[NO SPOILERS] South Park: The Fractured But Whole Review; It’s Good, Not Great
+ Entertaining storyline
+ Has plenty of challenges so players will not be easily bored
+ Combat system has plenty of depth
+ Gives you a deeper insight into South Park and its characters
+ Has enough length for people to enjoy for some time
- Combat can be too challenging for casual gamers
- Requires familiarity with the South Park series
- Side quests are practically mandatory
The sequel to Stick of Truth, here’s our review of South Park: The Fractured But Whole, an RPG that revolves around the people in South Park & the New Kid.
South Park: The Fractured But Whole Review
When you think of RPGs, you’d think of titles such as Final Fantasy, Persona, or Tales of Destiny. Rarely would anyone expect South Park to have its own RPG, let alone a good one. When South Park: The Stick of Truth RPG came out in 2014, many people were blown away by how good the game is. Now, the direct sequel to that game is out. Let’s find out if South Park: The Fractured But Whole can live up to the expectations that have been set by its predecessor.
South Park: The Fractured But Whole Synopsis
South Park: The Fractured But Whole takes place right after the events of its predecessor, The Stick of Truth. The kids at South Park are still playing pretend as warriors from a fantasy land in the middle ages, with the Stick of Truth holding the power to rule the world. Players take control of the “New Kid”, who became King after the events of the previous game.
However, everything suddenly changed and Eric Cartman forced everyone to change the game to superheroes instead. There are 2 superhero factions that are vying for supremacy; Freedom Pals, and Coon & Friends. Players will then uncover a nefarious plot involving the 6th graders, the mafia, and other groups that will surely shake South Park to its very core.
For those of you who aren’t aware, “The Fractured But Whole” is just another way for them to write off “Fractured butthole” without the need of being censored. Now that we’re all on the same page, let’s move on.
The Side Quests Are Practically Mandatory
Just like its predecessor, The Fractured But Whole is a role-playing game with an open world exploration concept. Of course, you’re limited to just South Park for now as Canada is currently off limits until the upcoming DLC expansion pack. While you do have a main storyline to follow through, you are free to explore and complete side quests from various characters in the game.
For most role-playing games, side quests are optional. In this particular case, side quests should be deemed as mandatory as you will be able to obtain important items and equipment that will not only help players in their journey, but also get through certain challenges that are almost impossible without it. Not to mention the bonus experience points that will the character grow stronger.
As the “New Kid”, you will start off as a regular boy with your own personalization in appearance but as the game progresses, you will be given choices as to the character’s gender, race, religion, among other things. This particular choice will affect the items you will be getting throughout the game and will have minimal impact in the storyline. Despite what it sounds, it will not make the combat more difficult.
When going through the quests, there will usually be a number of puzzles in the form of obstacles that you will need to go through. While some are straightforward, others require the use of special abilities that you will be obtaining throughout the game. This includes temporarily freezing time, destroying huge objects, and even flying in the air. It can be quite challenging at times so if you don’t enjoy puzzle elements, you’re going to have a bad time.
Battles Are Usually Very Challenging
When players have reached the point where all of the South Park kids change to their superhero persona, you will be allowed to pick from several classes of superheroes; Speedster, Brutalist, and Blaster. In essence, you have 2 melee characters with varying play styles and a ranged character. As the game progresses, you get to choose additional classes for your character that will yield you even more amazing abilities and upgrades.
While the game still retains the turn-based combat system, players will have to move in a grid-style stage. Each turn will enable characters to move within a specific range which is usually done for the sake of getting enemies in your range of attacks or dodging incoming attacks. This adds more depth to the game as you will need to properly strategize every single move so you can beat enemies.
There will be quite a bit of thinking needed as even the regular enemies can be unforgiving if you’re not prepared. Regular enemies are capable of causing quite a bit of damage and status ailments that can make short work of your party. Speaking of party, you can have up to 4 characters in combat at one time, and you can swap your party members out for the South Park kids in their superhero persona. However, you will need to go through most parts of the storyline to get the full playable roster.
Upon completing battles, you will gain experience points that will be used to level up the protagonist. However, the protagonist doesn’t directly grow stronger from leveling up. Instead, you will be unlocking artifact slots as you level up. Think of artifacts as equipment, where the more equipment you can put in the slots, the stronger you get. At the same time, the quality of the artifacts also plays a role in strengthening your characters.
Towards the end of the game, you are expected to reach around Level 9 as that’s when your artifact capacity maxes out. With that in mind, do not panic if you see yourself below Level 10 when you’re in the later parts of the game. As for the rest of your party members, they will continuously get stronger as the game progresses so you don’t have to worry there. Think of it as they can only get stronger if your protagonist gets stronger.
South Park: The Fractured But Whole is a good role-playing game with a very entertaining storyline. Unfortunately, it did not manage to do as good as its predecessor, The Stick of Truth, but it is still a great game nonetheless. There is a fair amount of challenges but it’s not so much that you need to be a hardcore gamer in order to complete it.
However, if you’re the kind of gamer who can’t handle complex puzzles and strategizing, this might not be the game for you. If you’re a fan of the South Park animated series, you should definitely pick up the game as you will get a deeper insight into South Park and its characters. Overall, I’d give South Park: The Fractured But Whole with our Silver Pokdeward!
If you’re on PC, you can get the game on Steam. Click here to head straight to the Steam page for the game.