South Park Fracutred But Whole Difficulty
The difficulty slider in South Park: The Fractured But Whole. Ubisoft

Ubisoft's upcoming South Park role-playing game The Fractured But Whole includes a difficulty slider that also dictates the skin tone of your character, meaning the game is "tougher" if your character is black.

"Don't worry, this doesn't affect combat. Just every other aspect of your whole life," South Park character Eric Cartman says as narrator. Ubisoft has denied that the slider affects the game's difficulty in any other way.

The feature was found at a recent preview event where publications were invited to play the game from its opening.

The slider was first found in Eurogamer's video (embedded below).

The joke is pretty standard for South Park's brand of satirical and often contentious adult sense of humour, and just one of numerous examples found in the game.

Later, in a second preview video, Eurogamer played through a scene in which School counsellor Mr. Mackey asks the player what gender they identify as. Depending on the answer, Mackey may call the player character's parents for clarification.

So Eurogamer's bearded character identified as a girl, leading to Mackey asking whether you identify as cisgender or transgender. When he calls your parents, they confirm whatever it is you decide.

In the last game – 2015's The Stick of Truth - players could only play as a boy. You're meant to be playing as the same character here, so if you identify as a woman the game retcons the last game.

"So the whole King and stick of Truth thing, she was actually a girl the entire time?" Mackey asks. Later he says: ""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."

The scene is surprisingly tactful for South Park, which has always gleefully toed a line between great satire and outright offensive humour. For example, a black character called Token has existed on the show for years, and Cartman's superhero pseudonym is The Coon.

South Park's superhero side is the basis for the new game, following on from the fantasy-inspired Stick of Truth.

The game is set to release on 17 October on PS4, Xbox One and PC.

You can see the difficulty slider at the 5:40 mark of the video below.