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South Park rips Marvel a new one with ‘The Fractured But Whole’

South Park: The Stick of Truth was one of the most delightful surprises of 2014, managing the unexpected feat of being both a nearly perfect facsimile of a South Park episode and a classic, Japanese-style role-playing game. Surprising no one, given that game’s popular and critical success, Ubisoft is teaming up with Matt Parker and Trey Stone again for a sequel. South Park: The Fractured but Whole will skewer superheroes.

Parker and Stone took to the stage during Ubisoft’s E3 press conference to share tantalizing details about the game. Again, you fill the role of a silent protagonist who joins up with Cartman and the gang for an epic, flatulence-laced adventure. At the start of the game, Cartman has assembled a team of superheroes in order to make a Marvel-style, multimillion dollar movie franchise. A disagreement about exactly how to execute that franchise, however, leads to a split within the group — a “civil war,” if you will.

“Your farts are so powerful that you can use them to rip the fabric of time itself.”

You are the newest member of the team, looking to prove your worth. Allowing for more customization this time around, the demo showed three out of a dozen classes to choose from: the self explanatory Brutalist, Blaster, and Speedster. Cartman then narrates your “tragic origin story” about hearing your mother’s cries for help, only to walk in on her and your father doing the deed. The sequence combines comic-style panels with narrated action that cajoles you into doing what Cartman says. The whole sequence is smart, funny, and playful with form in signature South Park style.

Mechanically, combat has received a big overhaul since Stick of Truth. Instead of lining up in classic JRPG-style, combat now plays out over a grid, with positioning and cover affecting tactics. For instance, you will be able to knock opponents into obstacles for extra damage, or into a teammate for bonus, chained attack. Parker admitted that he is a big board gamer, and that the revamped combat has been informed by his love of tabletop miniature games.

In addition to having a more sophisticated relationship to space, you will also have greater power to manipulate time, apparently. “Your farts are so powerful that you can use them to rip the fabric of time itself,” quipped Stone, demonstrating a cataclysmic in-game fart that allowed the player to rearrange the turn order.

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Finally, as an added incentive, Parker and Stone announced that anyone who pre-orders The Fractured but Whole on Xbox One, PlayStation 4, or PC will receive a complimentary copy of The Stick of Truth for the same platform immediately.

South Park: The Fractured but Whole will be available December 6.