South Park: The Stick of Truth released back in 2014 and much like its release, the sequel to that very game, 2017’s South Park: The Fractured But Whole has suffered more delays then most.  However, also much like its predecessor, while The Fractured But Whole isn’t without its flaws, it follows suit in being a South Park fans dream and once more being one of the funniest games that I’ve played in recent times.  The events of The Fractured But Whole take directly after the events of The Stick of Truth and Cartman being Cartman, decides that he no longer wants to play wizards and mages, but instead revitalises his beloved wannabe super hero franchise “The Coon and Friends” with you the “new kid”, oh and he also wants to find a lost cat to receive a $100 reward to give his new franchise the cash injection that it needs.

If you’re familiar with the South Park series, then you’d know that Eric Cartman is a bit of a douche and not everyone likes him, well, other than his own mother.  In fact, the people who seemingly like him, probably don’t even like him that much either.  But sadly for them, South Park is a small town and there’s simply no escaping his antics, and that of the legendary Randy Marsh (often caught with his pants down).  The Fractured But Whole’s theme is all about the super heroes and while it features many parodies, the main theme here is certainly influenced from Marvel’s Civil War and DC’s Batman vs. Superman storylines.  I won’t go into too much detail in regards of the games plot, but this heroic (as heroic as South Park residents can be) nature is nailed down brilliantly by the developers, even down to its somewhat epic musical score.

In terms of gameplay, The Stick of Truth had some old school inspired, turn-based combat.  While this method wasn’t perhaps everyone’s cup of tea, it’s a formula that worked well within the game, especially with its Dungeon & Dragons theme.  The Fractured But Whole carries on with that turn-based formula, complete with ridiculous power moves that often involve gassing on someone’s face.  However, in this sequel, you now have more freedom to move about before when striking with your attack.  It is a little restricted by design as you move your character and your buddies across the tiled board, but this method certainly adds an extra layer of depth to the combat, sometimes making you think ahead of your opponent in more strategic battles.

Each of your buddies, as well as yourself, has a special move to deal big damage on your opponent, which really are also a comical joy to behold.  The Fractured But Whole also features a decent crafting system that adds more layers to your tactical approach as you switch between what artifacts provide you with the best power advantage before going into battle.  The game also see’s the return of a well implemented character create system, which even with its visual restrictions, as long as you have the right components (if not, you can find many character create goodies scattered throughout the game), I’d be surprised if you couldn’t create a character that even slightly resembles yourself.

Visually, while The Fractured But Whole isn’t leaps and bounds above The Stick of Truth, as the visual design of this game is very difficult to improve upon with the last gen version not looking far off the standard of its newest counterpart.  But this by no means isn’t a criticism, because its visual style purposely doesn’t exactly push its boundaries to the limit.  What I will say however, that even with this sequel looking and running slightly better than its previous outing, it’s as close to living real South Park episodes as you’re going to get, especially with its cut-scenes, which are pretty much indistinguishable from its TV compatriot.  And that’s without even going into the games signature and boundary pushing humour.  Now I’m not the jolliest of individuals, but I do love the South Park series, so with that said, other than The Stick of Truth, there’s not many games that has me laughing as loudly as this one, especially with its many one-liners and seemingly random Randy Marsh encounters.

In a nutshell, if like me you’re a fan of the South Park TV series, then you’re going to love South Park: The Fractured But Whole.  Aside from a sound glitch that had one characters mouth moving with no sound coming out (it only once or twice), this is a damn near perfect replication of the iconic TV series, from its visual aesthetic, to its none politically correct humour, even if some scenes slowly become repetitive, I will never tire of Jimmy Valmer’s power-up which is a parody of The Flash, it literally has me laughing every single time (which is why he never leaves my party of three).  Once again this game is a South Park fans dream and if you haven’t done already, run, run like Jimmy Valmer to the shops and pick up your copy, or well, just order it online, whichever is your preference.  Just buy it, if you’re a South Park fan of course, you won’t re…re…regre…regret…it!

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