South Park: The Stick of Truth, released three years ago, has become an example of how to make games on movies and serials. Granted that the original source was very specific, which, however, does not detract from the merits of Obsidian Entertainment. Rather, on the contrary: keeping the high intensity of the passions raging in every episode of South Park is not an easy task. The developers have coped with it with a bang. The authors were forgiven even for the fact that the gameplay itself, if you drop all the accompanying entourage, looked very unpretentious and was a typical gameplay of the middle hand JRPG.
Similar success to the publisher was to taste, and Ubisoft, changing the company-developer (now the internal studio Ubisoft San Francisco in conjunction with South Park Digital Studios), announced the continuation – South Park: The Fractured But Whole. It was not without a couple that have already become familiar since the first part of the releases, but now everything is finally over – South Park is again open to all fans of adventure farts.
The brainchild of Matt Stone and Trey Parker, of course, is not the “Simpsons”, but in the twenty-year history of the series, so many stories have been played and so many different stories have been shown that the choice of the basis for the game script was virtually limitless. The authors decided to focus on the current peak of popularity comics about superheroes. Experts of South Park should remember the adventures of Enot (performed by Cartman) and his associates and opponents, who first appeared in South Park back in 2009. http://justplayit.info
The Fractured But Whole continues the superhero theme: if the “Stick of Truth” was a fantasy parody in all its manifestations, then here in the spotlight … no, not saving the world (or cats, as one would have thought at the beginning of the game), but fighting for leadership in creating your own franchise between two teams of superheroes. An obvious kick in the direction of the confrontation between DC and Marvel, but, of course, South Park would not have been South Park, if it had not been for the rest. Everyone laughs at everything: politics, religion in general, and clergymen in particular, family relations, the education system, police, gays and straight people, the mothers of the protagonists, after all … The combination of inventive satire and stupid fecal jokes is always pleasing – everything is as expected in South Park .
You can meet and at least throw a few words with almost all the more or less significant characters who have met in the series for almost three hundred series. It is noticeable that the game was created primarily for those who have long been following the adventures of four schoolchildren and their friends. Separate moments may be completely incomprehensible to those who do not understand the vibrant life of a small town in the state of Colorado. On the other hand, the fans of the series will feel like a fish in the water – the situation with the first part is repeated, which turned out to be so close to the original, which gave the impression of just one more episode in which you can control the heroes yourself.
The same first part, in spite of all the praise, it was possible to scold a little: a meager combat and role-playing system led to the fact that the battles (which in the “Trick of Truth” was enough) turned out to be rather boring. They wanted to miss quickly, to get to the next cut scene or video. They promised to work on this.
The good news: they did not deceive – they worked, they improved and diversified a lot. The news is bad: all efforts have little impact on the final result – ordinary battles still perceive as a hindrance, and there is not much fun in them. Not without exception, of course: they are pleased with the fights with the participation of the cousin Kyle, who is accustomed to “play by the rules” (in the literal sense), or individual fights with “bosses”, in which there is always something funny-crazy.
The battles themselves, as before, are step-by-step. The battlefield is divided into cells by which you can move, and the locations are completely different – from the smallest to the giant. In one move each character can move to a free cell and use one of the four abilities or apply the item from the inventory. In our team there are seats for a maximum of four fighters (almost always the composition of the party is allowed to change right before the fight), but the opponents usually have more, and sometimes new ones appear already during the bout.
It’s great that special skills are unique for almost every opponent, and not just for the main characters. The fantasy of the authors was where to clear up: the sixth graders can throw balls with urine and bugs, girls scratch their nails, and rednecks can drop a bottle on the head. It is in the spirit of the “South Park”, the benefit of characters and locations in it is enough for every taste – a battle with stripper in a nightclub or a battle with priests-perverts in the pantry of the church will be typical examples of local meetings with enemies.
However, the fights at The Fractured But Whole are far from the center of attention. Ordinary fights with sixth graders, ninjas or girls-raisins (these are all separate factions, by the way) can be avoided with banal flight – if this is allowed by the plot, of course.
Changed and role-playing system. Available classes are now as many as a dozen. You can not try everything at once, but as you pass, you can create a multi-class – Cartman podsobit, let it be necessary to return to the horrible (according to all the same Cartman) events of the early childhood of the protagonist. In general, filling in the questionnaire of the character with the indication not only of its class, but also of such important features in the South Park as gender, religion, race and many others, occurs not at the start, but gradually, in the process of performing various missions.
Artifacts and items consumed in combat can be obtained in several ways: to find (had to quickly learn to rummage every locker), remove from the defeated enemy, buy or create from improvised materials. Consumers and money in abundance lie in the same closets, drawers and bags throughout the city. Some will not be easy to reach – it’s necessary to show wit or call friends for help. Finally, not forgotten and “farting magic”, and you can use it both in combat, and while traveling around the city.
By itself, South Park is worthy of a separate mention. The town is well transferred from the series into the game, and it is possible to wander along familiar places with pleasure. In addition to such walks and accomplishment of plot tasks in it, there are things to do: secondary quests like searching for posters with yao or sticking photos of Mr. Adams in the right places, solving various puzzles that allow you to get “loot” from a hard-to-reach place, conversations with ordinary residents, selfies with them for new subscriptions in the “Enotogram” … Finally, visit the numerous toilets for their intended use – with a small mini-game, of course. All these numerous activities, among other things, bring experience, thanks to which our character grows in level.
Mindful of the comparison of the first part with the series itself, you can safely say that the developers managed to create a video game this time, not inferior to the original source. Of course, there were fears that without Obsidian Entertainment it would be difficult to maintain such a high level of quality, but now it’s clear – it turned out. If the “Stick of Truth” showed everyone an obvious example of how to make game adaptations, then The Fractured But Whole is no less vividly shows what the sequel should look like.
However, everything is already on the verge – the differences from the first part are minimal, and next time (if it will) will have to change the gameplay much more strongly. Meanwhile, as before, in a separation from the excellent setting, the gameplay looks very weak.
To be honest, the cons can be safely attributed to nagging. Fans of South Park second part can not be missed in any case, even if it is perceived again as another episode of the series. But before us “South Park” as it is: branded black humor, familiar characters, worthy of a feature film plot – what else is needed for happiness?
Pros: all the merits of the series are carefully transferred to the game – and that’s enough.
Cons: battles with ordinary opponents are still boring; sometimes it takes a long time to get to the mission goal through the whole city.