Do you know what this game is called in French? It’s “South Park: L’annale du destin“. Get it? It’s always good to know that crudeness is universal. Moving on, South Park: The Stick of Truth was glorious, and showed how much gaming potential the franchise really had. The announcement of the sequel was met with tremendous hype, and an early build of the game was playable on the rAge 2016 show floor.
The game kicked off with the same opening we saw at E3 2016 – the South Park kids have all switched from LARPing to playing super heroes, and they are split apart over a franchising argument. You play once again as Douchebag, the New Kid with incredible gastric abilities. After joining up with Cartman’s group (Coon and Friends), you’re prompted to choose a superhero class, each with its own skill tree and abilities. From there, the demo took players through their tragic, NSFW, origin story, and gave a brief chance to roam the town.
The biggest change is to the combat system. In The Stick of Truth, combat relied largely on static turn-based combat, and players were limited to one extra party member. Now, your party consists of two extra characters, combat takes place in a grid-based plane, and characters will need to move themselves around to find targets. Attacks and abilities are governed by this system; some only target adjacent squares, while others are interrupted by party members or obstacles. Although I was thoroughly curb-stomped in my first real battle, it’s clear that the new system is far deeper and more robust than the old.
The demo ended far too quickly, and while it didn’t give a proper idea of the scale of the town, it was incredibly promising. The narrative feels stronger from the get-go, the humour is laugh out loud funny, and the Fanservice Dial has been turned up to 11. South Park: The Fractured But Whole will launch for PC, PS4, and Xbox One early in 2017.