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Hands-on review: South Park: The Fractured but Whole is full of laughs

Fri, 27th Oct 2017
FYI, this story is more than a year old

South Park has been going on since 1997 and the show is still funny after two decades. South Park: The Fractured but Whole is the newest game of the franchise and it too never fails to make you laugh.

I haven't watched South Park in a few years, but I was glad that South Park: The Fractured but Whole retains the series' iconic humour. Unlike The Simpsons, South Park's style of humour has mostly been left intact.

I have to admit though that South Park's humour might be of an acquired taste. The Fractured but Whole does feature some offensive jokes and content not suitable for everyone.

Not to mention the game is R16 over in New Zealand. If you are a parent with young kids, you don't want them to play this game despite the game having a cartoon appearance.

Speaking of cartoons, The Fractured but Whole's graphics look excellent. It literally looks exactly as the show does. Every character, house and object in this game has been ripped straight from the show.

The premise of the game is excellent featuring a branching storyline. The gist of the plot is that you are the "New Kid" in town. All of the school kids in South Park are dressing up as superheroes and they hope to fund their own cinematic universe.  In order to get money to fund their franchise, they have to find Cartman's cat to get enough reward money. This is easier said than done and a lot of things happen along the way. The story is funny and as whacky as any of the episodes in the show.

At the start of the game, you are free to create your own character. The options are a little limited, although I still managed to create someone that looks like WWE's Stone Cold Steve Austin.

After that, you are free to choose the type of superhero you want to be. This is important because this affects your ability to fight in combat. I opted to be a fast "Flash" type character since it has more range. You can also choose the type of costume you want as well.

Later on in the game, you can also select if you are a male, female or transgender. I chose to be a transgender to see the reactions of others in the game. Needless to say, being a transgender is not nice in South Park since a group of homophobic red necks wanted to fight me!

The game also features the entire town of South Park for you to discover. You can explore each of the kid's houses, roam around a strip club and even go inside a Mexican food shop that is owned by a famous Hollywood celebrity.

What I like about The Fracture but Whole is the fact that South Park feels like an actual town. You can talk to many people and visit every building. Some open-world video games can get boring because there is nothing for you to interact with. Here in this game, there's lots for you to see and do.  The Fractured but Whole also includes many references and easter eggs from past episodes. Even though I have not seen the newer seasons, I was delighted to see several recognisable locations and characters added here.

In terms of combat, I admire the fact that this game adopts the old-school turn-based style of gameplay. There is a twist to the gameplay though because characters are placed on a grid this time.

Due to the grid system, you need to position your characters strategically on the battlefield to get an advantage in combat. The superhero abilities are cool since you can damage enemies with lots of new skills that you earn as you progress.

The Fractured but Whole is an enjoyable game, but it's not all perfect. I feel the turn-based comabt system can drag battles on for way too long. I also feel the game needs to have a radar system as the map is small and clunky to read at times.

The humour is also something that might not be everyone's cup of tea. I am used to this type of humour as I grew up watching shows like South Park, Beavis and Butthead and Jackass. That said, I can understand some people might not like all the jokes featured here...

Anyway, South Park: The Fractured but Whole is mostly an excellent RPG. It features a unique combat system and the coolest looking cartoon style graphics I have seen recently. It's just worth mentioning you have to be a fan of the show to really appreciate it.

Verdict: 8.5/10

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