Anthem Mobility Accessibility
Score6.5 out of 10
Updated to the full release version of the game
Anthem is a 3rd person view exploration and combat game by EA BioWare. I took a look at the accessibility for people with reduced mobility so I won’t comment much on any options not related to that. I played for about 3 hours using mouse and keyboard mainly and these are my conclusions.
When you first run the game you get a menu with a few options but nothing related to controls. After a cinematic you get to the first action moments to familiarize with the world and combat. This is played in third person view. A bit later you experience the city where you talk to NPCs, accept missions, change your equipment and all that. This section is played in first person view. Here the problems begin. You move using the usual WASD keys, or whatever you change them to, and use mouse to turn. The mouse turn rate is a bit low but nothing you can’t fix in the settings. Also motion sickness is easily triggered. This can be helped in part by going to Gameplay > General and disabling Pilot Head Bob.
This the Settings, Controls, General screen.
All the usual settings are here. Invert look, Invert Pilot Look, Invert Flight Look, Invert Swim Look… It’s nice that all these are separate. Here we also find Hold/Toggle switches for Sprint, Flight and Zoom. Zoom here seems to refer to aiming, it was confusing at first. All these are nice to avoid too much holding down buttons/keys. Finally an option so we start flying in the direction we are aiming which helps a bit.
Next we find Controller options.
We have different separate Sensitivity adjustment settings for Aiming, Zoom, Flight and Swim. These are very self-explanatory. Next you can choose your Control Stick Layout between Default, Southpaw, Legacy and Legacy Southpaw. These should come in handy for left handed players. You also have an option to alternate two functions but there is no proper button remapping which would be ideal. Last you can set your controller vibration amount from 100% down to off or up to 150%. This is a welcome setting as excessive vibration can cause discomfort for many players.
We arrive at Keyboard + Mouse.
This menu has the same sensitivity options as the previous one plus a few extra. For
Finally Key Bindings.
Nothing out of the ordinary here. You can rebind all keys, have a secondary bind for each action but you can’t assign the same key to different functions with a few exceptions. I would like to use a combination of keys (like shift+something) to reduce the number of needed keys but 30 different keys+mouse buttons
Dialog choices are performed by holding down the correspondent key/button. It’s a good way to avoid pressing the wrong key but the time you have to keep down the key is too long. And holding a key is used for basically everything, causing hands to become tired too often.
Hardcoded keys are a constant all through the game. Here you can see Y, U, T, P, F, R and Escape. These are a lesser evil thanks to menus being fully usable with the mouse but it’s still something all developers should address.
Finally some gameplay. Moving around is okay but it’s likely you will spend quite some time tuning your mouse sensitivity options. For
Flying is a key component of the game and
Overall the mobility accessibility is okay but flying, a key component of the gameplay is certainly not great on keyboard and mouse. Gamepad controls are better for flying but require some difficult moves. Shorter hold down times would also be very helpful. Combat is too hectic quite often for people with low mobility or reduced strength. Finally and unrelated to mobility, if you suffer from motion sickness please remember the previously mentioned options.
Keyboard & Mouse Controls: How well the game
Gamepad Controls: How well the game plays using a gamepad. Includes sensitivity options, aim assists, alternative button schemes, vibration adjustment. How hard it is to perform actions both during gameplay and in menus. – 4.5/6
Remappable Controls: If you can remap buttons, keys, mouse buttons. Allowing secondary keys for actions and a combination of multiple keys/buttons for an action. – 4.5/6.
QTE Accessibility: Options to partially/fully skip QTEs or use hold instead of smashing a key. – 5/6
Hold/Toggle Options: Hold/Toggle switches for aiming, running, walking, stealth, zooming… Having reasonable hold down times. – 5/6.
3rd Party Software/Hardware Support: If the game allows the use of hardware assists like Eye Trackers and compatibility with software like
Anthony Martins is 42 and has been a gamer his whole life. He has SMA T