Parents need to know that "South Park: The Fractured But Whole" is a mature role-playing game (RPG). While cartoon-like, the game is violent, bloody, and gory (including scenes of decapitation and dismemberment). It has many scenes with sexuality and nudity, including a controversial scene with Catholic priests who want to molest a South Park character and pull rosary beads out of their anuses. There's also a scene in a strip club where players perform a lap dance on other characters. The game features strong profanity and some drug use (along with a mission tied to delivery of narcotics). Finally, there are comments made about movements like Black Lives Matter, along with some potentially offensive racial comments including words like "nigga" and "coon" (though both aren't used derogatorily). In fact, the game lets you choose the difficulty for your character with sliding the color of your skin from white to darker to make life "harder" (like the TV show, there's social commentary mixed with satire here).
WHAT'S IT ABOUT?
"South Park: The Fractured But Whole" is a fantasy role-playing game that tells of rising crime in South Park, Colorado, so the town needs new heroes to come to the rescue. Eric Cartman takes advantage of the opportunity to create "the best superhero franchise ever" (also in the hopes of scoring a movie deal). As the South Park friends travel to multiple places and take on many quests, they'll engage in combat sequences against enemies in turn-based fashion on a grid-like battlefield. By choosing the right offensive and defensive moves, you could destroy evil and slowly unravel more of the story. This single-player game also features a revamped looting and crafting system, more options on upgrades and leveling up, hidden goodies, and hilarious (but, oh so racy) situations the team find themselves in.
IS IT ANY GOOD?
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If you enjoy turn-based role-playing games, love the "South Park" TV show, or racy humor, you'll love this take on the characters exploring their town. While there might not be a lot of tact, there's a whole lot of tactics with the refined combat system. So if you don't mind your main character using flatulence to destroy enemies, you'll find a lot of solid gameplay here that can last more than 20 hours. While adventuring through South Park is quite funny, it's the combat that will keep you glued to the TV or PC. You'll take on multiple missions and side-quests, as well as explore indoor and outdoor areas, including ones that have environmental puzzles. You can look for collectibles, crafting items, and secret goodies, and you'll unlock and upgrade characters through a deep skill tree structure. There isn't much wrong with this game – unless you think the multi-purpose "flatulence" mechanic is a bit much – but overall, it's an excellent turn-based RPG that's anything but politically correct.
RATING AND CONTENT
Recommended for ages 18 and older
Quality: 4 out of 5
Positive messages: 0 out of 5
Positive role models: 2 out of 5
Ease of play: 5 out of 5
Violence: 4 out of 5
Sex: 5 out of 5
Language: 5 out of 5
Drinking, drugs, and smoking: 5 out of 5
Consumerism: 4 out of 5 (Are products/advertisements embedded? Is the title part of a broader marketing initiative/empire? Is the intent to sell things to kids?)
Platforms: PlayStation 4, Windows, Xbox One
Release date: October 17, 2017
Genre: Role Playing
ESRB rating: M for blood and gore, mature humor, nudity, sexual content, strong language, use of drugs, violence
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