The folks behind 'South Park' have never strayed away from telling it like it is, and now in their latest video game 'South Park: The Fractured But Whole', they're bringing real world attitudes into their game.
Like most RPG games, 'Fractured But Whole' allows players to customise their character, picking their hair style, hair colour, even their race and gender. There's just one thing, the game will respond to certain choices you make.
Yep, the folks at 'Eurogamer' got a bit of a hands on experience with the game and when it came time to customising the race of their character it displayed it as a difficulty setting slider. Choosing to play as a person of colour increases the difficulty, with the darkest skin tone labelled "very difficult".
As you make your choice, the voice of Cartman can be heard saying, "Don't worry, this doesn't affect combat. Just every other aspect of your whole life".
After 'Eurogamer' made the discovery they confirmed with the game's devlopers Ubisoft to confirm what affects deciding your race has on the actual game. As Cartman infers, it doesn't make combat in the game more difficult but choosing to play as a person of colour affects the amount of money you receive in the game as well as how other characters speak to you.
This isn't the only statement the game makes, later on in a conversation with the school's guidance counsellor, Mr. Mackey, you can decide which gender your character identifies as. In the previous 'South Park' video game, 'The Stick of Truth', the playable character defaulted to a boy.
If you decide to play as female, Mr Mackey will make reference to the earlier game, calling your parents to confirm you are in fact a female. "Ok so the whole 'King' and 'Stick of Truth' thing was actually a girl the entire time," he'll say to your in-game parents.
You're then faced with the opportunity to decide if you're cisgender or transgender, by picking the latter the game will then force you to fight a group of beer wielding rednecks who inform you they don't "take kindly to your type around".
The game isn't messing around, making very clear statements to players regarding how transgender and people of colour are treated on a day-to-day basis. A recent study revealed one in two young trans Australians have attempted suicide.
While the game has its tongue planted firmly in its cheek, as the creators of 'South Park' have ever since the long-running series began, the message they're sending is as clear as day.
'South Park: The Fractured but Whole' is scheduled to release for PC, PS4 and XBox One on October 17.Suggest a correction