The Fractured But Whole: First Impressions
So I've been tearing through games ever since I stopped playing Horizon: Forbidden West. This is a standard trajectory for me as far as modern gaming is concerned: I finish a game that I found excellent - which is exactly what I thought of Horizon, and then I frantically jump from game to game until I land on something I am going to actually play for any length of time.
I didn't spend much time on Onmo or Endling not because they are bad games but they just didn't have the level of variety and complexity that fit just perfectly into what I am looking for in a game. I'm fussy when it comes to games that I am going to enjoy and I readily admit this. It takes just the right kind of game to entertain me for more than an hour or two.
I had been putting the latest Southpark game on the back burner for quite some time and it has been in my downloaded library for many moons. After having a go at a couple of games and because it is taking up a rather large part of my overall storage space, I figured it was time to go ahead and get in there.
When I fired up the game and it initially looked and functioned exactly like The Stick of Truth I wasn't at all surprised. The first game was a pretty fantastic time-based RPG and there wasn't really any reason for them to change that. You play as the "new kid" and you don't get to choose your own name and all that, but it throws you straight into the action with a brief and easily beatable tutorial of sorts. Other than choosing your look, you don't really do anything in the creation process and this appeals to me immensely since I don't really enjoy massive lead in's when it comes to starting a new game.
I don't normally spend a great deal of time on character creation so I only changed a couple of things about the default character look. I did find it very amusing and very "Southpark-y" that you select the game difficulty based on your skin color. The darker you are, the harder the game is. Southpark has never been concerned with being at all PC so this was absolutely perfect in my mind.
When we enter the game the kids in the neighborhood are all still playing as if it was medieval times but Cartman is tired of doing that so he decides to travel "back in time" as his titular superhero "The Coon" to warn everyone that he needs their help hundreds of years in the future so they must travel in time with him in order to save the neighborhood. What has actually happened is that he saw a sign offering a $100 reward for finding a lost cat and he needs his friends to help him get it back so he can undoubtedly use them to get the money for himself.
Gameplay is a little slow moving compared to what you are going to see in most modern games so I am going to go out on a limb here and say that people who aren't fans of Southpark, you are probably not going to enjoy this game very much. The gameplay is very old school and simplistic and I think that for many this will not be a good thing. There is a reason why turn-based RPG's have basically been phased out. I still enjoy them because I was there when they were the only option in RPG's for the most part. I find them considerably more relaxing than modern day games for the most part so I like having it as an option especially if it is in a humorous game. I don't however like them generally speaking.
I try to like them because of the nostalgia, but there have been multiple turn-based RPG's that I have thrown out in recent times because as much as I enjoy visiting my roots, they can be perceived as "boring" compared to the various aspects that RPG's simply weren't capable of back when I was growing up. They used them back then because it was really all that games were capable of, these days, it seems a bit lazy when they are included in games.
I haven't gotten that far into the game thus far and nothing I have encountered has been difficult in the slightest. I know this will change as things go on though based on my experience in the Stick of Truth.
These games are based mostly on their humor and excellent voice acting that only Matt Stone and Trey Parker could possibly get away with. I read somewhere the other day that both of them have invented and performed thousands of individual voices for the series and they are absolutely excellent at it. They might be the best at it. So between the jokes and characters, the game is really solid, at least up to this point. Other than that though, this game is pretty basic and if it weren't for the characters that they have spend decades creating, there isn't anything particularly awe-inspiring about this game.
However, this is not to say that the game is bad and I haven't played enough of it to really have a full opinion yet anyway. I'm just saying that the way the game looks and feels, if it was anything other than the brilliance that is the humor and art-style that Southpark has established over the years, that it probably wouldn't do very well. This game would also probably be boycotted by multiple sectors of society since it makes fun of just about anything you can imagine.
If there was ever a group that doesn't give a damn about cancel-culture though, it would be Stone and Parker. It is assumed that the game is going to be offensive and I would be seriously disappointed if they did try to cater to woke audiences. They did not.
So far I have been happy with this title but I think it will remain something that I play every now and then because it really isn't engaging enough as far as the gameplay is concerned to really hold your interest on its own. This is a fun game to have in your lineup for when whatever else you are playing becomes too difficult and you just want to relax.
Unlike virtually every other game I have played ever, I don't skip the cutscenes and am not annoyed when the game is hijacked by aspects of the story. I actually enjoy when that happens here.
So go ahead and add this to your library before it disappears from the "free" section of PS-Plus, which could always happen without notice. Remember, once you add it to your library it is there forever, even if Playstation removes it from their offerings in the PS-Plus shop.