A recent batch of gameplay for Ubisoft’s comedic RPG South Park: The Fractured But Whole has been making the rounds, mostly because of one particular mechanic now revealed in the game.
The new gameplay comes via Eurogamer, which reveals the game’s difficulty slider will literally make your skin darker as you increase the difficulty. This overrides the skin color you can select prior in the first steps of the character creator.
Once you get to the difficulty selection option, Eric Cartman adds the comment: “Don’t worry, this doesn’t affect combat. Just every other aspect of your whole life.” Considering this is a deliberately placed aesthetic, Eurogamer reached out to Ubisoft to clarify why they added the feature.
Ubisoft developers, who were not named, said the difficulty of the game affects the amount of money you’ll obtain and the way in which other characters talk to you throughout the entire game. Coming from this, it’s easy to make a connection that this feature is social commentary on modern day racism. It’s also unclear if this actually makes the game harder or not.
Another feature in the character creator is selecting your gender, and while some argue there are hundreds of genders and/or gender pronouns, Ubisoft is providing three: male, female, and other. After selecting this, Mr. Mackey will call your parents to confirm this as your final decision. The game then makes fun of its predecessor, with Mackey saying:
“So the whole King and Stick of Truth thing, she was actually a girl the entire time?” If you select female, Mackey then asks what exactly you mean as a girl, and then poses the question: are you cisgender or transgender. He then calls your parents again, adding: “It still tracks with The Stick of Truth, yes it does. She was definitely a girl the whole time. Yes of course. I get it.”
I’m assuming the cisgender and transgender options are there for the male option as well.
How do you feel about these social commentary features being added into the game? The game is based on a series that became famous for its social commentary, after all. Sound off in the comments below!
South Park: The Fractured but Whole will launch across PlayStation 4, PC, and Xbox One on October 17th.