South Park: The Fractured but Whole Video Game Review

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By: Thomas Riccardi

There was a legend that was foretold about how a new kid would come to the land known as South Park. This new kid would have talents that no one had ever seen before and would rise to become king of this land. However, all is not well as the coon has transported back in time to assemble his friends to fight crime. As the new kid, will you rise to the occasion and be able to take down the criminal syndicate that has gripped this town? Or will you succumb to the dark powers that have South Park in its tight grip? This is the backstory of the new game from Ubisoft and South Park studios called South Park: The Fractured but Whole.

This is Ubisoft’s second entry in the South Park RPG lineup and since the original’s release, it’s clear things have been improved. However, there are still similarities such as choosing your character class and you have a few to choose from. The three that are available at the start of the game are Blaster (inflict foes with fire attacks from long range that burn and push back foes), Speedster (being able to move fast on the battlefield and to get in and out of tight situations quickly), and Brutalist (for getting up close and personal with your foes as you beat them down into the dirt). There are other classes that can be unlocked throughout the game, giving you new powers and abilities, which include cyborg, karate kid, assassin, commander, and many more! Twelve classes in total are available in this game and that beats out the previous incarnation by at least four-fold!

When you start a new game you are given the chance to customize your character by the way he looks, including the character’s skin color. This is important as this affects the difficulty of the game. Yes, you heard correctly: someone with a white skin color will have an easier difficulty while someone who has a darker skin color will find the game more challenging. This difficulty does not affect combat, but does affect every other aspect of the game. For example, NPCs will interact with you differently, like getting help when you need it or getting entry to other areas of the map instead of having to work for them.

Further, there are some parts of the map that are blocked off with red Lego bricks called lava. You cannot pass it and if you step on it, it will kill you. Some people have found this scalability to be offensive; however, if you take offense to just this, you might want to stick to the latest first person shooter or sports game.

Combat also has been tweaked, but it is essentially the same as the last game and based on a grid system where you move your characters, attack enemies, and dodge incoming attacks. You can also pull enemies toward you as well as push them against other enemies or other hazards on the battlefield. This results in them taking an additional bit of damage and it gives you the edge in battle, not to mention the fact that you can inflict certain types of damage that can disorient or even do damage over time. For example, the blaster has a fireball attack that can cause enemies to burn and take residual damage at every turn. But be warned: your character is not all-powerful and will have to take on a weakness at some point. These weaknesses will make it more difficult to combat a certain type of enemy, so choose wisely! Also, you have the ability to use your farts as a weapon, but take heed: you need to be careful with this as you might rip one that tears a hole in space and time!

Another new thing introduced to this series is the day and night cycles. While some of the areas of South Park may look innocent and safe during the day, those same places take on a new look during the night. After you are done exploring the town during the day, you can go back home, crawl into bed, and experience the town by night! There are certain places, NPCs, and enemies that only come out during the night so it is crucial that you plan out each day and night cycle carefully so you don’t miss out on some of the quests and characters during one cycle or the other.

This review barely scratches the surface of this latest masterpiece from Ubisoft. Believe me when I tell you that if you are a fan of South Park, you must go out and get a copy of this game because it is absolutely amazing. Even if you are a casual fan of this franchise but you love an in-depth superhero RPG, I would still urge you to check this game out. Also, there are more than a few DLCs planned for this game that will give you new places to discover and missions to unlock. The one I am looking forward to playing is “From Dusk ‘til Casa Bonita” where players will be travel to the famed location to deal with a demonic presence that haunts the famed restaurant. For more information on this game, head over to Ubisoft’s website and get ready to liberate the town of South Park!


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