The ‘South Park’ Games Are the Best Kind of Fan Service

Drew Dietsch
Games Animated Series
Games Animated Series

Ubisoft’s E3 presentation showed off new videos from South Park: The Fractured But Whole (heh heh), the sequel to the immensely popular and well-made The Stick of Truth, and the trailer made it very clear that creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone are taking aim at the abundance of superhero media that dominates our pop culture landscape. Check out the giggle-inducing trailer:

They also premiered new changes to the combat system; while still being turn-based, there’s now a grid that your players can move around on. It’s a mechanic that brings to mind board games and tactical RPGs like Final Fantasy Tactics or Advance Wars. The changes all look for the better and will probably mean the actual gaming component will be an excellent addition to an already solid foundation. If you like, you can watch the entire presentation here:

What I adored about The Stick of Truth (and it looks to be present in The Fractured But Whole as well) was how it felt like you were traversing through a classic episode of South Park. Trey and Matt have used the last few seasons of the show to experiment with its format and mythology in big ways. They’ve also begun to stray further away from episodes devoted heavily to pop culture issues (ex: “The Passion of the Jew”, “Free Hat”, or “The China Probrem”) and moved toward more far-reaching topics to lampoon. That’s not necessarily bad but it does make the newer episodes feel apart from what came before. But that’s why the games feel like the purest of fun; they channel the more juvenile and nonsensical ideas that made South Park the beloved universe it is.

The Fractured But Whole and The Stick of Truth succeed in treating the fans right by giving them what they want: outlandish and transgressive humor that is laced with infantile glee. If Trey and Matt want to channel that part of their creativity into gaming and try new things on the television show, that sounds fantastic.

All I ask is that we get to see Cartman dressed up as Immortan Joe at some point. I need that in my life.

Ubisoft announced at the press conference that South Park: The Fractured But Whole will release on Dec. 6, 2016.

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