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South Park: The Fractured But Whole's race choice won't *actually* affect difficulty, says Ubisoft

South Park's humor has always aimed squarely at the uncomfortable, and its upcoming RPG sequel carries on that tradition. South Park: The Fractured But Whole has shocked parts of the internet by seeming to tie the difficulty setting to skin color: the darker the skin tone, the tougher the game. We reached out to the game's publisher, Ubisoft, who had no official statement but confirmed that it's just a joke. It doesn't affect combat difficulty or any other aspect of gameplay difficulty. The slider changes skin tone, but it's purely cosmetic. 

Cartman tells you as you in character creation that the choice you make "doesn't affect combat. Just every other aspect of your whole life." The joke riffs on previous work from people like author John Scalzi, who wrote a great piece called Straight White Male: The Lowest Difficulty Setting There Is. 

It's worth noting that the game is all about shocking its players. During one mission in the preview Ubisoft shared with press, you find yourself battling Catholic priests that are trying to molest you; in another, the racist South Park police send you to the home of an innocent black man to beat him up. That's just in the opening hours - you can expect much worse later. Let's not forget that the first game, South Park: The Stick of Truth, has you battling the Giant Nazi Zombie Fetus of Khloe Kardashian. 

South Park: The Fractured But Whole will be released on PS4, Xbox One, PC on October 17.

Rachel Weber

Rachel Weber is the US Managing Editor of GamesRadar+ and lives in Brooklyn, New York. Rachel began working in games journalism in 2006, combing her love of video games with her passion for writing. Starting as a fresh-faced staff writer of Official PlayStation Magazine, she went on to cover the business side of the industry with, before joining Rolling Stone's ambitious - if short-lived - Glixel project in 2016. She returned to Future and joined GamesRadar+ in 2017, revitalizing the news coverage and building new processes and strategies for the US team.

Throughout her 15 years of experience, Rachel has interviewed celebrities about their gaming habits, chatted with PlayStation and Xbox bosses, written thousands of words of previews, reviews, and news, and appeared as an expert on BBC radio and TV. In the name of games journalism, she's also taken rap lessons, appeared on the streets of London as a zombie, tried her hand at sword-fighting, and taken part in more than one 24-hour gaming marathons. 

When she's not on duty for GamesRadar expect to see her hunting down the weirdest indie games on Steam, curling up with the latest horror novel, or binging the newest must-see crime documentary. You can find her at @therachelweber on Twitter.