South Park: The Fractured But Whole: PS4 Review
Released by Ubisoft
I've not ventured back to South Park for years.
While I'm aware that the show continues under the watchful satirical eye of Parker and Stone, the last time I touched South Park was the Stick of Truth game a few years back.
This latest, the wonderfully mature titled South Park: The Fractured But Whole seems to build on exactly what they did with the first one, but makes it a little naughtier and a little bit more welcoming for both casual and long term fans of the show.
Whereas the Stick of Truth roundly mocked fantasy, this Fractured But Whole takes a swipe at superhero films and the team-up mentality.
You get to play the New Kid (on the South Park block) as Cartman as the Coon time travels back into the past to prevent a kitty from going missing. But the Coon's arrival causes a civil war between the kids with each taking sides in the conflict.... it's up to you to tip the balance of power.
There are moments of satire in South Park: The Fractured But Whole which amuse and as ever with Parker and Stone's world some of it sticks, some of it misses. There are classes to negotiate and unlock as the game goes on, and things to do with crafting.
In amongst that is all the puerile scatological edges you've come to expect from the show. From using toilets at every house to simply letting one rip whenever you want, the game's got the South Park mentality to a tee.
Combat this time is still turn based and takes place on a grid - it's a little less complicated than previously, and still provides as much bemusement as it does amusement.
It's also got the look and feel of the show down to perfection as well - it almost feels like you've crafted your own South Park adventure at home and animated it yourself.
That's perhaps part of the problem for South Park: The Fractured But Whole in some ways. It all feels very familiar and like The Stick of Truth to make it feel like an evolution of the series and leaves it feeling like another episode of the series.
Playable in puerile doses, but ultimately sadly disposable, South Park: The Fractured But Whole is worth it after a few beers and with some mates - but the casual gamer may feel a little alienated by it.