South Park The Fractured But Whole‘s delays throughout 2016 were some of my biggest disappointments of the year. As you may well remember, I was a huge fan of the first game – The Stick of Truth. After countless trailers and such, it was great to be able to sit down at E3 2017 and go hands-on with this newest installment. Before I start, let me just say that after just moments of playing, it’s easy to see – this game is finished and looks very polished.
From the word ‘Go’ South Park The Fractured But Whole is not – I repeat, not – for children. This is a mature game for mature audiences. From the actions, you perform to the characters you encounter to the items you collect, much of it is meant to offend, disgust, or confound you. In the first game, there was an emphasis on using flatulence in battle. In this new game, you can use your ability anytime – including throwing it – to continue the story or find hidden objects. It appears to be a large part of the game. If fact, it was incorporated into a mini-game in the demo slice. In order to get that important information to push the story along, you and Scott Malkinson – aka Captain Diabetes – must perform lap dances on two male patrons in the strip club you are investigating. Yes, you read that sentence correctly. The entire scene made me chuckle and disturbed at the same time. This scene led into the battle sequence.
A big difference between South Park The Stick of Truth and Fractured But Whole is where SoT went with turn-based RPG-like battles, FBW goes with a turn-based strategy battle system. And as the superheroes you are, each character has separate abilities and skills that can be used in battle on their turn. The game includes effect skills, melee skills and ranged attacks. All of these employ different results, such as a melee skill that pushes the enemy away from you, and if it pushes him/her into another one of your characters, they also get to hit the enemy. It appears there were plenty more strategic elements that were not easily apparent in the demo, but belies a wide variety of tactics to be had in the final product.
Overall, I count South Park The Fractured But Whole in my top 3 games of E3 2017. With a wide variety of jokes, gags, etc. from bodily fluids to small visual jokes you can pick up, there appears there will be a lot to be had in this game. This Fall 2017 is shaping up to be a good one for video game players.