South Park: The Frac­tured But Whole

Fans will love this flat­u­lent se­quel. Oth­ers will pinch their noses and run

XBox: The Official Magazine (US) - - PREVIEW - Robert Zak

Our big­gest take­away from play­ing South Park: The Frac­tured But Whole is fart­ing; fart­ing our way through a lap dance, fart­ing a cou­ple of drunk strip­club pa­trons un­con­scious, and fart­ing into a cock­tail of ‘boogers n’ cum’. Maybe you’re chuck­ling right now, or maybe you’re squirm­ing un­com­fort­ably. Which­ever it is, your re­ac­tion to that in­tro will tell you right away whether this game is for you.

You are once again the new kid in town, but this time ev­ery­one’s play­ing ‘su­per­heroes’. Your be­spoke avatar is thrown into the mid­dle of a rift be­tween Cart­man’s crew, Coon and Friends, and Mys­te­rion’s Free­dom Pals. Start­ing out as a side­kick to the un­coolest kid in South Park, Scott Malkin­son, you even­tu­ally work your way up the su­per­hero hi­er­ar­chy to roll with Cart­man and co.

In our hands-on, we in­fil­trated the not-so-sub­tly named South Park strip­club, Pep­per­mint Hippo, in search of a miss­ing cat. The an­i­ma­tion is per­fect, in so far as it’s in­dis­tin­guish­able from an episode of the show, and the back­grounds teem with vis­ual gags and ref­er­ences to the se­ries—a man at the uri­nal send­ing way­ward streams on the floor, sev­eral of the South Park boys’ dads ogling the dancers, a trans­sex­ual strip­per pok­ing her head in dur­ing a bat­tle to ask if any­one wants a dance. If you like SouthPark, you’ll be in a state of fond, per­pet­ual gig­gling.

There’s a new com­bat sys­tem of­fer­ing more depth by let­ting you move around on a turn-based grid, uti­liz­ing the en­vi­ron­ment, and com­bin­ing the 12 char­ac­ter classes to max­i­mum ef­fect. It works well enough, as we despatch drunk pa­trons us­ing a com­bi­na­tion of snow­ball flur­ries, dou­ble-team moves and, of course, farts, but it still feels shal­low—a game­play-lite ex­cuse to lis­ten to some crass di­a­logue writ­ten by none other than Trey Parker and Matt Stone.

Gassed out

We’ve al­ways been ‘sure, why not?’ about SouthPark. We’re privy to the odd runny-shit/shit-out-of­mouth joke, but af­ter 15 min­utes of

per­sis­tently in­ter­act­ing with on­de­mand farts, con­doms on ceil­ings, and cock­tails that fea­ture ‘rat shit’, we felt ex­hausted. For us, ex­cre­ment jokes are man­age­able in bite-sized chunks (urgh), not multi-hour ses­sions as this game en­cour­ages.

The TV show thrives in mak­ing view­ers un­com­fort­able (the Brit­ney Spears and Michael Jack­son episodes spring to mind). The equiv­a­lent here is giv­ing a flat­u­lent lap-dance to a cou­ple of drunk strip­club pa­trons who con­fuse you for short women. Yes, you—a child—are giv­ing a lap­dance to a man in a rhythm-based minigame. It’s ‘Funny’ be­cause ‘Fart­ing’, or some­thing, but we found it rather ob­nox­ious, lack­ing any of the satir­i­cal un­der­cur­rent run­ning through sim­i­larly un­com­fort­able scenes in the show.

Not that SouthPark fans are likely to be put off. Pro­ducer Kim­berly Weigend told us that one of the goals here was to “make it pretty much just an ex­ten­sion of the show”, and that’s what Frac­tured But Whole is.

There’s lit­tle nov­elty here, and from a pure gam­ing per­spec­tive it’s only marginally less rudi­men­tary than

Stick­OfTruth, but if that’s your cup of smug farts, then by all means take a deep, in­dul­gent sniff, and en­joy. For peo­ple who can take SouthPark or leave it, the stench may be a lit­tle stale by now. For haters, it will be as in­suf­fer­able as ever.

“If you like South Park, you’ll be in a state of fond, per­pet­ual gig­gling”

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.