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GameInformer's latest cover issue was dedicated to South Park: The Fractured but Whole, Ubisoft San Francisco's sequel to The Stick of Truth. Since the announcement of the cover issue, GameInformer has been publishing a number of features online, including a video interview with the developers about their plans to improve on The Stick of Truth's problems, a feature on the new combat system, which will add movement on a grid, a write-up on the buddy system and some impressions as part of their Game Informer YouTube show.
A quote on the buddy system, which returns from The Stick of Truth:
Each buddy also has an ultimate attack with can be used in combat. “We always refer to our ultimates as Titanfall. Everybody’s guaranteed one. If you play well, maybe you can get two,” says director of design Paul Cross. There is a shared pool of points that charge over the course of a battle as you dish out and take damage, and when it maxes out, you can pick an ultimate to use. Schroeder describes them as something similar to limit breaks in Final Fantasy VII. You have an ultimate attacked connected to your class, but each buddy has a distinct ultimate that triggers a big cutscene mid-battle when you choose to you use it. Some buddies come with their ultimate move unlocked. Some require an additional sidequest.
The new kid – your character – has different powers and ultimates to choose from depending on your class and they all have to do with your mysterious yet powerful fart abilities.
Early in the game, Scott Malkinson as Captain Diabetes will be your buddy. Since the children have started playing a new game since Stick of Truth, you're back to square one after your brief stint as the king. As a result, Malkinson, and many of the other early-game buddies, consider you their sidekick. Captain Diabetes' backstory, according to The Coon, is that his mother farted on him while giving birth, and that’s why he has diabetes.
Captain Diabetes special power is rage, which allows him to lift heavy objects. In combat, he also uses rage as his ultimate. When you use it, Malkinson enters a world of candy, eats ravenously and goes into something like a diabetic Hulk-like shock dealing out lots of damage before giving himself an emergency insulin injection.
While I won't hide that I'm slightly disappointed to see the sequel change hands in terms of development team (the original title was developed by Obsidian Entertainment), I see no reason to be scared about this sequel's quality. The improvements outlined sound sensible, and as long as South Park creators Matt Stone and Trey Parker haven't used all their jokes for the first one (which seems exceedingly unlikely) and the game isn't extremely buggy, there's a good chance this game should satisfy those who enjoyed the original or simply love the animated show.
Of course, ultimately the proof is in the pudding, and we'll have the chance to see for ourselves how the game fares in early 2017, when the game is released.