The Entertainment Software Rating Board (ESRB) has published its rating and content description for South Park: The Fractured But Whole–and it sure is something. It’s no surprise that The Fractured But Whole received an M-for-Mature or that the description itself is so over-the-top and obscene, but it’s still something else entirely to read it.
Starting off, the game received its M rating for containing “Blood and Gore, Mature Humor, Nudity, Sexual Content, Strong Language, Use of Drugs, Violence.”
The rating summary starts with the mundane, like a description of the turn-based gameplay and how you play as a new kid in town on an adventure. The summary then transitions to the extreme, beginning with explanations of dismemberment and decapitation. This being a South Park game, there will also racial humor and sexual material, though of course in a “cartoony” way, the summary says.
“Characters are depicted urinating and defecating; one extended sequence (in a strip club) depicts a character performing a lap dance while emitting flatulence; one scene depicts a towel character performing an obscured sex act on a man in an alley; another scene shows a man watching security monitors and repeatedly reaching for lubrication behind his desk–all sequences are depicted in a cartoony and over-the-top manner.
“Characters are sometimes depicted nude (e.g,, breasts, buttocks, male genitalia). During the course of the game, players can observe characters snorting lines of cocaine, and in one level, players must complete a quest to bring a marijuana prescription to a character. The words “f**k,” “c*nt,” and “sh*t,” and racial epithets (e.g., “n**ga,” “sp*ok”) are heard in the dialogue.”
The 2013 predecessor South Park: The Stick of Truth was censored in Australia, with the game using a crying koala image to get around the country’s censors.
It remains to be seen how the Australian ratings board or other international ratings bodies will handle The Fractured But Whole. We’ll report back with more details they become available.
South Park: The Fractured But Whole is being developed internally at Ubisoft San Francisco, unlike The Stick of Truth, which was made by Fallout: New Vegas studio Obsidian Entertainment. After multiple delays, The Fractured But Whole is finally coming out on October 17 for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC.