E3 2016: South Park: The Stick of Truth Leads to The Fractured But Whole

Games that are based on licensed properties such as movies and television shows are notorious for being terrible, typically in regards to both being a bad game and being a poor adaptation of the source material.  South Park:  The Stick of Truth was an exception to the rule of licensed game excrement, and with Trey Parker and Matt Stone serving the roles of creative directors and lead writers, South Park:  The Fractured But Whole looks like it will be satisfactory to both fans of South Park and RPGs.

Changing things up from its predecessor which was satirical of video games, the sequel is focusing more on satirizing movies and entertainment in general.  Typical RPG classes such as wizard, warrior, and Jew have been replaced with classes such as speedster or brick that are more in line with a superhero motif.  The premise of The Fractured But Whole centers around Cartman’s superhero alter ego and vigilante team Coon and Friends.  In typical Cartman fashion, he is trying to increase the Coon brand in order to get one billion dollars.  The player will once again assume control of the New Kid, and will be given an interactive back story when selecting his class.

Unlike The Stick of Truth where a class is selected with no knowledge of what it may entail, this interactive backstory provides opportunity to test out the powers of the various classes.  This is worked into the story with the explanation of Cartman wants the New Kid to create a marketable superhero identity to help him reach his billion dollar goal.  The overall set up of the game is like one of the episodes where the kids get involved with some game and the rest of the town just goes along with it, something along the lines of the Game of Thrones/console wars episodes or the Anime episode from several seasons ago.  The character class creation is meant to emulate the kids playing a game and being like okay, you can have more powers but you also need to have this Kryptonite.

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Combat will remain turn based, although the action will take place in the actual location that is being explored instead of an approximation that was used in the predecessor.  A new mechanic added to the battle is time farts, which alters the order in which a character takes their turn.  Is the fart so foul it throws off everyone’e equilibrium and breaks their concentration, or does everyone just agree to change things up because someone farted?  No real confirmation was given in discussion, but the reason doesn’t matter so much as this mechanic should appeal to the immature part of most people’s sense of humor.  I can only speak for myself, but that is the largest part of my sense of humor.  The Fractured But Whole promises to produce more visceral and interactive farts than The Stick of Truth.

The town of The Fractured But Whole is the same town that was previously explored but there have been some revisions made.  The familiarity of the New Kid living next to Butters living next to Cartman remains intact, but new additions such as the strip club Peppermint Hippo have been included.  There was also a vague mention that some influence from South Park season 19 will be featured in this game.  Due to the TV show’s production schedule and the game’s scheduled release date it is extremely unlikely that elements from the upcoming season twenty will be featured but that has not been ruled out as a possibility for DLC.  Season twenty does not begin until September, so it is way too early for that to even be a thought in the creators’ minds.

With Parker and Stone being so heavily involved with the production, fans of the show can expect the incorporation of elements from the show to be properly utilized.  An example given is that Kanye West will make an appearance in a mini game involving his gay fish persona.  No confirmation has been given about cameos by Shake Weight or Creme Fraiche.  Parker and Stone are known to be avid gamers, and while the target audience for The Fractured But Whole is South Park fans, their involvement is to ensure that this will be a quality RPG even if the South Park world was not attached to it.  Like The Stick of Truth, this looks like it is not a C level game that uses a license to increase sales.  This is designed to be a quality RPG gamers can appreciate.  It just so happens to take place in the quiet, little, redneck, podunk, white trash town of South Park.

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