South Park, the animated town where bad taste goes on vacation, has graced our screens for over two decades with its crass humor, biting satire, and surprisingly poignant social commentary. In 2017, the town took the leap to the world of video games once more with South Park: The Fractured But Whole, a sequel to the critically acclaimed The Stick of Truth. Stepping into the shoes of a custom-created New Kid, players found themselves embroiled in a superhero-themed adventure filled with fart-powered hijinks, pop culture parodies, and of course, good ol’ South Park absurdity. So, was The Fractured But Whole a worthy successor, or did it leave players with a case of the runs? Let’s grab our Coon hats and dive deep.
A Familiar Yet Fresh Adventure:
The Fractured But Whole wastes no time in throwing you into the familiarly warped world of South Park. You’re the new kid in town, eager to join Cartman and the boys in their latest LARPing escapade: forming rival superhero factions, Coon and Friends and Freedom Pals. What starts as childish roleplay quickly escalates into full-blown superhero shenanigans, involving alien probes, time travel, and of course, plenty of toilet humor.
The game’s story, while undeniably South Park in its gross-out humor and pop culture references, manages to weave in some surprisingly mature themes. The exploration of prejudice and discrimination through the lens of superhero rivalries feels surprisingly relevant, and the game doesn’t shy away from poking fun at its own genre’s tropes. It’s a classic South Park cocktail – equal parts offensive and thought-provoking, served with a generous shot of fart jokes.
Power to the Farts:
One of the most unique aspects of The Fractured But Whole is its combat system, which revolves around… well, farts. Your New Kid is blessed (or cursed, depending on your perspective) with the ability to manipulate wind in various ways. From blasting enemies with sonic booms to propelling yourself through the air, your gaseous powers add a hilarious and surprisingly strategic layer to the turn-based combat.
Each fart ability serves a different purpose, and strategically utilizing them to overcome enemies and solve puzzles is genuinely satisfying. The combat might seem silly at first, but it quickly becomes surprisingly deep and engaging, offering enough tactical options to keep even the most seasoned RPG veterans entertained.
A Town Full of Secrets:
South Park: The Fractured But Whole isn’t just about fart-powered battles and superhero shenanigans. The town itself is brimming with secrets to uncover and side quests to complete. From helping Randy Marsh with his latest business venture (Spoiler alert: it involves cows) to tracking down Mr. Mackey’s lost love letters, there’s always something to do in South Park.
These side quests are more than just filler; they’re hilarious, well-written, and often offer bonus rewards and insights into the lives of your favorite South Park characters. Exploring every corner of the town is a joy, as you’re constantly rewarded with hidden jokes, Easter eggs, and even the occasional alien encounter.
A Touch of Roughness:
While The Fractured But Whole is a fantastic game, it’s not without its flaws. The story, while engaging, can feel a bit repetitive at times, and some of the jokes fall flat. The open world, while charmingly recreated, can feel a bit small compared to other RPGs. And the occasional technical hiccup, like frame rate drops and long loading times, can be mildly frustrating.
A Worthy Successor:
Despite these minor shortcomings, South Park: The Fractured But Whole is a hilariously fun and surprisingly deep RPG experience. It captures the essence of South Park perfectly, with its blend of gross-out humor, sharp satire, and surprisingly poignant social commentary. The fart-powered combat is surprisingly strategic and engaging, and the town itself is packed with secrets to uncover and side quests to complete. If you’re a fan of South Park or RPGs in general, The Fractured But Whole is a must-play. Just remember, pack your gas mask and your sense of humor – you’re going to need them both.
South Park: The Fractured But Whole is a worthy successor to The Stick of Truth. It’s a hilarious, engaging, and surprisingly deep RPG experience that captures the essence of South Park perfectly. While not without its flaws, the game’s fart-powered combat, charming open world, and well-written story make it a must-play for fans of the show and RPGs alike. So, grab your Coon hat, strap on your jetpack, and prepare for a wild ride through the warped and wonderful world of South Park. Just remember, don’t blame us if you end up laughing till you cry