Written by  :  Lawnmower Man (145)
Written on  :  Nov 23, 2017
Platform  :  PlayStation 4
Rating  :  4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars
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Summary

South Park's Second Installment Brings New Mechanics To A Familiar Setting

The Good

Going from the fantasy setting of the previous installment (Stick of Truth) to a super hero one as the same New Kid from the past game, Fractured But Whole gives players a greater level of customization over their character (including designation of gender, ethnicity, race, religion, etc) that integrates the South Park style of humor as they progress through the game.

Retaining the buddy system of being able to swap out South Park characters for different fights (each with their own distinctive combat styles), this installment vastly improves upon Stick of Truth's combat system, giving players the ability to customize their move-set from a variety of hero types.

This ability to utilize the skills of multiple class types alongside applying modifiers that effect various abilities will be highly familiar to fans of role playing games. Paired with a multi-planed battlefield with a variety of enemy challenges and obstacles, Fractured but Whole prompts players to be cognizant of the battlefield at all times and to carefully place themselves and their allies during combat.

Matt Stone and Trey Parker delver a plot that takes full advantage of their South Park universe, and while not as full of cameos or references as the previous installment, there are still plenty of gags, familiar faces and settings for fans of South Park to feel right at home with.

The Bad

Fractured But Whole, while an engaging title and highly amusing, sometimes feels repetitive. The Town of South Park, which has adjusted from the previous game enough to reflect changes in the series, is largely the same, and lacking the previous game's option to sprint, players will find journeying from one end of the map to other end to be a tedious experience (and while fast travel points are available, players aren't able to fast travel directly to specific locations on the map and will still have to sit through loading screens to get to their destinations).

The game maintains a continuous uninterrupted feel, which leads to a sense of drudgery as players go from one mission to the next without a sense of hitting a checkpoint or pause in the story.

While the combat system is improved from the previous installment, some areas are marred with areas that are so large that players are unable to get close enough to attack enemies in a single turn. Even more frustrating are the occasional battles that require specific allies be present for that battle, and should that ally be defeated in combat, players will lose the battle no matter how many other allies are remaining.

The mechanics of the various puzzles throughout the game world, which involve the use of the player character's allies, are another source of disappointment. While presented in a stylish manner (and occasionally involving the use of multiple abilities), the puzzles are less about player ingenuity and more about players having to wait for the story to enable the ability to get past an otherwise impassable object/ inaccessible location.

The Bottom Line

South Park: Fractured But Whole retains the charm, and humor of the previous game while improving upon its overall mechanics.

Though the game play improves upon the successes of the previous installment, the game can become tedious at times due to the familiarity of the setting, the monotony of the puzzles, and occasionally arbitrary requirements of some battlefields. Combined with a very distinctive brand of humor leads to a game that will easily satisfy fans but have little appeal for those who don't care for the source material.

In spite of its drawbacks, Fractured But Whole is a robust RPG that offers plenty of laughs, objectives, and customization that fans of both South Park and RPGs will absolutely enjoy.