South Park: The Fractured but Whole has finally been released after months of fevered anticipation from fans of the hugely popular TV series. But is the video game game sequel to 2014’s The Stick of Truth actually any good?
In short, the critics certainly believe that it is, after dishing a string of largely positive reviews that praised the inventiveness of the game and its strong storyline.
Among the game’s biggest fans was IGN’s Dan Stapleton, who praised it for being “consistently funny”.
“The emulation of the crude animation style is spot-on, the voice acting is all completely authentic, and the writing quality is up to the high expectations. Exploring its expanded map of South Park and its densely-packed references to the show is a treat for fans, even though it’s quite similar to what we saw in The Stick of Truth”, he wrote.
Similar praise came from WeGotThisCovered’s Charles Blades, who hailed the “complex RPG system” employed in the game.
“When it’s at its best, it touches on aspects of gaming and superhero culture that make for more evergreen content; poking fun at gaming’s silent protagonist trope or Marvel and DC’s ridiculous 10 year movie franchise plans”, he stated.
“All of these instances go over much better than a lot of the more serious, faux topical, subject matter. While Stone and Parker might not be at the top of their game on The Fractured But Whole, their script is more than serviceable enough to deliver an experience that’s still more laugh out loud funny than just about every other game that’s come out since the last one.”
But the game wasn’t without its detractors, with DigitalTrends arguing that it “struggles to capture what’s made the show endure for 20 years”.
Reviewer Phil Hornshaw wrote: “While The Fractured But Whole improves on video game aspects of its predecessor — combat is deeper and more fun, there’s more strategy to gameplay and more to find and explore in South Park — it struggles with the parts that define South Park. More than anything, much of the game struggles to generate laugh.”
South Park: The Fractured but Whole is out now on PS4, Xbox One, and Microsoft Windows.