Never ones to do things halfhearted, South Park creators Matt Stone and Trey Parker lent their efforts to the title’s first major RPG South Park: The Stick of Truth. Ubisoft followed the highly popular game with a direct sequel, currently titled South Park: The Fractured but Whole. Once again, Stone and Parker acted as creators, writers, and directors, lending their voices to the game as well. Unlike SoT, though, The Fractured but Whole takes advantage of the massive popularity of superheroes, bringing Eric Cartman’s The Coon, Supercraig, Mysterion and the other the Coon and Friends members to platforms everywhere.
The real question is: Aside from changing the characters and settings, will the South Park: The Fractured but Whole be merely a rehash of the earlier game? Most importantly, will it address the game limitations of the SoT.
Today at E3, the first full trailer for The Fractured but Whole dropped (watch it above), as well as a featurette detailing the new elements and gameplay. The premise looks to be a send-up of this year’s blockbuster superhero smash-em-up, Captain America: Civil War. In the game, the cast of 'super' heroes is divided between two differing factions – based off an argument over character-based movie planning, a la Kevin Feige and the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Eventually, they'll likely reunite to face off against Butters' Professor Chaos.
Once again, players will portray the New Kid. This time around, rather than picking a standard RPG character class as in the first game, they’ll choose a type of superhero (i.e. “Speedster” or “Brutalist”). Each class, will have specific strengths and weaknesses much like a standard role player. Players will also have the option to create unique costumes, craft origin stories, and select additional superpowers.
One of the issues players had with the first game, despite its successes, was the limitations on the world (take a look at the new gameplay and features – very NSFW).
Whereas Stick of Truth limited movement to certain areas until they were unlocked, The Fractured but Whole looks to expand the game. Akin to an MMO, avatars will now be free to explore the town and surrounding area without running into frustrating dead ends.
Another major gripe about SoT was the limited, turn-based combat options. Characters in the sequel can now move and take cover during battle. Player characters have the ability to crunch opponents into one another, as well as other objects for greater damage and extra attacks. Some characters will be able to use ranged attacks to strike at other players around objects. Ubisoft also teased amusing, world-rending powers, such as a timeline altering flatulence (similar to the Flash’s Speed Force ability).
As it stands, the alterations to playability and new settings seem as though they’ll enhance the already enjoyable internal environment for South Park fans. Naturally, there could be a few hiccups or bugs resulting from the fuller range of motion and powers, but hopefully these will be worked out before the South Park: The Fractured but Whole arrives in December.
South Park: The Fractured but Whole arrives on December 6, 2016 for PC, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One.