E3 2016: South Park: The Fractured But Whole Preview
South Park: The Stick of Truth remains one of the most entertaining games I’ve ever played, and easily the funniest of the lot. With a combination of Matt Parker and Trey Stone’s typical messed up humour, as well as some simple but enjoyable RPG elements, The Stick of Truth was a surprise hit, one that most probably weren’t expecting, given the long development cycle with multiple delays, the collapse of THQ as a publisher, and the fact that there hadn’t been a good South Park game until that point.
Currently in development by Ubisoft, South Park: The Fractured But Whole revises the gameplay formula in interesting ways, lampoons the superhero pop culture trend, and retains the typical twisted humour of the series. After Eric Cartman’s superhero team “Coon and Friends” come to a disagreement over how to get their billion-dollar movie franchise and conjoined cinematic universe started, the team splits apart and “civil war” is declared between the two factions.
Considering the sheer wealth of superhero films in popular media today, as well as the classic Coon and Friends episodes of South Park to play on, I’m sure there’ll be plenty of satire, messed up humour, and merciless ribbing to be had. Case in point, consider your tragic origin story, which as narrated by Cartman, was one day discovering your parents having sex. To the fatherless Cartman, that’s something so heinous that it drives you to fight crime. As he puts it, how could the one person you trust most do that to the other person you trust most?
Gameplay wise the game is also much expanded on the original. The Stick of Truth had a simple turn based JRPG style combat system. The Fractured But Whole instead has a grid like map, where positioning becomes significant. You can hide behind things to take cover, knock enemies into obstacles, or set up combos by teaming up against enemies. And while you’re given character classes that match typical superhero powersets; like super strength, speed, or energy attacks, you’ll be able to customise your character to develop traits that allows you to fill multiple roles. And of course, fart powers return, only this time they’re powerful enough to bend time and space and change the turn order. Because of course they are.
And rather bizarrely, the Fractured But Whole is built on the Snowdrop Engine, i.e. the same one used for Tom Clancy’s The Division. Strange but true. Although I’ll wager they could switch off pretty much all the bells and whistles.
About: Simon Mawson
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