Games are for everyone
Between graphics, overall game design, and storytelling techniques, games have come a long way over the past few years, but the most impressive improvements have come from the new accessibility settings that developers include in their games – as God of the war, for example. Never before have we seen such attention to detail in making interactive media more easily accessible to anyone who wants to play, and Santa Monica Studio is helping lead the way with the release of God of war Ragnarok.
The developers have published an extensive blog post on the PlayStation website that goes over all possible accessibility settings in God of War Ragnarok, and it’s pretty cool to see in my opinion. There are sections in the menu for vision, hearing and motor accessibility, as well as motion reduction, and the rest of the main menu features well-known settings like Aim Assist, Navigation Assist and Auto Pick Up, among many others. Honestly, if you can think of a setting that could make the game more manageable, it’s probably there, because they’ve really thought of everything with those 70+ settings.
Santa Monica Studio isn’t the only company under the Sony umbrella dedicated to making its games accessible. While advancements in accessible gaming have been on the rise for years (the Xbox Adaptive Controller being a prime example), Naughty Dog’s release of The Last of Us Part II was an important step for a AAA studio taking its seemingly endless budget and resources and also putting it into making accessibility settings as deep and customizable as possible. Part II has been praised for its accessibility, and it’s great to see other studios following suit.
Settings as detailed as these may seem excessive to some, but each means that someone who otherwise couldn’t play the game at all, or at least have a miserable time with it, will be able to experience the game with all the joy and enthusiasm they deserve. There are a lot of things that frustrate me right now in the games industry, but our improved accessibility isn’t one of them.