Star Wars Jedi: Survivor continues to be an unexpectedly solid game from an accessibility standpoint. Not only is it a soulslike with difficulty options, I also recently gave it a shout-out for having some of the best colour-blind options I’ve seen in a while (as verified by my own chroma-busted eyes).
Patch 8 adds some upgrades for disabled players—first off, “Slow Mode” now has three settings instead of just the one. You can now slow things down by 30%, 50%, and 75% of the original game speed. This is neat: just because someone might need assistance, doesn’t mean they want a game to be devoid of challenge entirely. Giving players degrees of tuning is always welcome—and it’s great for taking screenshots, everybody wins.
Respawn has also added active and passive audio pings for blind and visually-impaired players, which provide “the ability to echolocate objects and interactable elements nearby”. What’s impressive about the system—as highlighted by AZZATRU on YouTube—is that each audio ping has a unique noise. For example, Cal can Push, Pull, Lift, and Slam objects in the environment, and they’ve all got different ping sounds.
There’s also a high-contrast mode which desaturates the environment while leaving the colours of “narrative and gameplay elements” untouched. This actually would’ve been handy for me, even if I was already pleasantly surprised by the colour-blind accessibility stuff. Granted, it does make the game look like this:
But there’s an option where you can toggle it on and off with a shortcut, so I genuinely would’ve used it. Again, it’s a nice example of overlap—the more comprehensive and customisable your accessibility options are, the more people you help. Seems like an obvious statement when you say it out loud, but there are a lot of games that don’t let you pick degrees of assistance.
The patch notes also note that there are “fixes for performance and stability across all platforms”, though they’re vague as to the details. For all the positives I’ve highlighted here, Star Wars Jedi: Survivor still had some unacceptable performance issues on its PC launch. Granted, things have improved considerably since—and there’s a very good game underneath those framerate woes.
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