South Park: The Fractured But Whole draws you in from the very beginning. It’s got it all; humor, action, depth, adventure and puzzles. At some points it can get lost in itself but for the most, it’s a hilarious trip with some icons in comedy.
If you’ve ever watched South Park you can already have a guess at what’s to expect. The humour and style is up there with the best of it, sometimes blurring the line between game and an interactive episode of the show. The gags are there in bucket loads and still dangling on the edge of controversy.
You start off as “The New Kid”, quickly becoming a student of ‘The Coon’ (a.k.a. Eric Cartman) as he teaches you what it takes to be a superhero. You’ll climb the ropes and through the various movie franchises to become a stand alone fully fledged hero. You’ll fight a huge variety of enemies; 6th graders, hillbillys, strippers and even priests. There’s a lot to take in at any given moment.
The gameplay is an RPG-style turn-based fighting game. You’ll choose your fighting style and get to terms with the mechanics, continuously powering up and attaching upgrades. New moves and characters are added to your arsenal and this time around, the game really upped the depth to the gameplay. Actually learning the combat left me confused at a lot of points, but the difficulty ramped at a slow enough pace that it encouraged experimenting in all areas.
There are plenty of characters to meet, houses to explore, items to find, things to craft, and side missions to keep you busy. Puzzles lead you past one area to another, but this is definitely The Fractured But Whole’s weakest point. It has inspirations from the classic point and click stories of old, but none of the puzzles are ever challenging enough to have you second guessing one of them. It’s more about the adventure of taking selfies and meeting people that carries the game from one place to another.
The areas to explore can sometimes be disappointing, as houses become almost identical and locations full of boring props. I found myself focusing much more on the pure story then getting lost in the environments or side missions, which wasn’t a bad thing as the story is plenty long. And the combat was so fun that I just kept wanting more.
South Park and the Fractured But Whole is the funniest game I’ve played in a long time. It’s full of classic South Park humour, throwbacks and plenty of surprises. The game is full of content and boasts a very strong turn based fighting mechanic. It does take a bit of commitment to get the most out of the game but if you find yourself looking for a fully fledged story driven game, this one comes highly recommended.