What is it?
South Park: The Factured but Whole picks up where its predecessor left off, offering an role-playing game that’s packed with hilarious situations bound to encourage fits of laughter. Continuing the journey of the new kid in town (after partially establishing himself in The Stick of Truth), you must embark on a new adventure with Cartman, Kyle, Stan and Kenny as you delve into the realm of superheroes!
Make your own character, kit him out with unique abilities and experiment with powers to best your opponents. With the entirety of the quiet little mountain town at your disposal, almost anything can and probably will happen.
Is it any good?
In short: yes, this sequel is brilliant. Many elements, such as the combat system, have been restructured and instead of a basic, static fighting mechanic now players can move freely across an open grid system to plan their attacks more strategically. The other big improvements focus on character customisation, item crafting and the ability to experiment with a variation of different superhero powers.
Much like the first game, Fractured but Whole lets players free to explore the entirety of South Park. Pretty much every house and important landmark can be explored and for fans of the series there are tons of references to all (currently) 21 seasons of the show. Even the latest season featured an episode that acts as a prologue to this game. After all, it was The Stick of Truth that originally forced the show’s creators to plot a definitive layout for South Park. It’s been nearly 5 years since the last game and the town itself features new additions because of that time gap.
I loved The Stick of Truth, so much so that I ended up completing it 100% on both PS3 and PS4. I couldn’t get enough of its hilarious, over-the-top comedy and The Fractured but Whole serves up another ridiculous slice of action. It’s no secret that both Matt Stone and Trey Parker (the creators of South Park) encountered a troubling few years of development with their last game, but now Fractured but Whole feels like the comedic duo are hitting their stride.
Anything bad to report?
People who have played The Stick of Truth will already be wholly familiar with the majority of South Park’s layout, and as such, nothing will quite match the feeling of exploring its town for the first time. That said, I am glad that new areas have been added to mix things up.
Should you buy it?
If you love the show and can’t get enough of it, then yes. Sometimes the humour won’t always be to everyone’s tastes, but I love it even more due to this fact. The boundaries of what is acceptable are always being tested and it’s fantastic to see the show’s creators have an open playing field across such a grand and multi-layered video game experience.