Fans have been highly anticipating South Park: The Fractured But Whole for a while now. The sequel is currently without a release date, but that hasn't stopped video game reporters and South Park aficionados from paying attention to every little tidbit that comes out about the game. As gamers are getting lost in Breath of the Wild and Yooka-Laylee right now, let's not forget that there are more great games on the horizon.
One fact that didn't make the list was that the most recent seasons of South Park will be influencing the game. Stick of Truth was released between season 17 and 18. Season 20 wrapped up at the end of 2016. The developers at Ubisoft are taking note of where the TV show is going and are looking for opportunities to reference great episodes and storylines. So, if you watch the series, then when The Fractured But Whole comes out, be sure to look for those throwbacks and hidden references.
The Fractured But Whole may be further off in the distance than we'd like, but here's a recap of 15 things we already know about the game to remind you there's plenty to be excited about for the South Park sequel.
15 Trey Parker And Matt Stone Are Behind The Game
Trey Parker and Matt Stone, the creators of South Park and Stick of Truth, are also the primary creative geniuses behind The Fractured But Whole. Honestly, fans wouldn't want it any other way. Without Parker and Stone, the game wouldn't have the incredible voice acting and wouldn't feel like one very long South Park episode. Unfortunately, the game isn't being made in six days the way an episode of South Park comes together. But, they're giving this game the same fast-paced tenacity they give every episode. Unfortunately, a video game like this one takes way longer than six days to put together, especially if you want to exceed the high expectations of fans. Besides all of the behind-the-scenes work they're doing, Stone and Parker are also voice-acting in the English version of the game.
14 It Takes Place The Day After "The Stick of Truth"
The Fractured But Whole isn't just a simple sequel, as it's as direct a sequel to the story as you can get since it picks up right where Stick of Truth stops. Cartman and the gang decide to stop playing Wizards and Elves and play Superheroes instead. After all the work you do as the New Kid did to become the coolest, most powerful New Kid in town as a wizard, you have to start all over because it's a brand new game. Figuratively and literally, since Cartman thinks you don't look like a superhero. You have to prove yourself once again as a valuable member of Coon and Friends, who can lead the group to a superhero franchise that crushes Freedom Pals and makes a ton of money.
13 It's Being Developed By Ubisoft This Time
Stick of Truth was developed by Obsidian Entertainment and published by Ubisoft. This time, The Fractured But Whole will be both developed and published by Ubisoft. Ubisoft is also known for great titles such as For Honor, Assassin's Creed, Just Dance and more. It's not clear why Obsidian wasn't chosen to develop the sequel, but they claim they aren't hurt by the decision. Obsidian didn't do a terrible job with the first one, but they have plenty of other projects to keep them busy. Once the sequel is complete, it would be neat to compare and contrast how the two development studios approached South Park in their interpretations. There's quite a bit that needs to be the same, so finding the artistic differences and evaluating the creative choices is going to be fun.
12 It Will Be Twice As Long As Its Predecessor
One of the biggest complaints regarding Stick of Truth was that it wasn't long enough, as the game simply felt too short for some players. Ubisoft, Parker and Stone have taken note and said The Fractured But Whole will at least be twice as long as the first game. According to How Long to Beat, the main story for Stick of Truth takes about 11 hours to complete. Naturally, eleven hours is not that long for an RPG. Going the completionist route takes 18.5 hours on average, which is still short for the genre. Twice as long, at 22 hours, should be the bare minimum for The Fractured But Whole. Most RPGs take about 30 hours to complete the main story, but 22 hours is enough for players to explore several different roles within the game.
11 The Launch Date Has Been Delayed Twice Already
The Fractured But Whole was first announced in 2015 with a release date of Dec. 6th, 2016. In the summer of 2016, the release date was pushed back to March of 2017. In February, Ubisoft again pushed back the release date to the 2017-2018 fiscal year, which runs from April 2017 to March 2018. The sequel, at this time, doesn't have an exact release date. The Fractured But Whole is most likely to launch later this year at the earliest or next spring at the latest. PlayStation, in response to the most recent date change, is no longer taking pre-orders and has refunded players who pre-ordered the game. South Park fans just hope all this wait is going to be worth it!
10 "But Whole" Is Word Play For Something Else
Matt Stone and Trey Parker wanted to call the sequel The Butthole of Time, but were told retailers would be reluctant to put such a product on the shelves. "Butthole" is just not a very nice word. To get around the prudishness, the duo stewed on the name for hours before coming to the epiphany that "butthole" and "but whole" are pronounced exactly the same way. It's a creative way to get around the rules of the retailers, while also keeping the title totally "South Park." Simply, it's a great name; deep, subtle and funny. The Fractured But Whole reflects upon the division within the gang that happens in the story, while recognizing that all of the characters are needed to make the story and the franchise work.
9 The Game Expands Upon The 'Magical But Whole' Power
Just because "butthole" isn't in the name of the game, doesn't mean buttholes aren't going to be part of the game at all. Honestly, we would be very disappointed if they weren't. Parker and Stone originally wanted to have the player's magical butthole be able to "rip one" in the space-time continuum, but that concept is difficult to translate into a video game. Parker and Stone say they've worked with developers to come up with a good compromise, but are keeping that compromise a surprise for right now. On a smaller scale, the player's farts can be used to attack and to scale buildings. How else the magical butthole is "ass"imilated into the video game? Well, we'll just have to wait until the release to find out.
8 You'll Be Able to Play as Either Gender
Character creation was one of the coolest aspects to Stick of Truth. There were so many options for you kid's hair, beard, armor, weapons, eyeglasses, etc to choose from. Even though your character is supposed to be 10, you could make him look 70 if you wanted. Yet, the one part of your character that you couldn't customize was the gender. In Stick of Truth, you had to be a boy. In The Fractured But Whole, players will be able to choose to be a boy or a girl. Because of the storyline, some might not like the idea of "breaking canon" and doing a gender swap mid-story, but that certainly won't be everyone. The character creation process is one of the game's least known aspects, so hopefully it will have tons of cool items and features too.
7 It's Not Coming To The Nintendo Switch
Rumors circulated in March about The Fractured But Whole coming to the Nintendo Switch when South Park's Twitter account referenced Nintendo. However, that's not the case. They confirmed the upcoming game is not coming to the new system any time soon. When the game does come out, it will be released for PC, Xbox One and PS4. Ubisoft, however, didn't comment on the possibility.
The Tweet actually referred to a 2006 episode where Cartman decided to cryogenically freeze himself so he didn't have to wait three weeks for the Nintendo Wii. Dang. If we knew how great Breath of the Wild was going to be, then more of us would've done the same thing Cartman did, but for the Switch, so we didn't have to wait that whole time.
6 You'll Be Able To Explore South Park At Night
Of course, when you are a cryptic, powerful superhero like Coon or Mysterion, you traverse the town at night to stop crime. Duh, that's when the bad guys come out. Players will get to do that in The Fractured but Whole and exploring South Park at night will be absolutely necessary in saving the town and the universe. It's not clear yet what "South Park at Night" will entail. Will there be quests that can only be accomplished at night or quests that require both day and nighttime action? Will there be items or characters who can only be found or areas only accessible at night? Exploring the town at night adds a cool level of exploration to the game that wasn't really there in Stick of Truth.
5 The Game Will Be Available In Seven Languages
Great news for international South Park fans: The Fractured but Whole will be voice-acted in seven languages. Besides English, the game will be available in French, Italian, German, Brazilian Portuguese and two dialects of Spanish. It's not clear if there will be more languages included as subtitles only. South Park may not be the best way to learn a new language, but it would've been fun if Russian was one of the options. Considering the way current affairs are going, Russian hackers and spies would make great fodder for a third game if Stone and Parker decide to pursue it. Stick of Truth only had voice acting for the English version and all other languages only had subtitles (and Russian was one of the supported languages).
4 There Could Be Up to 12 Superhero Classes
The first game only include four classes: Fighter, Mage, Thief and Jew. The Fractured but Whole will feature a whopping 12 superhero classes: Brutalist, Blaster, Speedster, Elementalist, Gadgeteer, Mystic, Cyborg, Psychic, Assassin, Commander, Netherborn, and Karate Kid. According to the pre-alpha gameplay from Gamescom 2016, Brutalist, Blaster and Speedster are the only three players can start with on their first playthrough. The other nine need to be unlocked somehow. The Brutalist would be a superhero like Captain America. Cyclops is most similar to the Blaster. Naturally, the Speedster is like Flash or Quicksilver. Having so many classes in the game is interesting, so I hope the number and types of classes don't change between now and the final release date.
3 There May Be Customizable Costumes Depending on the Class
In a developer sneak peek from Ubisoft, one of the art designers showcased a few design ideas for three of the classes. The 10-second snippet seems to indicate that players will not only be able to customize their characters, but the options available to the player will depend upon the superhero class. The restriction, if it will be part of the final game, is both fascinating and disappointing. On the one hand, the restriction means players will have to play as every single class, at least once, to be able to see all the costumes. On the other hand, if you decide to play the game as a hybrid class, then you can't dress your character to reflect the mix. It's not the worst thing in the world, but there could end up being enough variety within each class' costumes to allow for a variety of interpretations.
2 PewDiePie's Playthrough was Used as Feedback
One of the great things about developing games in the 21st century is that famous YouTubers like PewDiePie could play your game for thousands and provide honest feedback as they play the game. Parker and Stone watched PewDiePie's playthrough of Stick of Truth, took notes on what he liked and didn't like, and incorporated that feedback into the next game. Parker and Stone wanted to see how Stick of Truth was received before deciding to proceed with a sequel, so it's great for them to include the audience in this way. I'm not sure if The Fractured But Whole is the first game to utilize YouTuber influence in this manner, but it may be one of the first to acknowledge it as an integral part of a game's development.
1 Combat Will Be More Tactical
Much like the first game, the combat in The Fractured But Whole will also be turn-based. The mechanic is great for comedic timing and is also easy to understand. However, for the sequel, the developers wanted the combat to be much more strategic and feel a little more challenging. One way they are doing that is adding positioning, where players can move the characters on the field. The positioning could mean characters have to be in specific ranges in order to hit opponents, dodge hits or heal teammates. The developers also hinted at the possibility of being able to combine moves and powers with other members of your team. The more tactical combat, in conjunction with the superhero classes, could lead to some incredible gaming moments.