While South Park: The Fractured But Whole, due out in December from Ubisoft, wasn't playable at E3 2016, the publisher did hold a closed-door presentation, featuring much more gameplay than the initial reveal, and detailing the way things work in this new turn-based RPG. It also featured tons of hilarity, as this game is easily the funniest I've ever seen.
The story picks up right where Stick of Truth, their first game, left off. You're now King Douchebag, hero of that fantasy world, but there's a problem - the other kids have changed games and left you as king of no one. This time, they're playing superheroes, and trying to figure out how to make billions of dollars from their heroes' movies and tv series.
As the new(ish) kid, you try to sneak into The Coon's (Eric Cartman's alter ego) lair, walking through his house and interacting with his mom in animation taken directly from the show. This showed off some of the general exploration you'll be able to do in the game. While looking for the pass code to the lair, New Kid explored the bathroom (yes, you can poop, now with "total ass control," as developers said), took items out of Cartman's mom's bedroom drawers like a blindfold and a tube of lube, and finally went into Carman's room. Exploring is important, as a new crafting system for items is implemented in Fractured, allowing players to gather materials, find recipes, and make items for use in battle.
After finding the code, you enter The Coon's lair, and just as they were in the first, they are very dedicatedly playing in-character. All the many South Park characters you'll come across have unique idling animations and activities, so you won't see them just standing there aimlessly. Before you got there to play, the Coon and Friends team split in two, with half of the kids becoming the Freedom Pals. This leads to several Civil War comments and jokes. In fact, Marvel and DC characters get called out and talked about a lot; it's natural, that when a bunch of kids are playing superheroes they'd talk about their favorites, and they actually do here.
As seen in the trailer and reveal at the Ubisoft press conference, Cartman guides you through picking a powerset (you can start with one of 12 sets, like Brutalist, Blaster, Speedster, Mystic, Cyborg, Psychic, Assassin, Elementalist, and Karate Kid). This is just your initial set, though: you can combine two of them later in the game, becoming a Speedster Assassin or a Psychic Cyborg, for example. You can also change your power set anytime in the game by talking to Cartman and making the switch, that easy. These superpowers are described using Marvel and DC characters, and they come in addition to your original fart powers.
We saw one battle during the guided "origin story" wherein the New Kid discovers his super speed. The battles are still turn-based RPG, but you have a lot more room to move around on the battlefield, leading to increased strategy. We saw several powers, like Resonance - speed up so you can take two turns in a row, SuperSonic Dash - attack all enemies in one row, and the ultimate ability, the Multiverse Strike, with about 50 punches in a just a couple of seconds.
The later fight was both with and against other kids, meaning we saw a much broader depth of powers. The Human Kite as a massive energy blast called Death From Above, Wonder Tweek has long-range lightning attacks, and characters like Tupperware and Super Craig are tanks - Craig can enrage enemies and force them to attack only him. During battle, the kids sit there taunting each other and arguing the whole time - it also shows how this is really just kids playing, as at one point in the middle of the fight, a car comes by, and they all have to get off the street to let it pass. It's a hilarious bit of meta, showing that while we're watching the result of their imagination, these are actually just kids messing around.
The demo is peppered with tons of humor, some superhero team-ups (even in exploration), and lots of the humor is lewd and/or using swears. This is basically a "what if the guys who make South Park made 4 or 5 movies and released them all together?" as far as how much it pushes the envelope. If the fifteen minutes or so of gameplay and humor shown at E3, both of which were absolutely top-notch, are any indication, then South Park and RPG fans have a lot to look forward to when they get their Fractured But Whole in December.