Available: PS4, Xbox One, PC
Developer: Ubisoft San Francisco
Release Date: October 17, 2017
This review is based on a review copy provided by Ubisoft.
The story starts when Eric Cartman narrates about the lost cat and the happenings in the town. He travels back to the past in a typical South Park fashion to seek help from his friends, which means a scene to the old-fashioned medieval game that they were currently playing, loosely picking up on how the search for the Stick of Truth ended (in a pile of other useless sticks) and shifted to the modern superhero game that they are now playing. From the Lord of the Rings inspired game to the Marvel/DC Superhero theme, everything is still rooted from the imagination of the kids in South Park. Unfortunately for me, The Stick of Truth is much funnier than Fractured But Whole, the humor in this game is a little bit lacking compared to its predecessor. But don’t worry, Fractured But Whole still delivers an adventure filled with hilarious moments that will keep you laughing.
You will still be playing as the New Kid in town, you create your own character and customize your appearance like hair, clothes, and color. The choices for customization are limited at the beginning, but as you progress you will find a lot of loot to equip to your character. The game offers a lot of items to craft, buy, and discover, and this can be done by exploring different houses and places. Shops are great to find some items to craft with too. Cartman handles what superhero class you will be using. As you level up, different classes will be unlocked, from long range blaster class that shoots fire balls and fire farts (yes farting is a strong ability) to a close combat brutalist that knocks enemies back on the battle platforms. Your powers depend on what class you are using, each has four abilities that you can use, and also if you fill your Ultimate Power meter, you can unleash a devastating ultimate move against your enemies that deals heavy damage.
You are not alone, you will be with South Park’s beloved characters who will join you in your quest and battles. Your party includes Kyle Broflovski a.k.a. The Human Kite, Clyde as The Mosquito, Craig as Super Craig (lazy name) and of course Eric Cartman as The Coon who is the leader and founder of the group, also the one who started the imaginary game. These are your starting characters, but as the story progresses different characters will be unlocked. The story concerns two rival superhero franchises, The Coon and Friends and Freedom Pals, the rivalry of both may be the focus in the early hours of the game but as you continue, greater evil arrives that concern both the groups.
The Fractured but Whole (Butthole hmmm) will keep you busy, you will get different quests from the townspeople, and as you complete quests, experience points rise to help you level up. It may not be as open world as some of the current RPGs out there but the exploration is much deeper, you must be keen to every detail to each of the houses and stuffs, as the areas have hidden items and some can be unlocked if you have the skill to interact with it. Examples are cracks on the ceiling or vents that are unreachable so you need the firecracker ability to open it which you will acquire later in the game. Pressing the Detective Mode will also help you search for hidden items and areas in the game.
Also, to establish Coons and Friends as South Park’s superhero franchise, you will need to take selfies with townspeople so that they will follow you on Coonstagram, a spoof of the real-life Instagram. The more selfies you gather, the more followers you will have, and more quests will be unlocked because of this. Some townspeople will give you a quest before you can to take a selfie with them, this is a fun segue from the battles and an opportunity to meet some of South Park’s cast of characters including Morgan Freeman, PC Principal and many more.
Houses may look the same but if you are a big fan of South Park, you will notice familiar things and designs that are found in the show, there are lots of Easter eggs laying around the house especially in the closets of each character, this may not affect any progress in the game but it reminds us that Ubisoft is really devoted to giving us not only South Park as a game but also as a cartoon that the fans have always loved. The problem I had with exploring is that walking from one place to another is kind of slow, the map is a little bit too big to travel and you need to find fast travel signs so that you can easily transport yourself to another location, if only they have a sprint button for this one it would have been convenient.
The battle system is a big improvement. Compared to The Stick of Truth’s simple turned based combat, the Fractured but Whole is more strategic, deeper and has a complex battle system. Just like tactical games, you need to measure your movement, range and position your characters effectively. Strategic planning is needed for each battle, it may look easy, but one simple wrong move can cause a big difference. Positioning your characters in the right area can cause knockbacks and chain attacks that add additional damage to your foes. If you are a fan of tactical games you will not have a hard time understanding the battle system of the game.
Summons and ultimate attacks are perfectly animated as well, making the battle more fun and exciting. The only problem I had with the battle system is that I found it too easy, even in hard mode, I felt like an over-powered character. Even enemies that have a large amount of health, most of them still turn out to be predictable and easy to dodge. I just hope they can manage to patch this up because some players want a good amount of challenge even in a South Park game.
Visually it looks better than the TV show, the color and the lighting of the game is top notch, this may not be a game that will push video game graphics to its limits, but I can tell you that this game has amazing visuals. Sound is on point, it feels like you’re watching a full episode of South Park after a 1-hour playthrough, and lastly the voice acting is all there, same as what we see on TV.
Overall, the Fractured but Whole delivers what we want for a sequel for The Stick of Truth, better gameplay and a bigger world, customization is really polished and combat is fun as hell. This may not be as funny as The Stick of Truth but this game deserves a spot on the funniest games of this year. I never thought a South Park game would be so good at being RPG game, it came as a big surprise that probably blew everyone’s mind as well. As an RPG, this also is a contender for the best RPG of year, risky but a smart move by Ubisoft. South Park is a big success in the TV world, and I’m proud to say that it dominates the game world as well, I hope to see more of South Park soon.