Friday, September 02, 2016
During E3, Ubisoft showed off a small chunk of South Park: The Fractured But Whole. It looked good, was brilliantly funny in classic South Park fashion, and amply demonstrated that the sequel is expanding upon The Stick of Truth in interesting and meaningful ways. Among these is the new combat grid and the ability to control your character's ass sphincter with the analogue sticks. What more could you possibly ask for?
Flash forward to Gamescom, and this time we had the chance to actually play the very same section, breezing through what we'd already seen but two short months earlier. Sure, we'd seen it all before (and you probably have too, in various gameplay trailers), but it was nice to get our grubby mitts on The Fractured But Whole anyway, regardless of its diminished capacity to surprise. Opting to dispense with the Nosulus Rift peripheral used to blast fart stench directly into player's nostrils, we sat down to play the game bereft of synthetic butt stink.
Like South Park: The Stick of Truth, The Fractured But Whole perfectly recreates the look and style of Trey Parker and Matt Stone's animated series, and the whole thing moves in the exact same way, as you'd expect. We didn't really think there'd be any change in regard to the game's visuals; The Stick of Truth did an impeccable job in transposing the show to the realm of the RPG. Changes primarily come in the form of gameplay mechanics, with the combat's injection of additional tactical depth addressed in the aforementioned grid during battle, in which the movement of your characters is restricted to designated boundaries.
The turn-based battling requires more thought than in the previous game, as certain moves and abilities also have a predetermined range and area of effect, so there's simply no use breaking out a Speedster class character's Quantum Punch or a Super Sonic Dash unless your enemies are in the right place to receive maximum damage. Otherwise, a move's impact can be greatly reduced or wasted completely if it's misjudged. We'd have liked to try other classes, of which there are several that can be mixed and matched to create unique combinations of abilities, but our demo was restricted to only the Speedster.
Still, we were afforded the chance to interact with The Coon and his friends, including SuperCraig and the Human Kite, with the latter able to help you perform 'fartkour' to reach inaccessible high areas where you'll find chests containing items for crafting. We also had the chance to enjoy the prologue tutorial, playing Douchebag's tragic backstory fabricated by Cartman, in which he discovers his dad fucked his mom. Later, we also battled the Freedom Pals in the middle of the street, much to the chagrin of passing drivers.
With so many more classes to sample, like the Brutalist, Psychic, Blaster, Gadgeteer, Assassin, Mystic and Elementalist, there's clearly a lot more to the South Park sequel than a brief hands-on demo can convey. And as Ubisoft promises the game will be around twice as long as The Stick of Truth, there's going to be a hell of a lot of stuff to discover in South Park: The Fractured But Whole when it launches later this year. Factor in the trademark South Park humour and we can't really see how this could possibly go wrong.
South Park: The Fractured But Whole is out on 6th December for PlayStation 4, Xbox One and PC.
Saturday, September 03, 2016 @ 08:11 AM
Monday, September 05, 2016 @ 02:54 AM