‘South Park: The Fractured But Whole’ is a role-playing game that follows the adventures of the main protagonist the New Kid and his friends in the fictional Colorado town of South Park. The kids in town are role-playing as superheroes, and compete against a rival group in a bid to become the leading superheroes faction in South Park. They soon stumble upon a conspiracy by an evil kingpin and must stop him to prevent the destruction of the town.
The game is rated M18 for strong coarse language, violence and sexual scenes.
From a side perspective, the player will control the protagonist to explore various locations in South Park, speak to other characters and undertake quests to progress the storyline. The player can customise the appearance of the main character and select the combat powers and character class, which comes with various weapons and attacks.
During combat, the player’s party will face off against an assortment of enemies, including humans, creatures and robots, in turn-based combat. Characters manoeuvre about on a grid-lined battle arena, and select specific battle actions such as basic and special attacks, stats-buffing, healing and setting up turrets. The player will also have to properly time and press buttons successively to execute combo melee attacks.
Characters spurt or drip blood when attacked, and can also be disintegrated by certain attacks. Story scenes also depict strong violence and gore, where characters are seen to be decapitated or dismembered. This can be allowed under M18 guidelines which state “Realistic violence such as killing, maiming or causing serious injury to humanoid characters can be allowed if not sadistic, cruel and abhorrent.”
The dialogue contains frequent use of strong expletives such as ‘c*nt’, ‘motherf**ker’, ‘f**k’ and its variations. This can be permitted under an M18 rating where guidelines allow “frequent use of strong coarse language.”
The player may encounter an implied scene of fellatio between a male character and a non-human, talking towel character, but the act is obscured by a trash bin. The game also contains anime-style images of male characters in suggestive poses and acts of intimacy such as hugging and kissing. These depictions can be allowed under the M18 guidelines, which permit “Portrayal of sexual activity with some nudity, both topless and frontal, if not detailed”, and state that “Homosexual activity should be limited to kissing and hugging.”
Some story scenes depict nude characters. For example, a group of topless women can be seen during the animation of a special attack move; a naked male character’s genitals can be seen on a laboratory screen; A topless stripper can be seen onstage at a strip club.
At a police station, the player may see corrupt police officers snorting drugs. Some missions include drug references, such as the protagonists being tasked to retrieve cannabis from a drug store for a character as part of a mission.