Friday, 22 December 2017 09:05

REVIEW: South Park: The Fractured But Whole (Xbox One)

Written by Brett Hale

The year was 1997, I was only 11 years old and it was the year the world met South Park. It was the talk of the school grounds and along with its following came a lot of hate, well to anyone who said South Park wouldn’t amount to anything can eat those words because 20 years later the television show is still airing new episodes each year. There was even a motion picture in 1999, along with two awesome video games, one of which is the main focus of my review.

2014 was the year South Park: The Stick of Truth was released and it was everything a fan of the show could have dreamed of. It had a lot of success, but even Trey Parker and Matt Stone the creators of South Park debated if they were to make another film, or to make a sequel game of Stick of Truth, and well they obviously made another brilliant game in the end or I wouldn’t be writing this review..

Just like The Stick of Truth, a single player role playing game, The Fractured But Whole plays that way as well, bringing some improvements this time around.

Now, South Park isn’t for everyone, neither game will have you loving the show if you don't already find it funny or entertaining. The show can bring out either laughter or pure anger with their episodes and the games are like this too, I mean the sequel is rated R and for good reasons. Somethings I just can't include in my review for obvious reasons but I can note that the game has a lot of sexual violence, sex scenes, crude language and drug/alcohol use. As I stated before, if you think you’ve seen it all from the show think again, even this game will have you saying no F@#*ing way!!! 

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So how does the sequel fit in with Stick of Truth? Glad you asked, well The Fractured But Whole starts one day after the events of the first game, it follows the “new kid” who just moved to South Park who soon joins the epic role playing battle between both factions who are fighting.

My first laugh I got from the game was before the gameplay had even started, before you start playing you’ll need to create your character, from hands, hair, clothes, makeup and than once you’re happy you’ll choose a “difficulty”. Now, there is a comedic catch the difficulty as it seems to be based on the colour of your skin, being a white character will make life easier, as you go through the complections finally reaching black you’ll hear Cartman say, "Choosing to be black wont effect gameplay, just everything else in your life" such as how you are treated, it's later on where you’ll choose a proper gameplay difficulty option that will make the game easier or harder when it comes to gameplay no matter if you’re white, black or in between.

The premise of South Park is to poke fun at everyday things that go on in the world, even if it's seen as extremely tasteless, it's a show or a game that you either love or hate, and I’m a lover but even this game had my jaw drop on several occasions.

All the characters from the show are featured in game, some in the background, favorites being Cartman, Kyle, Stan, Kenny, Token, Butters and Timmmmay! and more. You’ll see them as themselves as well as in their superhero or villain costumes. More about costumes you can purchase them, and some you can unlock and craft and mix and match them to combine a cool outfit. Money isn’t a large aspect of the game most of the time you find money it's very small amounts, most things are cheap as chips, but at the end of the day it's not a focus you should have.

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The game is pretty relaxed to a point, you can just walk around and explore the town of South Park, some places aren’t assessable right away but it's good to explore and get some loot for crafting items. Most NPC’s can be spoken to even if it's very briefly, but one thing you can do to anyone is assault them with a punch or kick. While walking inside or outside, if a door handle is gold it can be opened, random bags seen around can also be rummaged through.

The genre for the game is role playing, which entails a grid format turn based combat which worked well for the first game and it's very much the same this time around. Battles will differ if you fight one or more enemies, but most battles you’ll have characters fighting with you which helps you. Depending on which moves you use will determine the amount of squares you can move to. You can skip turns and if fellow friends goes down in the battle you can revive them if you have the potion to do so. Some characters are better than others, and you can change who fights with you at times. When attacked you can't counter but time it right and it’ll add a bit to the big attack bar that one of your characters can use against your enemies.

The humour in game had me laughing so much, whether it's because mid battle a car is coming down the street, both sides battling will scream car, and everyone gets off the road till it passes, to the fact you can take a dump in any toilet you see by simply sitting on a john and following the onscreen prompts to drop a deuce. Most of the humour consists of the following, vomit, something sexual, poo, piss, snot and farts... I believe the term is called toilet humour.

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Just like most games, even this has a level up system that’ll raise upon earning XP, this is called your hero rank. Everything you need to know and look at is in your in-game smartphone. There is even a mock instagram app called Coonstgram, artefacts is something else you’ll need to keep track of to defeat enemies easier as you move further into the game.

What makes South Park stand out besides the humour behind it is the animated style of the 2.5D cut out looking characters along with everything you're use to see in the show. And true to that style both games look exactly like the show, and because Trey Parker and Matt Stone are so involved with the making of games meant character voices are the real voices. Locations in the game matchup perfectly to the television show, even down to the colour of the houses and everything else. Now, the crudeness that South Park is known for is half visual half audio. As for audio, the language is full of "F" bombs along with characters saying Sh*! and A$$h**#, the list of swear words you’ll hear goes on.

The Fractured But Whole was a blast to play, it has lots of crude humour which I love and found to be very fitting to South Park and replaying is something I wouldn’t mind doing again at some point this year. Stick of Truth had moments where it was censored here in Australia, but I didn’t run into any censorship whilst playing The Fractured But Whole. I would dare any fan of South Park not to play this because there're truly missing out on something awesome.

So, come on down to South Park and meet some friends of mine!

Additional Info

  • Review Score: 4.5 / 5.0
  • Release Date: Out Now
  • Platform: PC, PS4, XBOX ONE
  • Developer: Ubisoft, Ubisoft San Francisco, South Park Digital Studios LLC
  • Publisher: Ubisoft
  • Genre: Action / Adventure, Role-Playing