Review performed using a digital copy of the game provided by Ubisoft
South Park is one of the most popular and longest running TV shows in history. So, it’s no surprise that it would eventually get its own game series in this age of gaming entertainment. South Park: The Fractured But Whole is the newest title in this game series. This Game picks up almost directly where The Stick of Truth left off. The kids are tired of playing medieval times and begin their new adventure as superheroes.
The game initially allows you to pick from a few superhero types. These types represented your play style ranging from a ranged attack hero to and up close and personal brawler. You’re sent on several small tasks throughout the town to get you acclimated to the area and the gameplay. These tasks also introduce you to a few followers that can accompany you and aid you in battle as the game progresses.
The game feels like an episode of south park. You feel like you are part of a super long episode of south park, all the characters are funny, unique and enjoyable. The game also accepts South Park’s habit of not pulling punches when it comes to jokes. This is immediately noticeable as you are creating your character and your skin color determines the difficulty of the game outside of combat. The darker your skin, the more difficult the game when outside of combat. If you have a darker skin color people are more likely to make negative remarks towards you as you pass them by.
While in-game, you are free to roam the town and do extra side quests as you get them which are usually unrelated to the main story of the game. The map is pretty much identical to The Stick of Truth. If you have played stick of truth then this map may feel used, and a bit wore out. Thankfully though for me, enough time had passed to where the map felt kind of fresh to me, but people who played the previous game heavily may not feel the same way.
This game takes quite a few hours before it really starts to pick up and become interesting. For many hours the combat is quick and easy. After a certain point, the combat ramps up and becomes significantly more difficult as more powerful enemies are thrown at you, combat space is reduced, and timed events become prevalent. This, unfortunately, was not enough for me to keep the combat interesting. The combat felt very repetitive, and tedious. Despite being able to change your allies out for 12 different characters the combat never managed to keep me interested for very long. Throughout every fight, you simply pick a move and press the attack button when you are prompted to. The game tries to add different scenarios and difficulties to keep combat interesting but I think the basic combat mechanics need to be reworked and combat needs to be changed so it feels more dynamic and stays interesting.
Outside of combat, there is plenty of places to explore and loot. Most houses and buildings can be entered to loot, explore and harass the residents inside. This loot can be used to create artifacts which augment your power and increase your groups might, which is basically your combat strength. This part of the game felt rather pointless as every time I made an artifact I usually food an even better one right away, making the crafting system a bit void. The ability to craft food and snacks that can boost your health in combat proved to be almost invaluable though. The ability to hoard my cash and use random bits of stuff to mass produce burritos to eat in combat whenever I lost some health was wonderful and actually made me want to cook different foods.
Overall, South Park: The Fractured but Whole is a wonderful game but holds a few areas of opportunities that it should consider working on in the next game. The combat should be fleshed out to prevent it from becoming even more redundant. Outside of combat, you feel very encouraged to explore every nook and cranny for a bit of loot and to find another hilarious Easter egg or joke that are scattered everywhere. This game feels like you are in a south park episode as you walk around listening to the random bits of banter between the characters of the game that never fails to make you burst out into laughter. So, if you’re not afraid of some redundant combat then this game is definitely a good game to get your hands on. This game would be perfect to play through on your Switch during a long road trip to pass the time quickly.