Sunday, November 5, 2017

South Park: The Fractured but Whole is a must watch

South Park has been around for 20 years and it continues to smash out superbly crafted crude jokes while talking on trend social issues in its own unique way.

The first game was released after a connecting episode on the South Park TV show that set the stage for the game. Named, Stick of Truth, the game managed to capture the essence of South Park while being a competent RPG. It was a wonderful experience living amongst the characters of South Park and playing as the new kid in the fantasy themed world of Stick of Truth. The new game drops the fantasy genre like a hot potato and moves directly in the world of superheroes.

The story revolves around Cartman's character The Coon, who has chartered out a way for The Coon and Friends group to get their own movie franchise, starting with a Netflix series, because Netflix will pretty much green light anything. However, there is an internal dispute about the franchise plans and the group gets divided and the Freedom Pals are formed. This all happens over an episode of South Park called Franchise Prequel in the latest season of the series. You might need to watch it because the game makes no attempt at explaining why there are two groups of superheroes running around in South Park.

For the game, the story builds on that base. Cartman needs money to kickstart the whole shebang, so he plans to find a missing cat called Shambles and claim the $100 reward which would help with the first Netflix series. The game still plays like Stick of Truth, which is great because the entire game feels like a giant episode of South Park. The only time it breaks that illusion is during combat, where your pretend power becomes real. It also does feel like you are a kid playing on the street, because once in while a kid will yell 'car', and there is a forced mid-combat pause where everyone moves to the side of the road to let the car pass.

The Fractured but Whole also succeeds as an RPG, it has all the great hallmarks of a good RPG game, continuously evolving character driven by experience — modifiers that enhance your characters stats and tons of loot. Not to mention the turn-based combat is just a lot of fun. In the new game though, the bosses are harder to defeat and some don't even wait for your turn to end, instead forcibly play out their turn every few minutes.

There are some annoyances though, the biggest one is the Fast Travel — you can move in an instant from one location in the map to the other. But the locations are almost always never near where you want to get. The game was reviewed on the PS4 Pro and on the console there are too many actions that have to do with swirling the left and the right joystick around, which might damage our controller in the long run. For a long list of great things about the game, these problems are minor enough to ignore. Overall, there is a lot to like in South Park: The Fractured but Whole, especially if you are a fan of the show. It is undeniably a wonderful RPG recommended if you appreciate fart jokes, puking characters and have a tough skin to withstand the harshest of expletives. This is not a game for kids, even though you play a kid in it.

South Park: The Fractured but Whole
Rating: 4.5/5
Developer: Ubisoft
Publisher: Ubisoft
Platform: PC, PS4, XBOX
Price: PC Rs 3,499; PS4, XBOX: Rs 33,599

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