"Does this unit have a soul?"

- Legion, Mass Effect 3

South Park: The Fractured But Whole

The Fractured But Whole may be the most offensive piece of entertainment I have ever laid my eyes on. It's racist, sexist, lewd, gory, and absurd. Guess what? I absolutely loved it! It's authentically South Park. I don't think that I have ever laughed so hard or as much in my life. I was literally aching from laughter. The game itself is a RPG at its core. It resembles the Japanese variety, such as Final Fantasy, more than western titles like The Witcher and Skyrim. Combat is turn based with battle summons and incorporates its very own stereotypical silent protagonist. JRPGs are my favorite genre, so I was thrilled once I realized that's how the game played.

You start out creating your own version of the new kid in town and are quickly thrown into shenanigans with the citizens of South Park. The story is super hero themed by way of the characters youthful imaginations and, in pure South Park fashion, it pokes fun at and turns the entire fandom on its head; from the Marvel vs DC comics rivalry to the franchising of characters into various TV and movie studios. It really does a good job of highlighting just how ridiculous our obsession with superheroes is and it doesn't stop with the current climate of men and women in spandex. The game also touches on racism, gender identity, religion and so much more just like the typical episode from the comedic series. Not only does it nail the humor of the show, but it also looks and sounds exactly like the TV series. It's uncanny how much so, which leaves it best described as a 20 hour South Park movie with tons of interactive bits. The jerky animation of the show is captured flawlessly and all the speech of the characters are voiced to perfection. I must add that the writing and voice work were done by South Park creators Matt Stone and Trey Parker, and that fact is clearly recognized.

The gameplay in The Fractured But Whole is equally as good as the visuals and sound. The map of South Park is the perfect size and a joy to explore. There is loot ripe for the taking all over the town. You will want to search every nook and cranny and the developers made it easy by highlighting all interactive spots with a nice touch of yellow that attracts the eyes. There are fast travel spots located all over the town to speed things along once you discover them and obstacles are littered all over the place that require you to return after certain points in the game with new abilities. It gives you good reason to return to locations long after you first discover them. The backtracking was neither tedious or redundant. It always fit in and never felt like a waste of time. In fact, I wish they had added even more things to do. There weren't many side quests by today's standards, but I'm trying not to complain because every one that is there is fantastic and dripping with the same quality as the rest of the game. Quality over quantity I say. Some of the best scenes in the game were optional and only available through side quests. Try not to miss out by racing through the main quest. As you roam around South Park, you will face off against sixth graders, city ninjas, and many more enemies in a combat system that feels like it was modelled after something from a Final Fantasy title. The battles play out on a grid similar to that of a strategy RPG and players take turns to move and attack. The combat is very strategic and the game constantly mixes it up by placing different special objectives into various battles. The tougher battles really required me to pause and consider my every action. One fight in particular almost made me rage until I figured out a very clever exploit. There are 10 classes available for your character and each one has a very unique move list. All classes and party members also have their very own special ultimate attacks produced by filling up a special bar that's shared by the entire team. These special attacks were over the top and a joy to watch each and every time. Some people will undoubtedly wish you could skip these scenes, but I didn't mind at all because, unlike the JRPGs that inspired it, there isn't any hard-core grinding needed to complete the game. This cuts down on the number of times you will see these scenes unless you take it upon yourself to power level your characters. I loved this because it really helped the game maintain it's great pace and the illusion that you are watching the television show.

The Fractured But Whole was definitely a wonderful experience from the very first scene all the way until the end credits rolled. Every part of it was built with care and love for South Park fans regardless of how long (or how little) you've watched the show. The gameplay is exceptionally fun and hard to put down. If you are a South Park fan or just a fan of RPGs go buy this game! The entire package is just too good to miss. I plan on revisiting it many more times in the future. After all, it's now my favourite episode of South Park.
 


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Graphics
5/5
Audio
5/5
Gameplay
5/5
Replay Value
4/5
4.75
 

The Good

Looks & Sounds Like The TV Show
Strategic Battle System
Hilarious Script
Morgan Freeman

The Bad

More Side Activities Needed
 
Article By
 
 
Jeremy
01-11-2017
 
 

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