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South Park: The Fractured But Whole

Posted by GG Goblin On November - 7 - 2017

Snigger

 
Once again, Ubisoft have teamed up with the creative South Park geniuses to offer a new adventure for the South Park “New Kid”, following on from The Stick of Truth with the latest game, The Fractured But Whole. As you can see from the title of the game, be prepared once again for a whole lot of immature silliness.

 
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Of course, if you happen to have been living under a rock, basically the game is about a bunch of delinquent kids in the town of South Park playing make believe. In the previous game, which played out like a fantasy RPG of sorts, the kids were playing at being warriors or wizards and the like. This time around in The fractured But Whole, the kids have cast aside their swords and wands in favour of playing at being super heroes. As they are kids, and in keeping with the TV show, expect lots of fart jokes, crude humour and highly stereotypical characters.

 
The Fractured But Whole continues on directly after the end of the last game, with the player once again taking on the role of the nameless “New Kid” and barely being given a chance to enjoy their time as ruler of a fantasy land before being forced to create a super hero persona and join Cartman’s Coon & Friends super hero team. In something of a take on Marvel’s Civil War story line, the heroes of South Park are fractured into two groups, with Cartman’s Coon & Friends competing against Kenny’s Freedom Pals to find a missing cat. The stakes are high, as the reward money could fund a massive franchise for the successful team, at least in the mind of the kids.

 
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The story doesn’t end with such a simple premise and, in true South Park style, things get more and more daft as the story goes on. It’s a lot of fun, if you like that sort of thing, but it doesn’t feel as genuinely funny this time around. While there are plenty of zany situations for the player to experience, there are not as many stand out moments as the last game, and I would even go so far as to say that the humour has been toned down somewhat, or maybe I have just become numb to South Park’s brand of shock humour. I don’t know, but I do know that the story is just not as memorable.

 
But that is fine as long as there is plenty of awesome gameplay – which there is. The combat in Stick of Truth was enjoyable, but very simple. For the sequel, the developers have mixed things up to go along with the new super hero theme. The combat is still turn-based, but now takes place on a grid with the player able to move the characters around during their turn. The player takes their hero and allies into battle on the grid, and each character has a selection of different moves to use against their opponents. Different moves will effect different parts of the grid depending on where the character is standing, so there is a lot more strategy this time around as the player takes advantage of things like area of effect. There are plenty of other things to think about in battle, such as the various status effects, and things to deal with, like a car driving through the battle grid. The game does a great job of explaining everything that the player needs to know about the combat in the first few hours, before leaving the player to create the best team they can and come up with their own strategies. Considering how much combat there is in this game, it manages to stay fun all the way through.

 
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Outside of the super heroic battles, there is the whole of South Park to explore. This takes on pretty much the same format as in the previous game, but there are some new places to visit in the small town. Players will take on side missions while exploring all of the different locations and meeting the residents, and gain access to new areas with the correct prerequisite. Then there is all of the customisation and behind the scenes stuff, like new moves to unlock and selfies to take. There is quite a lot going on, and players who get a thrill from maximizing their characters will find a lot to play around with here, but the difficulty is such that those who can’t be bothered with finding the perfect move set will still be able to progress with little or no trouble, at least on the regular difficulty level.

 
In all, The Fractured But Whole is a very competent sequel. While the story may not be as memorable, the combat is vastly improved. However, where the game really shines is in its depiction of kids playing as super heroes. The feeling of make believe is so well depicted, that it is a delight to the very end. It worked well in Stick of Truth and works even better here with kids playing as super heroes.

 
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South Park: The Fractured But Whole is a great, well-made sequel. There are places where the game has improved upon the original, and places where it hasn’t. While gamers with no interest in South Park will be able to appreciate the combat mechanics and RPG side of things, the fans of the show will find the game bursting with fan service. Overall, The Fractured But Whole is a great game that is at its best in the hands of an RPG-playing South Park fan.

 

 ★★★★★★★★½☆ 



 

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