2014’s South Park: The Stick of Truth was a fantastic game for South Park-fans and RPG-lovers. The Fractured But Whole, now developed by Ubisoft is more of the same but with a lot more polish, bigger and better gameplay ideas and laugh out loud jokes that no other game or TV show dares to let loose. Let’s buckle up and fart our way through this review.
- The foul-mouthed humor that takes it pretty far with sexual, racist and gore topics or visuals is what makes South Park stand out from other stuff. You’ll see priests trying to abuse kids, extremely overweight strippers, a million gay-jokes and a double more poo jokes, even child porno isn’t left behind. It has a PEGI 18 rating for a reason. It makes the South Park games one of a kind and simply hilarious.
- The story and setting take inspiration from Marvel and DC, you can expect lots of laughing out loud moments if you are informed enough about those comics, movies and TV shows. The main objective might be a little ridicules.. save a cat for (only) $100 but the execution is marvelous and stays interesting.
- A major improvement is the combat system, that’s completely different and gives the player a lot more tactical choices. Position, timing and knowing when to do your fart-specials (Yes, you read that right) is crucial to easily defeat enemies. Especially the boss-fights are a creative piece of design art that keeps the game fresh. You will be fighting a lot of the same enemy types, for example 6th graders but the fine tunable combat abilities make up for that.
- Learning more about the personal issues from South park characters is done by quests. It’s a smart way to get the player involved with the actual known cast. Nothing really new is to be found if you watched all the 20+ seasons but at the same time it is refreshing to see their alter ego’s. We all know how self-centric Cartman is, seeing his known typical character as superhero Coon is really something different and a big reason why South Park fans will enjoy this game. All characters are perfectly casted for all the different Marvel en DC Superheroes. A fine example is Jimmy’s version o- of- offfff – of – off … (3 minutes later) The Flash.
- The little town from South Park has a few new additions but I was hoping to see a little bit more creative design and new locations. If I remember correctly, The Stick of Truth had more varied locations. That said, the game world is full with hidden stuff, easter eggs and easy-to-solve puzzles.
- Lack of difficulty really hurts the game in many ways. The combat system could have been used to force the player to think more about what they pick but the combat is totally lacking any challenge. Only boss-fights can become a little tricky but learning how to play them will take you far. The same can be said about the puzzles, all of them are pretty obvious. We are talking about a PEGI 18 game so the developer could have bumped up the difficulty, even the hard-mode is a piece of cake.
- Quite a few annoying bugs. Quests that don’t want to start for example, forcing you to restart your game, that happened three times and always with Cartman’s secret hideout. Another issue that pops up often is sound related. Music regularly fails to start or abruptly ends without any reason. Luckily the save file glitches from The Stick of Truth are gone so I guess that’s a big improvement!
South Park: The Fractured but Whole is a must for everyone that enjoys the show, loved the previous game, likes to play RPG games, doesn’t mind laughing out loud and simply wants to play a brilliant and well designed game.