After a number of delays, South Park: The Fractured But Whole is now available to the masses. And as returning players from The Stick of Truth will realize, the game is more challenging than its predecessor, forcing players to think strategically in battle as well as upgrade their characters to stand a better chance against its more difficult foes.
South Park: The Fractured But Whole doesn’t employ a traditional leveling system, but rather has players increase their stats by equipping artifacts. Artifacts can be earned by completing quests, opening chests, winning battles, crafting, or finding in the environment.
Early on, there are two artifacts hidden in the environment that can give players a serious leg-up on the competition, allowing them to win battles quicker and progress through the story at a faster rate. With these two artifacts equipped – the Pride of Nippopolis and the Precarious Penetrator – players should have 60 Might, plus the other statistical benefits that come with equipping artifacts.
A prerequisite to obtaining the Pride of Nippopolis is completing the main quest called The Chains of Super Craig. This quest basically functions as a tutorial for using the Snap n Pop ability, which is necessary for obtaining both artifacts listed here. Once Super Craig has taught the New Kid how to use Snap n Pops, hold in the left trigger to scan the environment. Aim the cursor at anything, and typically if it is shining, it can be manipulated with Snap n Pops.
With that quest complete, the next step is to go to Kyle’s house, also known as the home base of the Human Kite. Once inside Kyle’s house, head upstairs and go to his parents’ bedroom. On the far left side of the room is a shelf with a shining gold trophy sitting on top of it. Knock the trophy down using Snap n Pops and collect it to obtain the Pride of Nippopolis, which is worth 25 Might once equipped.
Just like the Pride of Nippopolis, getting your hands on the Precarious Penetrator does take a bit of legwork at first. Players need to be far enough in the game to have access to the park, which is possible after getting to main street for the first time. Go east from the park to reach another street of houses, including the home of Big Gay Al and Mr. Slave.
While here, players should take a selfie with Mr. Slave and note that Big Gay Al will have a side quest for them to complete later on. Loot the house like normal to collect as many crafting materials and other helpful items as possible, and then head upstairs to the bathroom. Use the toilet and complete the mini-game, and once Big Gay Al’s house has been thoroughly ransacked, it’s time to check out his bathtub.
Players may notice that the bathtub’s plug is yellow – the universal sign in South Park: The Fractured But Whole that the item can be interacted with. Approach the side of the tub and push the plug into it, then use Snap n Pops on the faucet to make the water run. The water will rise to just below the overflowing point, and floating in the water will be the Precarious Penetrator, a helpful artifact that adds 35 Might after players equip it.
It’s worth noting that in order for players to equip multiple artifacts, they will need to increase their Hero Rank. Increasing one’s Hero Rank can be done in a variety of ways, like winning battles, completing quests, and earning titles. Taking selfies with different South Park citizens and finding collectibles will also help players earn XP and allow them to equip more artifacts, not to mention help them unlock the game’s achievements and trophies.
As players progress through the game, they will earn even more artifacts and artifact slots, all in the name of raising their Might as high as possible. For the most part, South Park: The Fractured But Whole will dole out artifacts at a steady pace to keep players from becoming overpowered, but those that take the time to find the Pride of Nippopolis and the Precarious Penetrator early on will find themselves ahead of the curve.
South Park: The Fractured But Whole is available now for PC, PS4, and Xbox One.