Video game comedy isn't easy. With so many different factors to consider, actually making a joke work can seem downright impossible at times — simply put, there's a reason why there are only a few select franchises that are remembered as "comedies."
That being said, few were surprised when South Park: The Stick of Truth ended up being absolutely hilarious. It was everything funny about the show, all wrapped up in a genius video game parody. The attention to detail was ridiculous — if the sight of a weapon's name can make players laugh, that's something special.
So, when Ubisoft announced that a follow-up was in production, gamers were naturally excited. Now, after a year of waiting, South Park: The Fractured But Whole has finally gotten a proper debut — and from what Ubisoft has shown, the game looks like more than just a simple retread of the original.
First things first: The Fractured But Whole is hysterical. It's immediately obvious that Trey Parker and Matt Stone have helped the script along: jokes are both consistently funny and delivered at a rapid-fire pace. Even the basic story concept — that the "New Kid" from the last game is suddenly un-cool after a switch in genre — is great, and it works perfectly with the South Park brand.
For those who haven't heard, The Fractured But Whole is ditching the fantasy tropes of the last game in favor of full-blown superhero antics — complete with some serious shots at both Marvel and DC. Much like the first game, players will choose a class to play as, though the available options have been greatly expanded upon ... and of course, the character creation process is hysterical.
Of course, The Fractured But Whole wouldn't be much of a game without gameplay, and it's clear that Ubisoft is intent on improving the original's somewhat simple combat. Players now move in a style similar to classic turn-based real-time strategy games, but the improvements don't stop there — pushing or pulling enemies can send them careening into both the environment and other characters, allowing for easy kills or extra attacks. It's a big improvement, especially considering that The Stick of Truth could feel downright passive at times.
As an added bonus, Ubisoft is giving out free copies of The Stick of Truth for anyone who pre-purchases The Fractured But Whole. Deals like this have been all over E3 this year — but you'd be hard-pressed to find a better one than this.
On top of all that, fans won't have to wait all that long to play the game: South Park: The Fractured But Whole is due out on Dec. 6!
For everything from Ubisoft's press conference, make sure to check out our full recap — and for everything E3 2016, make sure to check out our updated coverage hub!