With close to 30,000 lines of dialogue, South Park T Fractured But Whole (TFBW) is an incredibly ambitious project. Theoretically a sequel from 2014’s Obsidian-developed Stick of Truth, the story of TFBW centers around the Superhero story arc that the South Park series has been focusing on in the last 3-5 years. The kids, in their favorite supersuits (The Coon, Mysterion, Toolshed, Mosquito, Human Kite, etc) are on the hunt to find a missing cat and gain a $100 reward in hopes to get their respective super hero franchise off the ground (Coon and Friends vs. Freedom Pals).
Very little has changed, technically, with how TFBW works as compared to Stick of Truth. It’s still a turn based RPG with gear, powers, and exploration. A few new things in TFBW are combat is now in a grid format, where your attacks will hurt a certain target area, and the addition of buffs in the form of trinkets – there are 8 slots for these upgrades that you unlock by leveling up, and then one ‘DNA’ change that you can add. These all change your Might (overall power level), and can include some team buffs, or how much damage you do off of a knockback, status damage, etc. This program replaces the ‘gear’ process from the last game because TFBW really wants you to to be your own superhero – with a TON of different costume options unlocked by playing through missions, doing side quests, crafting them, and purchasing them through various vendors.
As you progress through the game you’ll be met with the usual South Park cast and characters – and without spoiling endgame content, let me tell you that the last 2 hours of the game is a doozy. You will gain different abilities with fellow superheroes to solve puzzles (i.e. Fartkour, where you and Human Kite can reach high places). The entirety of South Park is available to traverse, with the exception of the South Park Mall (possible DLC, as it’s ‘under construction’) – and most houses and buildings have a ton of things to go and do inside them and find. Some of the collectibles in the game are Yaoi pictures of Tweek and Craig and finding Big Gay Al’s missing cats. Some familiar faces appear as summons and enemies, such as summoning Jimbo and Uncle Ned to blow away 6th Graders, or having Moses heal you and your team substantially. The really cool thing about some of the AFBW fights are the way that the game breaks up the turn based format – sometimes it’s not just enough to kill your enemies – you have to move people in a certain direction, or burn a certain area of the map. These battles add a little more spice to the generic turn based combat that you will be doing for the majority of the game.
There were very few things I didn’t like about TFBW – mostly concerning the content of the game itself. Stick of Truth was VERY out there in terms of story and overall setpieces and I feel TFBW kinda toned it down overall. You aren’t killing zombie Nazi fetuses or dealing with aliens – for the most part, you’re dealing with humans and their nonsense. I also missed the artwork for each piece of ‘scrap’ in TFBW – stuff you can find in drawers, trash bins, and other loot are no longer individually given artwork – but instead are put into a generic term (scrap, biohazard, food, etc). Part of the South Park canon is the amount of inside jokes and sight gags that you can do with all the content. It wasn’t enough to pull me out of the game but it was a little disappointing seeing the scrap not having their own artwork.
The game really punches in the work, love, and passion for South Park – from the voice acting to using the same software to create all of the character models – it is incredibly apparent that Ubisoft wanted to go all-out for this title. I had a ton of fun in my 15 or so hours in South Park and clamour for more – with how quickly Stick of Truth ended support, I hope that Ubisoft realizes the want for more gaming content for this game and there’s definitely room for some stories to be told.