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South Park: The Fractured But Whole review

 

 
Overview
 

Release Date: October 17, 2017
 
ESRB Rating: Mature for Blood and Gore, Mature Humor, Nudity, Sexual Content, Strong Language, Use of Drugs, and Violence
 
Platforms: PC, PlayStation 4, Xbox One
 
Summary: With crime on the rise in South Park, the streets have never been more dangerous. As the sun sets on the quiet Colorado town, chaos reigns as the seedy underbelly of the city comes alive. The town needs new heroes to come to the rescue. Eric Cartman seizes the opportunity to save the town and create the best superhero franchise ever, Coon and Friends, with himself, The Coon, as the leader.
 
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The Good


  • Humor is on point
  • Wonderfully animated and voice-acted
  • Tons of fan-favorite characters to interact with

The Bad


  • Combat can get repetitive


Bottom Line

Mature gamers with the ability to laugh at themselves will find South Park: The Fractured But Whole to be a satisfying romp through the delightfully absurd.

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Posted November 17, 2017 by

 
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When the cats in the sleepy town of South Park go missing, who can be called upon to save them and thwart the evildoers responsible? You, as The New Kid, of course! Armed with your astounding powers of flatulence and an arsenal of abilities straight out of the comics, it is up to you to once again become the town’s smelly young savior.
South Park: The Fractured But Whole

Time to play a new game, New Kid

South Park: The Fractured But Whole picks up immediately following the events of The Stick of Truth. The kids have traded in their swords and wands for capes and masks. Instead of rescuing princesses and recovering lost magical artifacts, you’re tasked with helping launch the greatest superhero franchise ever while saving the town from a variety of threats. Along the way, you’ll face off against ninjas, 6th graders, racists, the elderly, prostitutes, and darker, more powerful hidden foes.

Side note: you don’t need to have played through The Stick of Truth to understand or enjoy The Fractured But Whole, but through January, 2018, anyone who purchases The Fractured But Whole will also receive a copy of The Stick of Truth for free.

Nobody is safe

South Park fans know that one of the major appeals of the series is how politically incorrect it is. The Fractured But Whole continues this tradition with wholehearted abandon. No religion, ethnicity, sexual orientation, or stereotype is off limits.

The Fractured But Whole doesn’t tiptoe around sensitive issues, instead choosing to pull the pin on every social grenade and throw them straight at the player’s face. To give you an example of how much the game embraces what might otherwise be off-limits, the character sheet for my first play-through identifies my character as a low-class, white, Irish, asexual, trigender, chaotic Quaker whose kryptonite is old people.

The game gives you so much control over your character’s identity, I was a little disappointed to learn that you can’t actually name your freakish little superhero. It’s a minor gripe, but I would have had way too much fun giving my heroes humorous names to match their messed-up personalities and abilities.

The humor in The Fractured But Whole is so edgy, I recall two separate occasions when I burst out laughing simply because the situation was just so… wrong. I won’t spoil the specifics, but one of these moments was while selecting the game’s difficulty level, and the other was an unexpected character’s appearance during a boss fight in the town jail.
South Park: The Fractured But Whole

Farting is better with friends

One of the game’s strengths is its cast of characters. You’re constantly being introduced to new, fantastically weird people, many of whom you’ll either fight with or against. Interacting with this rogue’s gallery and using their combined powers in combat is a lot of fun.

Every hero has a weakness

As with The Stick of Truth, the combat takes a bit of a back seat to the humor and narrative. While understandable, you do spend quite a bit of time in combat and it would be nice to have more options to choose from.

Although your character gains access to the abilities of several different superhero archetypes throughout the game, you can only have a few of those abilities equipped and ready to use during combat. Combined with the fact that most encounters don’t require much in the way of strategy, combat typically consists of spamming your strongest ability until your opponents are defeated. It doesn’t take long for the combat in The Fractured But Whole to feel a bit stale and repetitive. The combat is by no means bad or un-fun, it just feels like a missed opportunity to truly shine.

The Verdict

South Park: The Fractured But Whole continues the formula that made The Stick of Truth a standout hit and, in many cases, improves upon it. Easily-offended gamers will hate the game, fans of the show will love it, and everyone else with a sense of humor and the ability to laugh at themselves will find a mature, satisfying, hilarious romp through the delightfully absurd.




Tim Wells

 

Dad, husband, gamer, blogger, geek. Not necessarily in that order.