God of War Ragnarok will include more than 60 accessibility features when it arrives on PlayStation 4 and 5 later this year.
The list of features was revealed in a PlayStation Blog post which said developer Sony Santa Monica has combined the options available in the original God of War (2018) with those in the PC version, and added some brand new ones too.
The new features added include full controller customisation, with players able to choose from several preset layouts or map their controller themselves to a layout that works best for them.
Complex actions will also come with a preset list of alternative options, and for actions that require more than one button, several shortcuts can be assigned instead including Touch Pad swipes.
For traversing in Ragnarok, players can choose to enable features such as automatic sprinting that require less button inputs altogether, and other actions including jumping gaps, vaulting, and so on can be automated too.
A Navigation Assist button has also been added that switches the player’s view towards the next story objective, and audio cues can be used to reveal interactive objects while exploring and even in combat such as for weapon swap cues.
Sony Santa Monica has also “invested heavily” in improving its subtitle and caption system. The minimum text size has been increased and new scaling has been added, including an extra-large text size.
The text itself is also customisable with players able to mix and match with seven different colours between speaker names, the subtitle body, and individual sound captions (that can also be customised with several options available to represent different sounds).
Direction indicators can also be added for sounds important to the story, such as Kratos hearing a noise to his left that players are encouraged to explore, that will tell players what direction the sound came from.
The background behind subtitles can also be customised, with players able to blur the background or darken it with multiple opacity settings available.
The size of in-game icons, such as button prompts, indicators of a locked chest, and so on, can also be adjusted in size.
Another visual option is a high-contrast mode that allows players to highlight enemies, items, traversal paint, and so on in different colours to make things clearer to see.
A persistent dot option has also been added that provides an additional focal point to reduce motion sickness, alongside options to toggle on and off different actions with a single button press (such as holding the shield up) instead of holding the button.
God of War Ragnarok, despite several rumours suggesting otherwise, is still scheduled for a 2022 release date, with developers reassuring fans in April that the game would be released this year.
PlayStation exclusives have been somewhat inconsistent with adding a diverse set of accessibility options at launch, with games such as The Last of Us Part 2 setting a high standard (by letting players set accessibility options before anything else) but the more recent release of Deathloop was lacking in accessibility options for months (although the latest patch has added extensive options).
Microsoft has made accessibility a focus within its developers by introducing guidelines for its developers and even an evaluation system that ensures games are built with all players in mind.
The initiatives appear to be working, as the Xbox Series X includes a number of accessibility focused options and Xbox console exclusive Forza Horizon 5 won IGN’s Noteworthy Advancement in Accessibility award last year.
Ryan Dinsdale is an IGN freelancer who occasionally remembers to tweet @thelastdinsdale. He’ll talk about The Witcher all day.
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Author: Ryan Dinsdale