Departing from its Dungeons & Dragons theme in The Stick Of Truth, South Park: The Fractured But Whole parodies the Superhero craze that’s been growing over the last few years. And, as much I miss the jabs at classic RPG elements in the previous game, The Fractured But Whole easily manages to deliver a hilarious South Park experience that remains true to the series’ roots.
It’s not easy to notice a big visual improvement over the previous title, however, The Fractured But Whole does look overall sharper and vibrant in places. It’s no visual masterpiece, but looks exactly like the show, and can be easily mistaken for an actual episode for anyone passing by. The combat animations look great, and the overall presentation is top notch.
The game carries over the adult humor from the shows, and all the lines are voice acted exceptionally well. It’s easy to see that no compromises were made in developing the game, and everything here screams high production value. There are tons of characters to interact with, and many of them have funny side quests that are really enjoyable to engage with.
The opening cut-scene makes some references to The Stick Of Truth, but soon enough lays down the Superhero theme that is prevalent in The Fracture But Whole. Soon enough you are venturing out across all of South Park, fighting enemies, upgrading your character, picking up collectibles and completing quests. The overall plot is also as absurdly over the top with tons of laugh out loud moments as you would expect from the show itself. While not a lot of new content is added to the game, it does a great job of packing in the best of what South Park is all about. Sure not all of the humor here might be tasteful, but for the most part, it landed fairly well with me.
The combat has seen some changes, mostly in the redesigned grid layout. The combat overall is not too different from the previous game, and is still turn based. The grid layout gives way to some interesting movement during combat, and the combat itself is more challenging than before. Combat animations are absolutely fantastic, and I liked the need to press specific buttons to execute attacks, instead of simply issuing orders. The combat overall feels more engaging, and you are doing more things, both while attacking or defending. Certain conditions/requirements during combat also change up the pace, and add neat twists to the fights.
Character development is also more involved, and while similar to the previous game, you are given more options for customization. You also have a bigger pool of members to bring along with you in your party, and each of them feels significantly different from others.
There are other additions to the gameplay as well, including some puzzles and even a crafting system. None of these are too relevant outside of the main story, but is still extra content to engage with if you want.
Overall, South Park: The Fractured But Whole improves on the previous game in almost every way. There are some aspects of The Stick Of Truth that I personally missed, like the jabs at RPG tropes, better pacing, and a more tighter narrative. However, The Fractured But Whole is still incredibly hilarious and a lot of fun to play because of the well thought out combat system and vast array of character and power-ups at your disposal.