Ubisoft confirmed that the difficulty slider in South Park: The Fractured but Whole, which syncs the character’s skin color accordingly based on the difficulty chosen, is purely for cosmetic purposes.
While South Park is known for its political commentary, South: Park The Fractured but Whole surprised the gaming community when Eurogamer revealed that the game uses skin color to address issues on racial inequality. Basically, the game is said to be harder when you play as a black character. “Don’t worry, this doesn’t affect combat. Just every other aspect of your whole life,” says in-game character Eric Cartman. GamesRadar pressed Ubisoft for a clarification, confirming that the difficulty slider that affects skin color is simply for cosmetic purposes and doesn’t affect gameplay difficulty, which would presumably include monetary rewards.
Ubisoft still has no official statement on the matter. Prior to Ubisoft's confirmation, the developers told Eurogamer that the difficulty chosen affects money received in-game and people's way of interacting with your character. Presumably, South Park: The Fractured but Whole's political commentary on racism are mostly found in conversations that barely affect gameplay. Whether this was part of the joke, as the monetary rewards appear to be, is yet unknown.
It’s still unknown if South Park: The Fractured but Whole has a traditional difficulty option. The first game offered an easy, normal, and hardcore difficulty setting, making artificial changes such as enemies hitting harder.
Aside from choosing one's race, the upcoming game allows players to choose their gender, which changes other character's interactions with you. Options include male, female, and other.
South Park: The Fractured but Whole is an RPG adventure game that takes place after the events of 2014's South Park: The Stick of Truth. Instead of the original game's focus on wizardry, the sequel has an Avengers: Civil War-esque story with characters donning the cape of various superheroes.
After getting delayed a few times, South Park: The Fractured but Whole releases on October 17, 2017, for PC, PS4, and Xbox One. The game is being developed by Ubisoft San Francisco and written by show creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone.
We have reached out to Ubisoft for more details on the difficulty situation and will update this article when we find out more.
What do you think about South Park: The Fractured but Whole's take on difficulty? Which option will you pick? Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments section below.