With my review for South Park: The Stick of Truth done and dusted I decided it’s time to turn my attention to its sequel the superhero epic we’ve all been craving for since the introduction of the Coon seasons ago, South Park: The Fractured But Whole.
The story of South Park: The Fractured But Whole follows on from The Stick of Truth, you play as the “New Kid” who has settled down in South Park and is still enjoying playing The Stick of Truth with his friends until the Coon shows up from the future explaining that something unthinkable has happened and he needs the help of his comrades to fix it. The “New Kid” feels left out so he joins Cartman and after some sad puppy dog eyes Cartman relents and allows him to join in the fight for justice, $100.00, and a possible film of his own should he prove himself a true superhero.
At first the main element to note is customisation is a much more long-term affair. In The Stick of Truth we got a lot of the customisation from the beginning of the game but The Fractured But Whole takes a much more leisurely pace to bring you into the world of the superheroes. As you progress through the story you’ll learn more about your “Origin” and activate more abilities that are available to the multitude of classes you have access to. The classes include the Elementalist who deals in elemental damage (obviously) the Blaster who Cartman describes as the Cyclops guy and the Brutalist who deals in heavy damage. I won’t go into any more detail about the classes but suffice to say there are several of them and you can combine their abilities (up to a maximum of 4 abilities you can use at one time) to make your hero unique. The customisation even goes deep enough you can choose your weakness ( I chose Crab People ), your Religion, your gender and your race which is important because your race denotes the difficulty of the game and it’s an interesting moment when a game is telling you that the hardest difficulty is when your character is black.
The combat system has evolved and feels more intense than its predecessor so if you’ve played The Stick of Truth you’ll notice that nothing has completely changed simply been expanded on. The difficulty has increased meaning a far more challenging and engaging experience when it comes to fights. For example, there is a new element injected into battles called a “Special Objective” which allows for more innovation during a fight. They can range from insta-kills to chasing after an opponent who is trying to flee the scene of the crime. The first official fight for me was during a Human Kite mission and it was so much fun as I had to face off against Alternate Universe Human Kite (Kyle’s annoying cousin Kyle). The battles if possible are even more cinematic as they fully embrace the cheese of being a superhero with the over the top attacks and dramatics.
The augment system has returned instead of patches however you’ll utilise artifacts to empower your superhero giving them a “Might” level which you can compare with missions you’ll take on so you’ll know how challenging the battles ahead will be. Taking on all these battles with you is an expanded roster of 12 superheroes as opposed to the 6 warriors you had available to you in The Stick of Truth. This time around Kenny doesn’t have the most impressive abilities that award goes to Tweek and Craig who have an incredible ultimate attack utilising their relationship to demolish opponents. Just like The Stick of Truth the enemies on hand are some of the most ridiculous and over the top ones we’ve seen in the series to date, I won’t spoil any of the more elaborate villains but one of the early villain types are the infamous Raisins.
You’ll not just be battling your way through South Park: The Fractured But Whole just like its predecessor there are a ton of eccentric mini-games and nothing ever repeats itself and they all leave their mark. This is all again thanks to the pitch-perfect humour and wonderful story that Trey and Matt have brought to us once again. You feel like you’re playing through not just an episode but a whole season of South Park.
In South Park: The Fractured But Whole there are no problems with the developers learning from what worked for The Stick of Truth and expanding on it, the world though familiar has many new locations to explore and characters to meet. I did worry going into The Fractured But Whole that it was going to be a fancy looking DLC with the price tag of a full game thankfully though it’s not. There are technical issues which due to the frequency dampened my enjoyment of the game. There were frame rate issues, the sound went at several points in the game and at the pivotal final boss, I had to restart the battle because a technical glitch didn’t allow the battle to enter into its cinematic finale.
In the week I have spent with South Park: The Stick of Truth and South Park: The Fractured But Whole I have enjoyed myself so much and been treated to some of the best comedy in gaming. Be sure and check out both these games and remember these wise words, “It’s whats inside the ass that counts”.