Ubisoft were on to a winner with their first South Park game, The Stick of Truth. A script by the creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone and a great RPG lite that was easy to get into ensured a follow up would be on the cards. Now it’s here, can it provide another hit?
South Park: The Fractured But Whole’s title might seem a little forced (pun possibly intended) but the script certainly isn’t. Fans of the TV series will probably have heard variations on some of the jokes already, but Trey Parker and Matt Stone have come up with a lot of original material which is just as funny as the series, though it doesn’t always hit the high notes.
Instead of donning their best traditional RPG costumes, the boys swap out for Super hero capes and tights in this latest adventure, spurred on by Cartman as The Coon, his superhero alterego. Cast as the new kid, again, you have to first join the gang and be accepted and then help Cartman and the team defeat the evil dude who is stealing cats (and more besides).
Turn based fighting has been revamped completely and is in tune with the Super-hero theme. It’s now far easier to learn and use the super-powers of your swapable team members to defeat all manner of strange enemies. It’s all explained by the nifty tutorial which also acts as a story intro, but then expanded on later as you pick up more powers. Fast travel also opens up via Jimmy, the crippled kid who becomes a take on The Flash with his super-speed and the biggest change comes with your new found time-bending flatulence powers, finally making sense of that odd game title.
There is so much to do and so much of the map to gradually open up, with a huge number of cameos and familiar places at each turn that it makes The Fractured But Whole a joy to play for fans of the show and it’s testament to how well the show has done that even those who’ve only watched a little of South Park’s madness will get quite a few of the references and in-jokes.
The only criticism here is that there’s a lot of backtracking via fetch quests, where fast travel isn’t available in sections of the game, but it’s an RPG (of sorts) so that’s to be expected. Aside from this, the developers and writers have it spot on. Fans of the show really need to pick this up and enjoy the craziness.