REVIEW: South Park: The Fractured But Whole
We’ve been waiting quite a while now to get our hands on the highly anticipated second instalment of the re-imagined South Park gaming franchise but the question is, was the wait worth it in the end? Read on to find out what we thought of South Park: The Fractured But Whole.
The Fractured But Whole picks up where The Stick of Truth left off. The main characters have just finished a Lord of the Rings style battle. Now, a series of cats have been stolen from their owners throughout the neighbourhood, with one owner offering a $100 reward. The gang have ditched their “nerdy” Lord of The Rings get up for a crime fighting outfit in the shape of Coon and Friends.
This rag tag team of characters such as Human Kite, Captain Diabetes and Super Craig are joined by their newest member, a non-speaking new kid from out of town who harnesses the ‘unique’ power of super-human flatulence. Throughout the town of South Park, you and your new friends encounter many different characters to try get more information regarding the missing cats’ whereabouts. This inevitably leads you into a number of classic South Park encounters such as fighting off priests who are trying to be your “friend” or having to give some businessmen a lap dance in a strip club.
Some of these interactions will definitely cause offence to people of different faiths or beliefs but that’s exactly what got South Park the worldwide recognition it’s become famous for. The Fractured But Whole has some very well thought out jokes along with witty remarks that keep you entertained from start to finish.
Many fans don’t mind a game being delayed by a few weeks are a month, however when almost a year passes by from the original release date, gamers can get frustrated. From my point of view, I would rather wait that bit longer to get a higher quality product than get a game a year ago that might have felt half finished.
The extra time taken is believed to have been used to iron out issues revolving around the combat and exploration aspects of the game. This is clearly evident in the Combat system, a change up on the original style but for the better. The new combat system uses turn based attacks again, however, this time the attacks are based on a grid pattern meaning some attacks will deal damage to all nearby enemies while others will take an extra turn to build up damage to deal damage to a greater area.
There is also a new “Might Level” aspect to the game which is a way of measuring your progress. Artifacts and similar findings can be used to power up your team and character along with giving a recommendation level for missions. For example, when the Might level for a mission is 400 and my character’s Might is 200, it’s probably not a great idea to undertake that mission, you still can but you will probably end up loosing the battle.
Having the ability to Craft items and costumes to help customize and develop your character only adds to the enjoyment factor of this game. The newly added incentive of having an in-game “Coontagram App” encourages you try to get as many followers as possible to gain a reputation amongst your friends as the most popular kid in town.
One of the stand-out features of the South Park cartoons when they first aired on our TV screens were their unique visual style but many times as a younger gamer, I played South Park games that were set in a 3D world where it just never seemed right.
It never really made any sense to me to make games that were such a sidestep from what had worked on TV. That’s not to say I didn’t enjoy these games but when Ubisoft released The Stick Of Truth back in 2014, fans of the series finally got what they had wanted, a game where it is hard to tell if it was an actual episode of the show or the game being played.
The creators of South Park, Trey Parker and Matt Stone were both heavily involved in the development of this game but it’s their signature comedic visual style that’s hard to miss. Being a fan of the TV series and original game, I’m glad they haven’t tried to fix what wasn’t broken.
After putting nearly 20 hours into this game, The Fractured But Whole is a nice improvement over the already successful The Stick of Truth. The game has been given enough improvements and extras to make it exciting and fresh but not so much as to take away from what made the original such a success.