New ‘South Park’ Game’s Difficulty Based On Avatar’s Gender And Skin Color
The new South Park video game, South Park: The Fractured But Whole, uses social commentary to determine the games difficulty setting. Gamers discovered that the difficulty setting increases when a darker-skinned avatar is chosen.
As seen in a video walkthrough by Eurogamer, the games narrator, Eric Cartman, explains the change in difficulty as the settings for the avatar’s race are manipulated. “Don’t worry, this doesn’t affect combat,” he says, “just every other aspect of your whole life.”
Ubisoft explained that the customization also impacts the amount of money your avatar will receive and how other characters speak to you. Watch the video below, beginning at the 5:40 mark, to see the difficulty settings.
The game’s social commentary goes further with the addition of gender options for the avatar. The series’ previous game, South Park: The Stick of Truth, only allowed players to play as a boy, however now players have the option to play as a “male,” “female,” or “other”. Eurogamer posted another video walkthrough of a particular moment where this choice will affect your character.
Gender selection occurs during an interaction with Mr. Mackey, the school counselor. Mackey becomes uneasy if you choose to be a girl. “Uh, you’re a girl? Mmkay, we were under the impression that, uh,” he says. “Can you just hang on a minute? I just need to call your parents, mmkay? It’ll just take a second.”
He’ll later reference The Stick of Truth (where the avatar was male only) and say, “So the whole King and Stick of Truth thing, she was actually a girl the entire time?”
Afterwards, players will have to choose whether their avatar is cisgender or transgender, again prompting a response from Mr. Mackey depending on their choice. In Eurogamer’s video walkthrough, the players choose to make their avatar a transgender female, which further affects character interactions. Upon exiting the school, the avatar is met with bigotry from a group of transphobic rednecks who initiate a battle sequence. Watch the gender customization and battle sequence below, beginning at the 44 minute mark.
The creators of South Park are known for their brazen use of social satire and continue to push boundaries by making the difficulty settings of their new game contingent on the avatar’s gender and skin color. South Park: The Fractured But Whole will be available on Oct. 17 for Playstation 4, Xbox One, and Microsoft Windows.