South Park: The Fractured But Whole may be a game about super heroes, but it’s still an RPG. You will still find many elements of fantasy role-playing games in its structure, and one of those elements are classes. What class you choose and how it affects your player, however, is much different from South Park: The Stick of Truth.
At the game’s opening, after you’ve customized your character, you choose between three classes: Brutalist, Blaster, and Speedster. Each of those classes has four abilities. The Brutalist is the strong class, the Blaster is the ranged class, and the Speedster is the fast class. After you make your choice, Cartman explains your backstory and you get a quick tutorial on the abilities of your chosen class. You can actually try each class out before making your final decision, which is indicative of how classes play out for the rest of the game.
You level up your base stats as you progress through the game, like power and health, but you are not upgrading your abilities, or pouring points into stats related to a specific class. This means you are never locked into a class and can always change. You likely won’t be changing constantly, however. “It’s a little more of a measured choice than that,” senior producer Jason Schroeder says, “Cartman is your dungeon master, or your game master, so you kind of need to go to him to change it. So it’s a little bit of a choice you need to hold on to.”
After you’ve picked your class and made your way through the game’s first narrative day, Cartman gives you the option to start multi-classing. “You can say, ‘I’m going to take two Brutalist powers, a Speedster power, and the Speedster Ultimate and make a character mixed toward that direction.” Schroeder offers as an example of how to mix and match abilities. Other classes will open up later in the game, as well as the option to mix and match between more than just two classes. We don’t know the full list yet, but we know Elementalist and Mystic classes will appear, as well as psychic and healing classes.
The whole idea of shuffling class abilities is to make your character more malleable and customizable. “As your understanding of the tactics games becomes more sophisticated, the classes give you a different range of tactical choices you could be making,” Schroeder says. You can even choose to shift your class make-up to complement your buddies, who’s abilities are set in stone when they join your party. You can’t edit their abilities, but you do get a chance to rearrange the party at the start of every fight if there are certain abilities you need to take advantage of in a particular fight.
As part of your character’s development, you also have a character sheet you are filling out through the course of the game. It functions as a progress tracker, with your missions and side-quests showing up on one side, and your character definitions on the other. You have stats like Spunk (your magic and special abilities), Brawn (your physical strength), Dexterity (aiming and accuracy), Speed (how much you can move in the tactical grid, and where you place in the turn order), and Fortitude (defense).
The sheet also details your character’s custom aspects like race, gender, religion, as well as who your arch enemy is, what your kryptonite is, and your power source, which is always your butt. Some of those aspects you can declare, but others, like holy alignment, are based on how you play the game and will affect dialogue and cutscenes, though it doesn’t have major bearing on the overall direction of the story.
There is also an economic level on the character sheet that has to do with how much money is in your pocket, and how much you have in savings. Schroeder didn’t go into too much detail about the economic level, but referenced the season 13 Margaritaville episode of the show, which examined the complicated process of attempting to save money. We didn’t learn more about it, but the character sheet also tracks your detective level.
You also earn a name beyond simply the new kid, and it changes throughout the course of the game. Cartman is always trying out different names on you, nearly all of them themed around butts or farts, but the public learns to identify you as the Farting Vigilante.
Ideally, the malleability of the class system should let players have more control over how to play the game, and maybe even allow you to build your way up to Cartman’s class. “The Coon is a Ninja Maninal, so that one’s pretty hard.” Schroeder says, “He’s not super enthusiastic about having another Ninja Manimal on the team.”
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Beta Test The Classes And Character Sheets Of South Park: The Fractured But Whole