Goin' Down To South PArk
One day over the Christmas break when I found myself with some time to kill, I booted up my PS4, went on to the PlayStation Store & had a browse. I ended up downloading the 1 hour free trial of South Park: The Fractured but Whole. Fast forward a couple of hours later & I had just bought a second hand copy on eBay. It impressed me that much.
The Fractured but Whole is the squeal to 2014's critically acclaimed South Park: The Stick of Truth. Check out the trailer below:
The Fractured but Whole is an RPG that riffs off the superhero themed episodes of the TV show such as The Coon, Mysterion Rises & Professor Chaos. It sees you take control of "The New Kid" (who you create) & quickly find yourself a member of "Coon & Friends" one of the games two superhero factions, the other being "Freedom Pals". It's a wacky take on the whole "Marvel vs DC" fanboy culture that takes over social media so much these days.
The plot sees Cartman (aka The Coon) task his team of superheros to find a missing cat in order to claim a $100 reward that he will use to create his own version of the MCU (Marvel Cinematic Universe), that includes movies with multiple sequels & Netflix shows - it's utterly bonkers!
The game is broken up into chapters that are separated by you re-living your origin story where you acquire new superhero powers each time. Within each of these chapters you will split your time between side quests & main missions. The main missions will usually end in a "dungeon" like area; a strip club, Italian restaurant, police station & a genetics lab to name a few. These areas usually require you to gain a new special ability that will help you progress through towards the boss fight at the end of each area. The side quests are usually trivial fetch & retrieve quests for the colourful characters of South Park but there are a few that will grant you rewards that will make your game-play experience easier. The RPG mechanics them self are simply; turn based combat that is set on a grid system, usually involving you and 3 other members of your team. There is also a basic crafting system where you can craft new costumes, consumables & upgrade items.
The town of South Park itself has been painstakingly re-created to the point it feels like you're watching a 15 hour long episode of the show. Navigating the town itself, along with the fantastic voice work - it is such an authentic re-creation that you often forget your playing a game. It is populated with so many of the shows familiar faces & even though I haven't really watched South Park in a while, there was still so many references that I was able to relate to. Word of warning...do not play this game if you are easily offended!
South Park: The Fractured but Whole was a pure joy to play from start to finish & packed with non-stop laughs. I don't tend to play many RPGs's but the simplistic game play made it extremely refreshing & accessible. I sank 15+ hours into my play-through and not once did it feel like it was dragging.
South Park: The Fractured but Whole gets 4.5 out of 5 from me. Now, it's time to go back & check out The Stick of Truth.