South Park: The Fractured but Whole First Impressions
Author: Daryll Marsh
| Posted: 17 October 2017, 19:09
The latest episode of South Park, titled “Franchise Sequel” served as a clever way of re-introducing fans to Cartman and Co’s superhero alter egos just in time for the release of South Park: The Fractured but Whole; a wise decision when considering that the Coon and Friends trilogy originally aired way back in 2010. As a die-hard South Park fan, I’ve spent most of the game’s release day in the quiet redneck mountain town and felt it right to offer up my first impressions; with the view of writing a fuller, more in-depth review once I’ve got some more play time under my belt.
The Fractured but Whole begins a day after the events of 2014’s The Stick Of Truth. The majority of the kids are still into the whole D&D thing until Cartman decides that something is amiss in town and that only a group of superheroes can now save the town; whilst also getting their own sweet franchise movie/tv show/Netflix deal in the process. The action picks up after the events of the Franchise Sequel TV episode, with the Cartman-led Coon and Friends at war with Kenny and Stan’s Freedom Pals.
Douchebag is quickly recruited into Coon and Friends’ ranks, setting out on a new journey. There are some obvious nods to the Marvel and DC universes, with alternate characters from different timelines, harrowing (yet hilarious) backstories and all new butt gas powers to learn. The devs have also done a wonderful job of plundering the South Park archives for some of the memorable one-shot characters from the show’s twenty-one seasons, once again all good stuff for fans of the show to geek out on.
The most noticeable difference in The Fractured but Whole when compared to its predecessor is the combat system, which drew a lot of criticism from the press and the public. Whilst still turn-based affairs, combat now works on a grid system which gives players the chance to move to a more advantageous location or take cover from incoming attacks. The scroll wheel has also been discarded in favour of a series of five actions available at the bottom left-hand corner of the screen. Despite the more intricate system, I was soon despatching Raisins girls and bigoted rednecks left, right and centre.
There’s still plenty to go over – inventory management, factions, new locations and much, much more; but writing about The Fractured but Whole has made me want to dive straight back in and experience more. I’ll round out my first impression by saying that thus far the game has had me in stitches almost the entire time and that if you enjoyed The Stick of Truth I’d highly recommend The Fractured but Whole.