South Park: The Fractured But Whole does a very on-brand thing with its character creator’s difficulty setting slider, based on Eurogamer’s playthrough of the upcoming role-playing game. Characters become dark-skinned on the hardest end of the spectrum, a cosmetic effect meant as a bit of social satire.
The goof appears around the five-minute, 40-second mark in the video above. The difficulty slider is one of the last pieces of the character customization process, and as players push it from hard to easy, their skin color changes along with it.
“Don’t worry, this doesn’t affect combat,” narrator and South Park mascot Eric Cartman says during this segment. “Just every other aspect of your whole life.”
South Park: The Fractured But Whole’s difficulty slider reminds us of a piece by sci-fi author John Scalzi from back in 2012, called “Straight White Male: The Lowest Difficulty Setting There Is.”
“This means that the default behaviors for almost all the non-player characters in the game are easier on you than they would be otherwise,” Scalzi wrote. “The default barriers for completions of quests are lower. Your leveling-up thresholds come more quickly. You automatically gain entry to some parts of the map that others have to work for. The game is easier to play, automatically, and when you need help, by default it’s easier to get.”
This difficulty slider doesn’t play out in the same way, but it’s only fitting that a show that attempts to lampoon society would throw in a little reference to white male privilege. We’ve also got to give it up to Ubisoft for giving players the chance to be someone other than a guy in The Fractured But Whole, unlike in South Park: The Stick of Truth. There’s even the option to be cisgender or transgender, as seen in the video below. (Check in around minute 44.)
The Fractured But Whole launches this October.