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Javier Reviews – South Park: The Fractured But Whole

 

If you’ve played the stick of truth (and enjoyed it) then you’re in for a treat as the Fractured but whole is more of the same brilliant humour combined with fun gameplay and simple RPG elements.

If you’re not a fan of south park, or fart jokes, then this game won’t be for you but in a world that’s so serious with every game trying to push the boundaries of what our consoles are capable of I feel like we need fun, silly games like this – and I’m not saying this in a negative way.

I think that this is the best south park game I’ve played and also the funniest game I’ve played (along with it’s predecessor) and I’m already thinking about going for the platinum trophy, which I don’t often do nowadays.

Gameplay

One thing this game does exceptionally well is make you feel like you’re playing out a series. All of the animation and graphics are just like an episode of south park which is really clever when you’re exploring ‘3d’ environments. It also constantly keeps a great line between reality and the kids imagination (you can’t cross over red lego bricks as they’re ‘lava’). Throughout the whole game there’s brilliant south park humour even down to the scrap you find in people’s drawers, often relating to specific episodes. You get experience by doing things like pooping in people’s toilets and collecting the yaoi (Tweek and Craig questionable art) which I think is brilliant. The poop mini games consist of a series of specific controller movements (flick right stick whilst hitting triangle) with 80s 8 bit music and actually make for great fun.

If this is already sounding silly to you then chances are you won’t enjoy the game, however behind the toilet jokes and childish humour is an exciting town waiting to be explored with a great combat, crafting and levelling system.
Firstly there are 3 classes, brutalist, speedster, blaster. I chose blaster as I liked the idea of having fire powers (and the special move is a giant flame fart). Each class has it’s own attributes and moves etc. Later in the game you gain the ability to add more classes and more moves to your arsenal AND you can change these whenever which is awesome as you’re not stuck with one class.

The combat revolves around a grid turn based system which is a new combat style for the series. Your attacks affect different areas of the grid and have different status effects (burning, grossed out etc.). I personally haven’t played many games that use a grid base but I can compare the turn based system to something like old final fantasy or Digimon Cybersleuth, where you can see who is next to attack. Depending on who’s in your team you can choose to attack There are also ‘ultimate moves’ Such as Craig summoning a burning gerbil or Kyle flying to the heavens to shoot lasers down on the enemies. The combat still keeps it’s fun when the combat has to stop for a car passing and the driver shouting “get out of the road you damn kids” reminding you this isn’t ‘serious’ combat.

Different groups of enemies change things up also as it actually requires some planning on how to tackle a group of enemies (for example the raisins girls can charm your companions to attack you.)

Backing up the combat is a fun equip system where you can change every piece of your gear and features (make up, hair etc.) and even change the colour of it. You can also equip artefacts such as magic fidget spinners which boost certain attributes. Additional to this there’s also pretty in depth crafting where you can craft items, consumables and costumes from items you’ve collected in the world. Like any good RPG the more you craft the more your level increases the better items you can craft.

Despite the great humour and surprisingly deep combat system exploring the world is the best part of FBW. A lot of the environment around you is interactive and most areas have a hidden item to find by blowing a picture off a wall or searching through a gym bag or bed side cabinet (these items often being something you’ll recognise if you’re a series fan). When exploring you can hold R2 to scan areas, a cheap imitation of batman’s detective mode, to see what’s interactive or who to take a selfie with. The selfies start off from the very beginning, Cartman asks you to increase the franchise’s popularity by taking selfies with NPCs for Coonstagram (lol) many characters will not do this until you’ve completed a task or until your popularity has increased, this reminded me of watchdogs 2/GTA. As you play more you unlock more abilities to explore the areas differently (it took me a long time until I realised my farts made fire bigger!

Story

There is a tie in episode from the series which I’d recommend you watch before playing the game which gives you an idea of what’s happening in the coon n friends world (I highly recommend any of the coon n friends episodes). The game starts immediately after the stick of truth finishes where you’re playing as the new kid, picking up the tail end of the SOT mighty climax. Cartman quickly decides they’re switching games and you’re now playing super heroes! This is to earn a $100 reward for a missing cat, Cartman believes that this reward will give your franchise the kick start it needs.

Once you’ve completed a little bit of gameplay (once the story switches from SOT to FBW) you’re taught how to fight whilst cartman narrates your prologue and your motivation for being a hero is….that you saw your dad banging your mum (obviously). There’s much more going on however as Mysterion seems keen to foil your plans however he can, and you’ll bump into his minions as you explore the map.
As you play the story you get the chance to add more depth to your character with choices such as your gender (rednecks attack when you choose to be the same sex you were born with) and your kryptonite, because every hero needs a weakness.

I spent the first 5 hours or so just do side quests until I literally couldn’t progress without doing the main story, not to say the main story isn’t interesting (the night time mission to the strip club is particularly enjoyable). The world/town they’ve created is deep and ripe for exploring, with enough side quests to keep you busy for a long time.

I also LOVE how there are no ‘cut scenes’, it’s as if it’s one seemless, endless episode with the same graphics and animation throughout, even when switching to combat.

This game is everything you’d want from an rpg but done via south park. On the surface it’s a silly cartoon game with poop jokes but once you’ve spent some time with it you realise that it’s an rpg with brilliant gameplay and structure. So far it seems like they’ve thought about everything and no detail has been left out, even the way the characters react to each other in combat is more interactive than most other games I’ve played.

I haven’t been this addicted to a game for a long time and I expect I’m going to buy the season pass and get the platinum for this game (which I super rarely do).

For these reasons I’m giving it a:
8.75/10

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