South Park: The Fractured but Whole is a 2017 role-playing video game developed by Ubisoft San Francisco and published by Ubisoft in collaboration with South Park Digital Studios. Based on the American adult animated television series South Park, it is the sequel to the 2014 video game South Park: The Stick of Truth. The game’s narrative occurs one day after the events of its predecessor; it follows the New Kid,
who has recently moved to South Park and becomes involved in an epic roleplay involving two rival superhero factions vying to create their own superhero media franchises. The superheroes’ game unintentionally uncovers a conspiracy to raise crime in the town, bringing them into conflict with supervillains, genetically engineered monsters, the police, crime families, and the new kingpin of crime.
The game is played from a 2.5D third-person perspective, replicating the aesthetic of the television series. The New Kid is able to freely explore South Park, interacting with characters, undertaking quests, and accessing new areas by progressing through the main story. The player can choose from up to ten superhero archetypes ranging from high-speed Speedsters, close-combat Brutalists, powerful Psychics, and healing Plantmancers; each offering unique abilities. The New Kid and up to three allies fight their enemies using attacks including melee, ranged, and powerful farts. Battles take place on a grid, around which participants can move freely. Attacks have specific areas of effect, requiring tactical positioning for attack and defense.
Following Ubisoft’s purchase of the rights to The Stick of Truth in 2013, the company moved the development of the sequel from Obsidian Entertainment to Ubisoft San Francisco. South Park creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone were unsure whether to make a sequel to the 2014 game or work on a new film project, opting for the game. Parker and Stone were involved throughout the game’s production; they wrote its script, consulted on the design, and voiced many of the characters. The show’s composer Jamie Dunlap worked on the game’s soundtrack alongside Ubisoft San Francisco, creating music that was heavily inspired by the scores of several superhero films.
Like its predecessor, the release of The Fractured but Whole was subject to several delays. The game was initially set for release in December 2016 but it was postponed for nearly a year. It was released worldwide for Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One on October 17, 2017. The game received generally positive reviews, which praised the improvements and creativity of combat scenarios and faithfulness to the source material. Reviewers were divided over the story; some critics called it a humorous improvement, while others said it was less effective and relied too much on toilet humor. The game received post-release, supplemental story missions as downloadable content (DLC), and a Nintendo Switch version in 2018.