We have finally reached the point where developers are starting to take accessibility options seriously. With The Last of Us Part 2‘s in-depth accessibility options, whatever disability you have, Naughty Dog has you covered.
Accessibility: An option developers are slowly exploring
I was just scrolling through my Twitter timeline when suddenly, an interesting article showed up. A review of The Last of Us Part 2 from the lens of a disabled gamer, deaf or hard of hearing, to be precise. This piqued my interest, and I spent the next few minutes reading the article in awe. The enthusiasm, the joy that the review had in its writing had something in it that inspired me. It’s easy to forget that there are a lot of people out there who cannot enjoy the games you do because of certain disabilities, but Naughty Dog did their best to give everyone the best experience they could.
The Last of Us Part 2 has something pretty much for everyone. Don’t have good eyesight? They got you covered with their high contrast mode comes in which helps you identify game objects and characters much easier. Hard of hearing or deaf? There’s subtitles and heck, even dodge prompts for people having problems with that. It’s just a very welcoming game for people who are having all kinds of trouble. What’s more? According to the review, these aren’t all of the options, as it has over 60 accessibility options and the author just skimmed most of it over and toggled which ones they would need.
Inclusion, not exclusion
Gaming has always been about sharing an experience. Be it from the developers to the players or from player to player. That’s why communities are formed for games and discussions are made. Heck, what I’m doing here can even fall under that category. The more you relate to the game, the more it becomes important to you.
Developers should spend time studying the things Naughty Dog did to its accessibility settings and learn from it to better accommodate people with disabilities. The article masterfully said it:
The real value in what Naughty Dog has created with The Last of Us 2 is that it illustrates, indisputably, that customization is key in creating an accessible experience. Not difficulty modes, not one singular band-aid for accessibility, but enough options that players can design their own equitable experience
Which I agree with. It’s not about difficulty modes. Yes, it might work, but it’s not the ultimate solution. The ultimate solution is giving the players the ability to customize the experience themselves and become comfortable with it. I am quite amazed with what Naughty Dog has achieved with their dedication to include as many gamers as possible with The Last of Us Part 2. It’s a sign of a developer that cares for their audience and has your experience always in their mind. Which is something a developer should always have in mind.
The reviews are in, and it’s a damn good game
Averaging 96% on Metacritic at the time this article is written, it’s a testament as to how good the game actually is. With 100s flying around from different reviewers, it’s a no-brainer to grab this if you have a PS4.
The Last of Us Part 2 will be out on June 19 for the PS4.