South Park: The Stick of Truth is a game that I had a weird relationship about when it first came out – whilst it was a REALLY basic turn based RPG, but there was enough humour & “South Parkiness” involved in the game that it made me love it – My biggest worry with The Fractured But Whole was that they had already used all their main ideas on the first game and that this would just be more fart jokes and exploring the same few areas in South Park, but is there enough added to make this feel like a fresh new experience?
Okay so first things first – It IS just more fart jokes and the same bunch of houses – But for some reason I am okay with this, whilst the (Fractured But) whole game is centred around you, as the New Kid again, and your ability to fart as a super power, there is enough added with the super hero genre shift to keep it fresh and new.
So first things first, to the uninitiated South Park: The Fractured But Whole (I laugh Every. Single. Time.) is the sequel to the Stick of Truth but instead of the Wizard game that the boys were playing in the previous game, TFBW follows a “Coon & Friends Vs Freedom Pals” civil war type storyline.
In The Fractured But Whole (TFBW from now) you play as the new kid again though instead of being the great king “Douchebag” you are the Superhero “Buttlord” who can stop time & kill people with the power of his farts.
One thing that TFBW does really well is give the player a reason to adventure around the city, the game’s barrage of side quests are thrown at you from the get go with each and every side quest doing a fantastic job of having you adventure around the town and meet all the different hilarious characters – from finding out who is Keying Mrs Marsh’s car right over to finding Yaoi pictures of Tweek & Craig for Craig’s dad. (Don’t Google it at work) I spent so much of my time simply roaming around South Park but never getting bored.
The main differences in the game are clear within the first hour as with the changing of the themes from the first game the other major change found within TFBW is the overhaul of the battle system. Instead of a standard turn based combat as found within The Stick of Truth, Fractured But Whole uses a grid based combat system where your characters have a limited range of movement but are free to move around this as much as they want within their turn and THEN attack – think The Banner Saga but with added fart’s & swearing and slightly worse animation and you have South Park down to a tee.
There are set bosses that use this to their advantage with special objectives – such as one boss who will only be damaged if it eat’s “White meat” from a certain range of attack and this is the only way to kill it. I personally felt that (even though this particular boss was a fuck) these types of bosses used the battle system perfectly and made a real effort to show the updated combat styles of TFBW.
The graphics in South Park are just that really – The animation from South Park and nothing else. Everything down to the Special “Professor Chaos Hammer” is taken directly from the show but just like The Stick of Truth this is a welcome theme to the game as when playing either game all I wanted was to FEEL like I was in an episode of South Park and TFBW’s graphics, humour and animation does this perfectly.
The leveling system in TFBW is a little different from the First game – whilst you are still tasked with gaining new social media followers along the way, the main bulk of the leveling up system is done with artifacts than you craft or win from bosses. The way these work is that as you level up your character you gain more “Might” as well as an artifact slot which you can use to level this up further and grant your party special abilities. Whilst all a little confusing in the early stages I found that swapping out the different artifacts for different enemy types to be a really rewarding way of leveling up the gang.
But would I recommend South Park: The Fractured But Whole? It’s a bit of a double edged sword really! As a massive fan of the series I found a whole lot to love in this game but the majority of my love came from the characters that I know & love or the humour type which I grew up with, but for someone who is not a fan of the series? I don’t think you will find much to love with this game – unless your sense of humour is the same as mine in which this could be a fantastic entry point to the series.
As a massive fan of the franchise I had a shit ton of fun with South Park: The Fractured But Whole and would recommend it to any fan. 8.5/10
PS: Watch the “Franchise Prequel” episode of South Park before playing the game to get a real view of the events leading up to this.
Want to see more of South Park: The Fractured But Whole? Javier has another reviewing coming soon and we have the first 4 hours of gameplay here:
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