Ubisoft San Francisco’s South Park: The Fractured But Whole is about as basic a port as we’ll likely ever get on the Nintendo Switch. Those coming in expecting a slew of Switch-specific features may be disappointed, but what’s here is still portable South Park — something a lot of us were clawing for when the Coon and Friends outing made its debut on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC in October last year.
That said, there are some noticeable compromises that have been made in order to get The Fractured But Whole on Switch, which surprised me. Fairly long load times are persistent throughout the game world, alongside a couple of large dips in frame rate during intensive scenes. Both of these issues are fairly noticeable as you make your way through the game’s 15-hour story, though they were sporadic enough to not hamper the experience all that much. Further, battles and general exploration don’t usually suffer from frame issues, as I found they were mostly tied to some of the things you get up to throughout the game’s story missions.Playing the game on a big screen in docked mode will take some getting used to as well, as there are noticeable jaggies across most of the characters and environments. The game’s clearly running at sub-1080p, and it tends to take away from the well-known South Park art style — especially if you’re a regular watcher of the series. Playing in handheld alleviates this problem thanks to the smaller display though, with the game looking much cleaner and closer to what you’d see on the actual show.
Other than those issues, South Park: The Fractured But Whole is a competent port on Switch. It’s an excellent game to take on the go, and lends itself well to either long play sessions or short, bite-sized ones. It’s not quite as good as The Stick of Truth — which surprisingly hasn’t made its way over to the Switch — but South Park fans will certainly get a kick out of it. The trademark humour is here in full force, and there’s a lot to get up to and explore throughout the world of South Park with Coon and Friends. I’d definitely recommend it if you haven’t given it a shot as of yet on other systems, but don’t expect anything more than what is a fairly basic port.