South Park: The Fractured But Whole is Ubisoft’s follow-up to their 2014 hit South Park: The Stick of Truth. While The Stick of Truth drew from South Park’s Game of Thrones episode arc, The Fractured But Whole draws from the series’ superhero parody arc, which spans multiple seasons. The first game was so good that you may wonder, could Ubisoft, Matt Stone, and Trey Parker hit gold yet a second time? The answer is a resounding yes. The Stick of Truth was Matt Stone and Trey Parker’s first time writing and developing a video game. The game went through multiple re-writes and was delayed on a number of occasions. While The Fractured But Whole was delayed a year, that seems to have paid off quite nicely.

Editor’s Note: Due to glitches experienced after this review was published, the review has been re-scored appropriately. It is still the magical fun-filled experiences, and patches may fix the issues, but we had no choice but the re-score the game based on these technical issues.
Morgan

South Park The Fractured But Whole Review

The video game format gives South Park a certain amount of freedom that television limits. The Fractured But Whole is the ultimate South Park experience. It is, quite frankly, the greatest South Park “episode” of all time.

Civil War

South Park The Fractured But Whole Review

The Fractured But Whole picks up right where The Stick of Truth left off. In that sense, it’s a literal sequel. As so often as kids do, they simply decide to stop playing as wizards and start playing superheroes. As opposed to being based on Game of Thrones like The Stick of Truth was, The Fractured But Whole is a parody of the Marvel superhero franchise. The “Coon and Friends” episodes of South Park are arguably some of the best and most popular episodes in the show’s entire run. The game blatantly parodies Marvel’s Civil War. While Civil War was hit-and-miss, The Fractured But Whole is a home run.

south park the fractured but whole review

Coon and Friends become split over how to structure the Coon and Friends superhero franchise which they are going to fund by winning $100 by finding missing cats. Several heroes break off and create the Freedom Pals, including Stan, Timmy, Token, and others. The story starts here, but as always with South Park, nothing is what it seems. Things seriously become crazy as the story unfolds. This is the best South Park story put to any form of media. One of the coolest parts about the game is that it includes material up to South Park season 20. Yes, PC Principal and even Memberberries are present in the game. Member? I member.

south park the fractured but whole review

You reprise the role of The New Kid (referred to as Douchebag in Stick of Truth and Butthole in The Fractured but Whole), whose ungodly farting power once again plays a large role in the game. Initially, you have the chance to choose from one of three classes which forms the base of your powers. When you get further in the game though, you get to choose a second class and combine it with powers from the first. Utilizing the app on your phone, you can mix and match your powers. You can also visit Cartman at any time to change your classes.

South Park The Fractured But Whole Review

South Park The Fractured But Whole Review

South Park The Fractured But Whole Review

You also unlock “buddy powers” as you progress through the adventure which allows you to solve puzzles. These abilities vary and can be performed by summoning another hero to your aid. The game is very exploration-heavy and it is very satisfying once everything comes together and you’re able to solve puzzles or reach areas that earlier in the game were inaccessible.

An Interactive Cartoon

South Park The Fractured But Whole Review

The Fractured But Whole reminds me a lot of The Wind Waker from the Zelda series. Not because the two are similar in content, but because both are interactive cartoons. The Fractured But Whole emulates South Park’s visuals to a tee. The game is the ultimate South Park experience. What is so great about the series is that it is an equal-opportunity offender. South Park offends everyone; in fact, it sets out to do just that. It’s not necessarily making a political or social statement, it’s just showing us how ridiculous the world we live in is. That’s one of the reasons why people love it so much. The other reason is because, in the end, it’s a story about 10-year-olds being 10-year-olds. The best episodes of South Park are the stories of kids just being kids.

South Park The Fractured But Whole Review

The Fractured But Whole is a mix of this. At its core, it’s a story of kids being kids and playing superheroes. It sets out to offend though from the moment you start the game. If you choose to play the game on the highest difficulty, your character is black. The harder you make the game, the more “colored” your character will be. In one sense it’s a hilarious commentary on the current state of race relations in this country, but at the same time, it is horrendously offensive. I love it. There’s also a lap dance mini-game that is completely inappropriate and would never be allowed on television, but, they’re able to do it in a video game. Again, offensive and disgusting, but hilarious in its own way.

South Park The Fractured But Whole Review

South Park The Fractured But Whole Review

You also get to choose your gender in the game and choose whether you are “transgender” or “cisgender.” If you choose cisgender Mr. Mackey calls your parents to alert them, tells you that you can return to him at any time to change your mind, and that you “have options”as if something like that is a choice. Yes, it is a social commentary on the topic, which can get heated, but The Fractured But Whole talks about it in such a way that makes it funny and removes politics from the equation and inserts common sense. At some point in the game, you can also return to PC Principal and change your race, similar to your gender.

It’s on!

South Park The Fractured But Whole Review

Ubisoft took over development of the game from Obsidian, who developed The Stick of Truth. They improved upon the first game in every way. The combat is simple, yet at the same time, it’s a lot of fun and the most improved aspect of The Fractured But Whole. The fact that they are now incorporating superheroes and superpowers gave them more to work with as well. With each battle, you can choose three of your allies to accompany you into battle. Because characters are so diversified, it’s important to choose characters with powers who complement your superhero.

South Park The Fractured But Whole Review

Another gameplay addition to the game is Coonstagram, which is accessible through your mobile phone. Gaining followers will also gain allies. There are some characters that will only become your follower if you complete certain tasks for them. Coonstagram is a great addition to the game, and it’s interesting to see everyone in the game always on their mobile phones. It’s a great commentary on today’s society. Everyone is always on their phones. In fact, my brother gets so upset about it that it has become his rule that no one can be on their phone during dinner. Of course, not even our parents listen, but it is a good rule of thumb. South Park, once again, hits the nail on the head with their commentary.

South Park The Fractured But Whole Review

South Park The Fractured But Whole Review

The Bottom Line

south park the fractured but whole review

South Park: The Fractured But Whole is not only the best South Park game ever made but the best South Park experience put to media. It is a step up from The Stick of Truth on every level. It also draws from the Mysterion arc from the series, the best arc in South Park history. Ubisoft was already a top-notch developer, but with Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle and now The Fractured But Whole, they have put themselves on the map as one of the elite third-party developers in the industry. The year isn’t even over yet either.

South Park: The Fractured But Whole takes the best elements of the show and improves upon them in an interactive format. It’s easily one of the best games of the year, and a must-play game for everyone.

Taking over from Obsidian, Ubisoft improved upon every aspect of the game’s predecessor. South Park’s delay was actually a good thing because the game was actually able to incorporate more of the series’ material. The battle system is fun, the class system is diversified and gives the game plenty of replayability, Coonstagram is addictive, and the puzzles are interesting and require critical thinking. The game does make social commentary, as does the show, but it does it without being political. It’s an equal-opportunity-offender, which is why so many people love South Park.

South Park: The Fractured But Whole takes the best elements of the show and improves upon them in an interactive format. It’s easily one of the best games of the year, and a must-play game for everyone.

Thank you to Ubisoft for providing VG Culture HQ a review copy of The Fractured But Whole for review purposes.

South Park The Fractured But Whole Review (PS4)
South Park: The Fractured But Whole is the best South Park experience to be put to any form of media. Ubisoft, Matt Stone, and Trey Parker have outdone themselves and put together one of the best games of 2017.
Overall Score9
Pros
  • Graphically identical to the show; it's an interactive cartoon
  • The battle system is top-notch and superpowers are fun!
  • The story is off-the-wall amazing and the best South Park experience put to any form of media
Cons
  • Houses have re-used assets on the inside
  • Lip Sync Issues
  • Game Froze
9Overall Score
Reader Rating: (1 Vote)
10.0