Reviews Adam Grochocki
Review: South Park: The Fractured but Whole (PS4)
South Park: The Fractured but Whole in the game database
Review: South Park: The Fractured but Whole (PS4)

South Park: Fractured but Whole was on the top of my wish list from its first announcement. However, the often postponed release made me a little worried about the quality of the product which finally made its way into my console. Is it as good as its predecessor? Is it equally funny? And above all – is it worth your money?

The kids from South Park decide to create their own superhero cinematic universe in order to cash in millions for the brand’s rights after releasing a couple of movies. Cartman, as usual, fights with all his friends and in result Kenny and a few other kids leave the Coon and Friends group, starting their own competitive group – the Freedom Pals. Civil war is just a matter of time.

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We join the Coon/Cartman as the New Kid and regardless of the name you choose, you’ll be known to your buddies as Asshole and to the world as the Farting Vigilante. You have to know, mind you, that the plot starts to circle further and further around and it’s so much bigger than children’s quarrel. Who‘s behind the neighborhood cats going missing, for whom do the local mob families work and who’s that mysterious girl with a tattoo of… a penis? These are the questions that you have to find answers to.

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The game was created in tight cooperation with Trey Parker and Matt Stone along with the whole South Park series crew, so it’s pretty impossible to find an experience closer to the original than this production. It comes with the specific sense of humor. The unforgiving and merciless vulgar jokes spare nothing and no one, so consider yourselves warned. You’ll find topics of sex identity of the kids, ethnic discrimination, Big Gay Al (also his Big Gay Cat), Mr. Slave and embarrassing items in parents’ nightstands.

Fecal jokes, racist lines and millions of insults are present here in significant quantities, although more universal sense of humor dominates in Fractured but Whole. I was the most amused by the creativity in laughing at the superhero movies industry and Hollywood in general. The characters are brilliantly well created copies of the DC and Marvel favorite superheroes. The Human Kite (Kyle) has to deal with an alternate universe version of himself, who in reality is his annoying cousin who wants to look and play like him. Dr. Timothy (Timmy Burch on his wheelchair) is obviously the South Park version of Professor X, and the fastest hero is the sickly and stammering Jimmy. My heart, however, was stolen by Captain Diabetes (Scott), who after eating anything sweet becomes a cruel combination of Bane and Hulk, and only an insulin injection can bring him back to normal. What’s also great are the considerations about the DC unsuccessful movies or Logan being the best movie with X-men. I could multiply those examples but I don’t want to take the fun away from you. It just turned out to be brilliant.

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Exploration is a lot like in The Stick of Truth. South Park town isn’t big, and in the beginning you can only move around the closest streets. Access to other parts of the town you gain by learning new skills and using the ability to make other kids like you. What’s interesting, the famous farts are more important during exploration rather than in fights. You use them when solving riddles, and thanks to the specially prepared burrito by Morgan Freeman’s recipe, you can bend time and space with them, stop and turn back time, or even summon a hero from the past.

The biggest changes are visible in fighting. The childishly easy turn system is gone because the creators have decided to come up with something more original. As a result there is a fairly weird combination of various RPG genres, which surprisingly isn’t that bad. The arenas are a net made of a dozen or so fields that you can move around during your turn. The range is determined by the character’s class (tanks have a small range, the fast and agile are more mobile and so on), and in combination with a set of various strikes it allows for more tactical approach to battles. Not only can you plan to corner the most powerful opponents, but also avoid the area attacks signaled one turn before performing.

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You fight with various enemies – from your peers taking part in the Civil War, through sixth-graders attacking you with snots and piss, strippers going through menopause, ninja ordered via Internet and drunk bums, to Catholic priests whose special attack is a sensual arm massage. So it’s very controversial but also incredibly funny if we approach it without unnecessary prejudice. The variety of enemies is a great addition to the very pleasant fighting system and in the end the whole thing makes far better impression than the previous entry.

The character development in Fractured but Whole is simple but completely sufficient. When you level up, you unlock a slot for another artifact boosting stats. The artifacts you can collect in missions, buy in stores and create yourselves after finding the right recipe. The artifacts’ properties enhance certain features while weakening others, so you have to consider your class to choose the right one. There are 10 available classes and during the game you’ll be able to use even 4 of them at the same time.

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Since The Stick of Truth the creators didn’t have to put much work into the continuation’s look. Powered by Snowdrop engine, the game looks exactly like the tv series and it’s really all we need. Menus are better placed, there are more hit animations and loading times are shortened. In the pre-release version, however, were a few stupid bugs, which doesn’t affect gameplay but we shouldn’t have to see it. Sometimes after a knockout the character is still standing and lasts till the next turn only to “remember” they should be lying down, and then they drop on the ground. Rarely the HP bars don’t react appropriately to damage, and the weirdest of all – mission goals are updated after it’s completed. Seriously, why after a finished fight there’s a “new goal” sign, which tells us to kill a boss that’s been dead for three minutes…

No complaints about the sound, as original voices of actors working with the tv series are fantastic and great in every dialogue, even those concerning the most trivial subjects. Polish subtitles are also very good because they’re not afraid of using all sorts of vulgarisms, and some of the lines have been translated with special care and creativity when it comes to swear words. Besides, even the title translation made it pretty clear that it will be well taken care of.

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South Park: Fractured but Whole has met all my demands. The game is better than The Stick of Truth in every aspect, and that entry was fairly awesome anyway. It’s a dozen or so hours of real roller coaster ride (with no censorship), decorated with hardline and at the same time intelligent humor so characteristic for Matt Stone and Trey Parker. It’s just another episode of the tv series and either you love it, or you hate it.

South Park: The Fractured but Whole
Out rating: 9.0/10
A brilliant satire on modern pop culture with an engaging story and a great sense of humor. That’s the newest South Park game for you.
  • Pros
  • Fighting system
  • Diversified opponents
  • Humor, humor, humor!
  • Cons
  • Minor bugs
playstation 4 review South Park: Fractured but Whole ubisoft

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