Back in March of 2014, after being delayed about 17 times South Park: Stick Of Truth was finally was finally released. Now, 3 years and only about 6 or 7 delays later, the highly anticipated sequel has been released upon the world. South Park: Fractured But Whole is out now and follows the Coon and Friends (and of course you, the new kid) on their crusade to find the missing cat ‘Scrambles’ in order to use the reward money to kick off their superhero franchise. Of course things aren’t that simple. The Freedom Pals are also trying to jumpstart a franchise and will try anything to thwart Coon and Friends’ plans. But there’s something much bigger going on in the town on South Park, something you’ll have to play the game to find out because I’m not going to spoil it here. Does Fractured But Whole live up to the hype? Is it better than Stick of Truth? Only time will tell.
No surprise that there’s a lot of humor in the game. During one of the first few fights the fight is stopped because there is a car passing through. While the car passes the kids stand on the sidewalk playing on their phone for a few seconds. Details like this is what makes this game great. The amount of references they’ve managed to cram into this game is astounding. The good thing about them is that they’re not shoved down your throat. You can be in a house and in the background playing on a tv is some reference to the show (for example the BP Oil Spill “We’re Sorry’’ video), or a song on a radio (I am Lorde, ya ya ya).
The map is very easy to navigate and is laid out great. The map is vastly different from the first game. A numerous amount of things are added such as new stores, new restaurants, a strip club, the mall is destroyed, also there’s no Canada this time around (it’s switched out with a certain genetics lab). For the most part, traversing the town of South Park is simple and without any hiccups, but sometimes it’s pretty easy to get stuck behind something or get lost behind a building or bush. But for the most part it’s perfect. It’s a lot larger than in Stick of Truth as well, so that’s definitely a plus.
There’s just so much to do, its great. If you get stuck or you not feeling the current quest you’re on, there’s always a side quest to accomplish which gives the game a certain fluidity that most games lack. There’s side missions galore and various collectables to find, selfies to take, and crab people to beat up. The devs really did a good job making sure there were no lulls in the gameplay. The game is also CRAZY addicting. I had trouble putting it down so I could write this review. There’s just so much to do, and the inner collectable fan in me just loves looking around for everything. I’m really going to be sad when I’m done with this game.
There’s a good amount of replayability that comes with the game which justifies the shorter than ideal campaign. There’s a variety of different class combinations and choices that open up new dialogue as well as new people to take selfies with. There’s different difficulties to play on as well including one achievement/trophy requiring you to play as a black character meaning beat the game on the hardest difficulty. All this being said, Fractured But Whole is worth playing AT LEAST twice.
The new combat system takes a little bit of getting used to. I was scratching my head quite a bit during the first few hours of gameplay. It can get frustrating. This time around they’ve introduced a combat grid system which significantly limits your movement on the battlefield as well as enlarging the battlefield a good bit. For the most part the new system is great and definitely an improvement over the old system, but I did have a few issues. Sometimes it’s hard to see who you’ve selected to attack/heal. If your target is behind an obstacle or character then seeing if their base is selected can be rather tricky and I often spent by first few hours attacking or healing the wrong person.
There’s some major auditory issues with this game. On multiple instances a character will start speaking and then immediately begin delivering another line while the first line is still going. Another big issue I noticed that mostly happened while summoning Moses who speaks in a very ‘start and stop’ nature, is that when he stops and starts again, the first few words just don’t come out.
I was about to praise the game on its lack of bugs…until I reached a certain boss battle. Without going into spoilers, this boss battle takes place near the end of the game and is now notorious for being one of the most glitched out boss battles in the entire game, maybe even beyond. These bugs aren’t even just normal run of the mill, skippable bugs, they’re game breaking! During the battle, the boss did one of their moves which has them run across the screen harming all players in their path, but that doesn’t happen. What happens is the boss starts running on the spot and there’s nothing you can do except restart the battle (which happens to be the longest boss battle in the game). Fun. For a game that’s been relatively perfect up until this point to have a bug as bad as this is a little mind boggling. Hopefully it gets fixed because it’s sure to cause the game some issues if enough players encounter this.
South Park: Fractured But Whole is more than just an adaption of the TV show, it’s an extension. In my opinion, Fractured But Whole (and Stick of Truth) is the best adaptation of a tv show or movie in a video game ever. No other game has made me feel this immersed, like I’m actually apart of the medium the game is based on. If you’re a fan of the first game, RPGs, South Park, heck, well crafted video games in general, this game is for you. If you find South Park repulsive and/or hate RPGs, stay away. The game isn’t perfect, but it could be. If they could just work out some of the bugs, I’m sure this game could be a 10/10.