If you are a fan of dark comedy and are even just half-familiar with its television show counterpart, then strap in for some crazy, raunchy, off the wall insanity with South Park: The Fractured But Whole. In the sequel to The Stick of Truth, this latest iteration stays true to the nature of South Park the TV show, as well as the previous game. An adequate successor, The Fractured but Whole takes what The Stick of Truth did well, and doubles down. Those areas that needed some improvement got some love as well and Ubisoft created a very well crafted RPG.

New and Improved

Ubisoft seems to have gotten the RPG genre right with South Park: The Fractured But Whole. With considerable practice in their multiple other series, it definitely shows. Everything from the battle mechanics to the fluidity of the story, and even the crafting system and artifacts to power-up your character is solid and intuitive.

When it comes to the battle mechanics, perhaps the largest improvement over The Stick of Truth makes itself known. Before, the good guys were on the left of the battlefield and the bad guys on the right, in a very typical but tried-and-true organization. However, The Fractured But Whole introduces a new grid-based system, where all characters are free to move around forward, back, and to the sides. This allows the player to make tactical decisions, and position themselves for either close range melee or long-range attacks. It also means that attacks and defense are much more reliant upon positioning. Some characters have ranged attacks but can only attack forward and back. This can be troublesome if you’re attempting to fight to your side, but also means the enemy is most likely prevented from attacking too. Attack selection is also much simpler and greatly improved. Gone are the dials, and instead are a set of options on the bottom of a hot bar. A simple selection of the hot bar brings the attack to bear without having to cycle as before. It’s relatively minor, and not of any major note if you didn’t experience the first game.

Farts make a triumphant return, and most definitely fall under the ‘improved’ heading. Guiding and utilizing the power of your flatulence is now much simpler. When it comes time to use a fart in the overworld as you explore, you only need to targeted spot, and then to activate the fart. Within battles, the foul gas can be unleashed upon the battlefield with relatively simple controls and makes a pretty large and well-known effect. The great improvement comes with the fact that aiming and using the fart isn’t a literal mini-game which requires mastery. Instead, the new mini-game involves leaving a dump in literally every toilet you come across.

Exploring South Park

Wandering around the map is quite simple and easy. It’s the exact same layout as the town from the show, and from the previous game, for obvious reasons. The creators of the game weren’t creating a brand new world, or even basing it on a real city. They were constrained to the pre-defined characters and world from the beloved show. Even still, they had enough freedom to limit movement and advancement in a clever way by laying down “pools of lava” with red Legos, or even electrifying water in a puddle so the player has to alter course to avoid it. Even with these limitations, the creativity makes for a very fun game. Some things are relatively obvious detractors, but they’re integrated so well into the story that you just go with the flow and they don’t detract from the enjoyment and environment of The Fractured But Whole.

One Big Parody

If anything, South Park has always been known for its parody of culture and current events. Luckily, The Fractured But Whole is no different. From the very beginning, The Coon (Cartman) and Friends are attempting to rescue a cat so they can put the reward money towards Coon’s own version of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Upon inspection of his chalkboard, you can see three acts (just like the real deal), multiple origins and backstories, as well as epic chapter conclusions (just like the real deal). Without needing to specifically call it out, there’s just so many things that this game gets right. There are even a few collectibles you can find such as Member Berries sprinkled throughout the town. The great Morgan Freeman even makes a return, supplying the New Kid with burritos and recipes to make the ultimate Ass Blasting Mexican food to destroy the enemy (and mom’s toilet).

Authentic and “Pure”

Anyone who is a fan of the South Park show will love The Fractured But Whole as it falls right in line with the show. Everything from the blocky animations, the 2d characters, and even the voice acting is spot on. Each of the four main boys is split up evenly between Coon and Friends (Eric and Kyle) and the Freedom Pals (Kenny and Stan). With their alter egos fighting crime in the city, each role fits each boy very well. Even the ever-silent Kenny has a “Mysterion” alter-ego which fits the mysterious person of Kenny. If the game were to remove all combat and exploration, the whole game would feel like it could be one crazy South Park movie, albeit an extremely long one. Each twist and turn really seems out there, but still, manages to be ‘pure’ in the sense that it relates to where a South Park game should be. It is most definitely NOT pure in the actual “clean and wholesome” definition of the word, however.

Rated “M” For Very Mature

No doubt about it, South Park: The Fractured But Whole earns every bit of it’s “M” rating. If you have a squeamish stomach, are adverse to swearing, hookers, bodily fluids, bastardized representations of just about anything, stay away. That said, those familiar with the show and previous game will feel right at home. Within the first couple hours of gameplay, part of the story is to fight a seemingly never-ending onslaught of strippers, each more repulsive than the last. From there, it just gets….worse. Without spoiling anything, be always at the ready for battles, as anyone from 6th graders, to the (ew, cooties!) Raisins girls, to even Jared from Subway will be attacking you. There’s even a bit of pedophilia from Priests thrown in for good measure. Just be ready for some major bits of uncomfortableness and “holy crap they went there” moments that the creators of South Park are so well known for.

Never Know What You’re Gonna Get

In the end, with The Fractured But Whole, you really never know what you’re gonna get. The creators have teamed up perfectly with Ubisoft to craft a very true to the formula tale, but one that constantly leaves the player speechless. Despite being so strange, it is a very smoothly flowing tale, with just the right amount of twists to keep it interesting. Ubisoft shows their prowess with a smooth and simple, yet effective Turn-Based, Tactical RPG style that works very well with the overall game. There’s always something that can be improved, but so long as you’re enjoying a South Park game and taking it for that, there’s not much wrong with The Fractured But Whole.

South Park: The Fractured But Whole Review
The Good
  • Hilarious with a Great Story
  • Intuitive and Wonderful RPG Mechanics
  • Ridiculous but Lovable Characters
The Bad
  • May be too Raunchy for Occasional Fans
  • Potentially Off Putting
9Overall Score
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About The Author

Bobby C
Director, Editorial/Reviews

Bobby C is a veteran FPS and adventure gamer, starting with the NES and Super Mario Bros. The game that really started his love for the FPS Genre was Goldeneye for the N64. Since then, the love grew. From casual, to semi-pro COD with Modern Warfare 2 and 3, and back to casual, it’s a bad week when there isn’t at least 15 hours of games played.