For fans of the South Park: The Stick of Truth, the RPG developed by Obsidian and published by Ubisoft, the next installment The Fractured But Whole takes to the boy’s next great adventure not long after the events of The Stick of Truth. Instead of playing fantasy Game of Thrones-esque characters, The Fractured But Whole has the boys now playing superhero franchises. Emulating their favorite comic book hero franchises, the game pits Cartman’s rag-tag “Coon and Friends” against Kenny’s “Freedom Pals” to see which franchise is the best.
Ubisoft let us go hands-on at PAX West, and the game didn’t disappoint. The familiar 2D art style made popular by the irreverent television show is on full display, and the humor raunchier. The demo starts you off in Cartman’s kitchen as you try to get access to Cartman’s Basement, otherwise known as the “Coon Lair.” The map around you is full of interactables, allowing you to fill your inventory like any good role-playing game is want to do.
New additions to The Fractured But Whole include new combat mechanics, as well as improvements to the much loved pooping mini game. Calling it “Total Ass Control,” or TAC, the game developers are giving you so much control the way in which you poop in the game. Pooping isn’t just there for the gimmick, as you can obtain items which might be useful in the new crafting system as well.
In terms of combat, the familiar turn based system is still in play, though your position on the battlefield is incredibly important. Some skills require you to either be a certain distance away to use, while others such as the Speedster’s Super Sonic Dash can only be used if the enemy has an open space behind them.
Additionally, classes can be combined late in the game to create your own class hybrid, such as a “Karate Kid Elementalist.” The demo only had Speedster available to play, but in all there seems to be about 12 total classes to choose from. At the start you get access to three, but as you progress Cartman allows the New Kid to use more, ultimately letting you combine classes to your liking.
The demo lasted about thirty minutes, and while I didn’t get the chance to try the Nosulus Rift while playing, I could smell it quite easily sitting next to me. Farting is integral to how you play The Fractured But Whole. Interestingly, the game will have something they refer to as "Fartcour," which is essentially parkour, but with farting. Teaming up with the Human Kite, I was able to Fartcour my way up a tall building in the game and grab an item off the top of the structure.
It became incredibly apparent that South Park: The Fractured But Whole will continue the trend set by The Stick of Truth of creating what essentially is a playable version of a television episode. And it’s shaping up real well. Look for South Park: The Fractured But Whole this December 6 on PC, Xbox One and PlayStation 4.