"South Park: The Fractured But Whole" literally takes place the day after the previous game, "The Stick of Truth." Back in "The Stick of Truth", the player, aka Douchebag, becomes one of the most highly regarded kids in all of South Park. The kids are introduced playing stick of truth, which serves as a decent combat tutorial leaving out some gaming mechanics to be introduced later in the game. Cartman interrupts the game dressed as The Coon to convince the kids to start playing superheroes to gain a $100 reward for a missing cat to kickstart a Coon and Friends Netflix series and beat the Freedom Pals led by Mysterion (Kenny). With the thought of beating Freedom Pals, the kids quit stick of truth to play superheroes, causing the new kid to lose his popularity status. With the new kid following behind, Cartman lets them play superheroes and gives the new kid a choice of three classes: Speedster, Brutalist, and Blaster. With a class and a costume, the new kid is now an official Coon and Friends member, and so their journey for the Netflix series begins.
The game has drastically changed the combat system from "The Stick of Truth." "The Fractured But Whole" combat system takes the form of a grid system with players being able to move around the grid. Players still take turns attacking, keeping the turn-based RPG style of the previous game. When getting attacked, players can do a quick time event to reduce damage and fill up their ultimate meter. Summons makes a return to the game, and adjustments are clearly seen. Instead of summons being a one-time use and forever gone, in "Fractured but Whole" you get five to use once in combat with each summons you discover. Some summons can be crafted or found in the open world but are rare.
As you progress through the game, the new kid gains new... farting abilities, which can turn the tide of combat.
The introduction of the crafting is a nice touch to the series. However, most times it just became unnecessary. You'll have enough of the basic ingredients you'll need to craft whatever healing items you like most of the time, but I didn't find myself using health potions as often as I thought. I sadly learned it's best to spread out and try to balance the different characters on your four-man team. Doesn't do your squad any good with three brutalists going up against a bunch of ranged enemies.
Fast travel has made its return to the game as well. Instead of Timmy taking you around town, it's Fastpass, aka Jimmy, dashing you around. The problem with this system is that most of your objectives are all far away from the fast travel stations, and they only occupy one section of the map, so get ready for a lot of walking.
The puzzles in this game are more abundant than the last and require a lot of backtracking to complete, especially when you have to get a certain buddy to help you complete them. It would be less annoying if they weren't so repetitive. In the end game, I'm disappointed that there is not much to do. Sure you can go find all the collectibles and re-fight enemies you meet on the street, but other than that, the game feels empty. I mean sure you can pay for DLC, but other than that there is not much left to do
Graphics and sound
It looks and feels like you're actually watching the show. It looks and feels like you're in the show! In shops, you get to hear songs played in the show, and in combat, you get some adrenaline-pumping music, especially at the peppermint hippo. ;)
If you loved The Stick of Truth and you're a huge South Park fan, then "The Fractured But Whole" is the game for you. For those new to the South Park series, I recommend playing The Stick of Truth first to test your limits, 'cause South Park is not afraid to push them, especially in this game. I mean what would you expect... it's South Park. With that in mind, go ahead. Have yourself a time down in South Park.