Matt Stone & Trey Parker have never been afraid to shy away from controversy and their latest stunt could be one of their most controversial yet. It involves their latest video game outing, South Park: The Fractured but Whole. The game, like many others, has a section at the start where you get to choose the difficulty of the game. The difference in the South Park game is that the difficulty changes depending on how black your character is.
The colour of your character's skin dictates the difficulty of your campaign. Matt & Trey have often poked fun at this concept, and this latest stunt is a continuation of the risque comedy style they have become so famous for.
During the character creation screen, which you can see in the video above, you can select the difficulty of your adventure. If you play on the easiest difficulty you are portrayed as a very light skinned character. Choose to play on a very high difficulty and you play as a dark skinned character. Choosing to play on the hardest difficulty prompts the show's most controversial protagonist, Eric Cartman, to comment:
Don't worry, this doesn't affect combat. Just every other aspect of your whole life.
When Ubisoft were questioned about this approach to the gameplay they commented that the difficulty of the game also effects the amount of money you receive and the way the other characters in the game choose to interact with you. It should be noted that this is of course a tongue and cheek approach to the racial tensions that are in place across modern society.
The reaction of the characters towards you also depends on what gender you choose. The choices you are given are: Male, Female or Other. After you choose one of these options, players can specify if they are cisgender or transgender. If you choose to be female, the game starts a clever retconning with their previous game The Stick of Truth, with Mr Mackey stating:
So the whole King and Stick of Truth thing, she was actually a girl the entire time?
Mackey then questions you on what you mean by a girl, which is when you choose between cisgender and transgender. Mackey then talks to your parents, stating how:
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.
South Park has always been known for being very close to the edge with its choice of comedy. We can't wait to see what else is in store for this game which is scheduled to be released in October!