The Last of Us 2 Accessibility Features Revealed by Naughty Dog

Naughty Dog today revealed an extensive list of accessibility options available in the studios upcoming The Last of Us 2. We’d already learned that the game has over 60 accessibility features, but this just really shows exactly how much the studio has paid attention to the needs of many.

As revealed by the blog post, numerous options seem to allow players to customize the game to their preferences. For example, players can choose to have tap or hold inputs for anything that requires repeated button presses, melee combos, and bow firing. There’s also a bunch of other options which I’ve detailed below, although the official blog post gives some additional information on how gameplay is affected.

“From the very beginning, our goal has been to ensure that as many fans as possible have an opportunity to experience the game through our most robust accessibility feature set to-date.” says lead systems designer Matthew Gallant in the blog post. Gallant also details the people who have had a hand in these features as accessibility consultants: Brandon Cole, James Rath, Paul Lane, Josh Straub, Morgan Baker, Ian Hamilton, and Steve Saylor.

There are also options to choose between hold inputs and toggles. Aiming, listening, sprinting, crafting, backpack weapon swapping, and holding Ellie’s breath.

Of course, these options can have their inputs remapped, allowing players to create their own controller layout or work from a preset. If player’s have created a preset they can also rename it. Player’s can change the controller orientation to suit their preferences, swap the functionally of the analogue sticks, and change the input for controlling a boat.

There are also directional input adjustments for moving on a ladder or rope. Player’s can also change the input for how they play the guitar, and enable whether they can melee attack while aiming.

There are assistance features in The Last of Us 2 as well, such as camera assist, lock-on aiming, the strength of the lock-on aiming, arc-throw lock-on, and the strength for that. There’s also the ability to enable auto swapping of weapons, and auto pick-ups.

It also seems as if Naughty Dog has managed to create a game in which a small HUD isn’t a problem…there are numerous magnification and visual aids to choose from which gets me all excited. Player’s can not only change the HUD scale and their backgrounds, but also change the color, enable flashing animations, and even switch on three colorblind modes for the HUD; Protanopia, Deuteranopia, Tritanopia.

Player’s can expect to see damage indicators on the HUD along with awareness indicators, hints, pick-up notifications, and dodge prompts.

The high contrast display option mutes the environment colors and adds coloring to characters, items, and interactive objects. This can be toggled by swiping on the touch pad. The touchpad can also be used to magnify the screen by double-tapping the pad to toggle the option and then using the touchpad to move the focus.

Additionally, there are translation prompts that can be enabled which can either be activated by pressing the triangle button or automatically when non-English text language is selected or text-to-speech is enabled.

Naughty Dog has also kept motion sickness in mind, allowing players to adjust camera shake, motion blurring, the camera distance, field of view, the dolly zoom effect, and full-screen effects. There’s a persistent center dot that can also be turned off or on that keep a reticle in the center of the screen.

For those wondering about traveling the world of The Last of Us 2, it’s been revealed that players can enable navigation assistance, traversal assistance, and a ledge guard to keep them from falling off ledges. Infinite breath is also togglable, and the ability to skip puzzles.

Player’s can also enable an enhanced listening mode which sends out a scan that can range from an adjustable 10m – 30m that triggers audio cues in the location. The scan time can also be adjusted to range from 1 second – 5 seconds.

Text-to-speech can be enabled, as well as traversal cues that can assist with exploration. Combat audio cues will also play a sound for combat related actions as well as vibration cues to aid with those. And vibration cues are available for the guitar segments the game seems to have.

As expected, The Last of Us 2 also has audio sliders to adjust the usual; sound effects, dialogue, music, and cinematics. In addition, accessibility audio cues and text-to-speech can be increased or decreased. There’s also an audio glossary so player’s can listen and learn the various audio cues available.

For combat, players can enable a range of features. Player’s can make it so hostages can’t break free from grabs, and in addition an option to ensure allies can’t be grabbed by enemies is available. Enemies can be made to not flank the player, and their perception can also be reduced along with their accuracy. Player’s can enable an enhanced dodge system, and make themselves invisible while proning.

Weapon swaying can be enabled or disabled while aiming weapons, and slow motion can be activated for either aiming or whenever the player toggles it.

Subtitles! Subtitles are indeed present in The Last of Us 2, and as the blog post details, player’s can have subtitles for just story dialogue, or story dialogue and combat dialogue. The size can be adjusted, along with background darkness, speaker labels with the option to have speaker label colors, and a directional indicator to show where the audio is coming from.

It also appears as if difficulty options are vast. As the blog indicates, the overall difficulty can be adjusted from Very light, light, moderate, hard, survivor, and custom. For those wanting to adjust the difficulty, they can change the difficulty settings for individual settings; the playable character, enemies, allies, the stealth elements, and resources.

So, with all of these options, it does seem to be an exhaustive list that seems overwhelming, but Naughty Dog has made it so that players can choose from presets catered to one of three disability types.

For the hearing accessibility preset, players can expect to see the following:

  • Awareness indicators
  • Frequent dodge prompts
  • Pick-up notifications
  • Subtitles for both story and combat
  • Speaker labels for subtitles
  • Subtitle direction
  • Combat vibration cues
  • Guitar vibration cues

For the vision accessibility presets, players can expect to see the following:

  • Text-to-speech
  • High contrast display
  • HUD scaling set to large
  • Lock-on aiming with auto targeting
  • Traversal and combat audio cues
  • Ledge guard
  • Navigation and traversal assistance
  • Enhanced listen mode
  • The option to skip a puzzle
  • Invisible while proned set to unlimited
  • Various adjustments in the Combat Accessibility menu

And there’s also a motor accessibility preset that can be toggled on, which will adjust the following settings:

  • Lock-on aiming with auto targeting
  • Automatic weapon swapping
  • Camera assistance
  • The ability to hold your breath for an unlimited amount of time
  • Ledge guard
  • Auto pick up
  • Navigation and traversal assistance
  • Repeated button presses changed to hold
  • Melee combos changed to hold inputs
  • Weapon swaying turned off
  • The option to skip a puzzle
  • Various adjustments in the Combat Accessibility menu

Of course, as mentioned earlier, the official blog post details these options and goes a little bit more in-depth than I have. It’s also laid out in fancy boxes because, you know, boxes are cool.

The Last of Us 2 certainly seems to have put a focus on accessibility through its development. We’ll see how the game plays when it launches next week on June 19. Of course, you can also expect to find out what we thought of the games accessibility options when our review goes live this Friday on June 12.

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Ben Bayliss

Deaf Editor at Can I Play That? - British and enjoys games with good subtitles and will complain about bad subtitles.

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