South Park creators Matt Stone and Trey Parker say they put in extra work to ensure that The Fractured But Whole’s female playable character felt right within the game.
When South Park creators Matt Stone and Trey Parker walked onto the stage during Ubisoft’s 2016 E3 press conference, the audience came to life, clearly anticipating a humorous presentation. South Park: The Fractured But Whole did not disappoint, with a new trailer for the title immediately generating buzz across the Internet.
Now, Stone and Parker have given some in their fan base yet another reason to be excited about the game’s December release. During an interview with Entertainment Weekly, the comedy duo confirmed that players will have an opportunity to play through South Park The Fractured But Whole as a female character.
Stone said during the interview that the team actually considered a playable female character into The Stick of Truth but the thought occurred to them too late in the development process. He added that once the decision was made for The Fractured But Whole, the team found that adding a girl into the mix posed some new challenges.
In Stick of Truth we got halfway through the game, and we had narratively come up with the big Girls’ Quest halfway through it. [The Girls] were a faction in the fantasy world. And then someone’s like, “What if you want to be a girl?” Narratively, it didn’t work. We’d have to sh– can the whole game. So we just left it the way it was. This time, we obviously wanted to add that.
But the boys are little boys, because it’s really a story about little boys running around. So they don’t care about [your character being a girl]? That seems weird. They always seemed to care about it in the show. Are they dumb about it, and they don’t know? So you’re in hiding? Or do they totally care about that, and totally treat you differently? So we ended up doing those things differently for different characters.
It actually turned out to be quite a bit more work. I’m also playing The Division – I’m not just saying that because it’s Ubisoft. I made the character look like my wife, just because I thought that was funny, running around New York shooting people looking like my wife. But the game doesn’t treat you that differently. The guys still shoot you. The game doesn’t really react that much differently. That’s cool for that kind of game. It’s been a funny journey to go through, introducing something that we thought would just be a cool feature. You’re a girl! But now they’re going to treat you different.
It will be interesting to see what ideas the team comes up with for different interactions between the show’s characters and a female protagonist. On the television show, some of the kids, especially Cartman, tend to poke fun at some of the female characters – like say Wendy Testaburger for example – simply because they’re girls. This is a show known for not caring about being politically correct but it’s also likely Stone and Parker will want to keep the jokes on the elementary school level and stay away from anything that could be deemed too misogynistic. The fact that all of the children will be wearing superhero costumes in this game may also help, with gender becoming largely irrelevant underneath a mask or cape.
Regardless of how it turns out, it’s refreshing to see a developer going out of its way to make sure players can play as a female if desired. Just this past week, Nintendo found themselves in a bit of hot water after it was revealed that the team behind The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild had given up on the idea of a female playable character because they weren’t sure what to do with Link in that situation. This is also the same industry where another developer was once criticized for saying that drawing female characters was simply “too hard.” By those measurements, at least the team behind South Park is willing to give it a shot.
South Park: The Fractured But Whole releases on December 5 for PlayStation 4, Xbox One and PC.
Source: Entertainment Weekly