The game with arguably the best name of any game announced this or any year at E3, not simply because of the puntastic subtitle but because that name actually sounds like the subtitle for a modern (Transformers: Rise of the Fallen, we’re looking at you) movie whilst simultaneously detailing the superpower of the main character, South Park: The Fractured But Whole continues the adventures of New Kid in the quiet mountain town of South Park.
The Stick of Truth set a benchmark for games based on existing movie or TV IPs, managing to make a 30 hour RPG feel like an episode of the show and by the looks of it we should expect the same from the sequel. The announcement trailer, in a nice piece of meta commentary, points out the weakness of the combat system in the original game (a bugbear for many, though we quite liked it), so it will be interesting to see what new mechanics the new developer, Ubisoft San Francisco, has in store.
Rather than continuing the fantasy LARP the kids were playing in the first game, much like every other form of entertainment known to man, South Park: The Fractured But Whole instead sets its sights on superheroism, with the boys and New Kid teaming up to take down Professor Chaos General Disarray and a host of other villains. No details have been released as yet as to New Kid’s superhero alter ego, but considering that Matt Stone and Trey Parker hinted that like all superhero movies, The Fractured But Whole will include an awkwardly kludged in origin story, his powers will invariably revolve around his preternaturally powerful sphincter and the story will reveal how it came to be such a force of gaseous nature.
With Butters taking the role of the villain, the best and most useful companion from the first game will no longer be available, but we’re assuming the roles will be filled by the characters from the South Park episodes Coon & Friends, Coon 2: Hindsight, Mysterion Rises and Coon vs. Coon & Friends. From the trailer it’s obvious Cartman will of course take the role of his off-colour Wolverine/ Batman style character, The Coon, Stan Marsh will return as the hero with a psychic link to all tools, Toolshed, Kenny will be the enigmatic Mysterion and Kyle will be his flying, laser eyed alter-ego, The Human Kite. Many other characters are seen throughout the reveal trailer, including Timmy as Iron Maiden, Token Black as Tupperware, Bradley Biggle (actually the alien Gok’zarah) as the actually superpowered cereal mascot themed Mint-Berry Crunch, and Clyde Donovan as the pretty much useless and not particularly steadfast Mosquito. We’re not sure if they will be full team members for New Kid, but considering they were all part of the original roster of the Coon & Friends superhero team chances seem pretty good.
There is no set release date or window for The Fractured But Whole as yet, but as The Stick of Truth was continuously delayed due to script reworks and tweaking, not getting anyone’s hopes up too early can only be a good thing.