Want This/Play This: 'South Park: The Stick of Truth' Previews 'The Fractured But Whole'
When “South Park: The Fractured But Whole” releases on Oct. 17, players will be transported back to that sleepy, but totally crazy, town in Colorado for another adventure.
The gang are engaged in a game of superheroes when franchising plans go awry, splitting the group into rival super groups. As the New Kid, you’ll be thrust into the action with super powers and plenty of hilarious jokes.
If this sounds slightly familiar, it is. In “South Park: The Stick of Truth,” it was fantasy characters instead of comic book characters as the basis for the game’s adventure. “The Stick of Truth” came out in 2014, so while you wait for “The Fractured But Whole,” dive into this title and get the first glimpse of how Trey Parker and Matt Stone envisioned their television series in gaming form.
“The Stick of Truth” also uses the New Kid, named Douchebag by Eric Cartman, as the avatar for the player, and they are tasked with a role-playing adventure for control of the Stick of Truth. Players can be a fighter, thief, mage, or Jew (think of the monk class of “Dungeons and Dragons” with long-range abilities.
It is turn-based combat, where the characters fashion different common items as their weapons. A firecracker becomes a fireball spell, and a bottle of water is a healing potion. Armor is similarly done, and both can be enhanced by add-ons.
The town is open for exploration, and fast travel using Timmy is highly encouraged. There will be a lot of back and forth to complete missions, so be prepared to use Timmy often.
Butters, Stan, Kyle, and Cartman can join the New Kid’s party, one at a time, and help in combat situations. Each have their own set of powers and abilities to be used by the player when needed.
Social media raises its head early and often in the game. The player is encouraged to talk to as many characters as possible to learn important and unimportant facts about what’s going on in the town. Becoming social media friends also unlocks perks for the New Kid, and his Facebook page keeps track of his inventory and quests.
In typical South Park fashion, the fantasy RPG quickly goes off the rails, and many characters from the show make appearances. The game stays very true in actions and language to the source material, so if you like the television program, you will understand many of the references, offensive jokes, and humor that was relevant in the early 2010s in the game.
While the game received high praise for the adaptation of the show, there were some complaints about the shallowness of the actual gameplay. Combat did get repetitive at times, and many of the quests seemed to lack true difficulty.
However, the game was spot on for its comedic use, and for fans of the show, it was a perfect way to actually engage with Eric, Stan, Kyle and Kenny. Since the art and graphics work was pulled straight from the show, it enhanced the overall look and feel of the game and the interactions between characters.
“South Park: The Fractured But Whole” is likely to head down this path by tapping into the show’s comedic style and characters. But if you can’t wait, step into “The Stick of Truth” to bide your time and fart to your heart’s content.