South Park The Fractured But Whole Review
South Park The Fractured But Whole is Ubisoft’s second game set in the quiet mountain town and the result is possibly one of the funniest RPGs ever. This time we are swapping the fantasy Lord of the Rings style setting in favor of a Superhero one.
What’s presented is a parody-filled adventure; with plenty of gags taking obvious swings at the Hollywood’s oversaturation of the Superhero movie market. Like The Stick of Truth before it, South Park The Fractured But Whole looks a feels exactly like the South Park show we see on TV. This could easily be mistaken for a 20-hour long episode.
Exploring the town of South Park is just as good as it was the last time around, but this time it seems to reward you with much more meaningful items and better tactical combat. Sometimes it can be hard to tell what’s supposed to be real and what’s all in the kid’s heads, but that’s part of the obscure charm this game offers.
The story starts off slowly with the search for a missing cat. Cartman finds a poster offering a $100 reward for the retrieval of the cat. Cartman’s plan is to use the money to launch his own superhero franchise and this is where the civil war between Cartman’s gang called Coon and Friends, and the opposing team Freedom Pals.
Playing as the new kid once again, you join Cartman’s team of would-be superheroes as the story unravels in paralleled craziness, as you’d expect from anyone set in this world, fighting everything from hookers to crab-like people.
There are some genuinely really funny moments in South Park The Fractured But Whole. Parodies are everywhere and Timmy’s Professor X’s is one that stands out to me. It’s a crude adventure, not afraid to tackle sensitive subject matter or political correctness. The comedic pace can slow down when you’re wandering around the town in search of quests, but you cant expect the game to be funny all the time.
The lack of objection indication was a bit annoying for me personally and not as clear as id like. You are bringing up the pop-up map often in search of where you are meant to be going and some of the text displayed is too small to read.
Character creation has seen quite a big change from the previous game and the development and design of your character has a unique and interesting take. The difficulty for example is tied to your ethnicity, with fair skin being the easiest difficulty and dark skin being the hardest. Yes, it’s a game for the not so easily offended people.
You start by selecting one of three classes, but later in the game more will unlock, allowing you to essentially mix and match between classes. I was surprised at the lack of options initially, but it’s not long before you can start to really create the character you’d like. There are also artifact items, which attach to different parts of characters, providing unique buffs and abilities.
A great feature is that you are able to freely customise your character at any time with the costume part collected in your playthrough. This goes so deep you can even change your gender if you wish, although references are made to this in the game.
By far the biggest change from The Stick of Truth goes in the way of combat. This is a great improvement in the series and it’s surprisingly really deep. Positioning matters so much as all characters attacks are different, meaning you have to really think about your next move.
Combat is superbly balances and includes some hilarious but challenging boss fights throughout. The turn-based battle spaces can become cramped affairs, forcing you to really plan and think tactfully.
At times, combat can feel slightly repetitive, with only three types of attacks in the game. These require players to press a button or a series of buttons in a sequence. I understand why this design choice was made, but sometimes it would have been nice to just sit back, select attacks and watch the animations.
Characters also have ultimate abilities, which at first are great to watch and hilarious. After a while, the long animation sequences get a tad annoying and the fact they’re un-skippable is also an issue.
South Park The Fractured But Whole has the returning puzzle-like sections from the previous game. These are interesting, but simple environmental puzzles that can be aided by various teammates and of course, your farting powers.
Ubisoft has created another epic game, which has improved much from the first game. This feels like a great step forward in the franchise, constantly amusing you and challenging the political correctness stigma.
South Park The Fractured But Whole is filled with more than enough laugh out loud moments and the much deeper combat adds to this experience greatly. This isn’t just another great South Park game; it’s a great Role Playing Game in its own right.
The story on offer is the only real weak link in this latest installment, but you’re not here for an award-winning story, you’re here for the comedy and for the many laughs, and that’s certainly what you get.
Full of all the fart jokes, surprising moments and crude moments you’d expect from the series, this is a must for any long-term fans of the series, but it’s also a must for any gamer.