Destruction AllStars, the new F2P multiplayer vehicular combat game released this week for PS5 is a solid illustration to Sony’s commitment to accessibility. Controls are fully customizable, players can customize nearly every aspect of the UI and visual cues, and the subtitles are simply fantastic.
But this wasn’t my initial impression of the game. My first few minutes left me feeling like a failure, unable to even get beyond the tutorial, and I uninstalled the game, intending to never touch it again because I couldn’t customize anything to suit my needs. Mark Friend from PlayStation suggested I quit and relaunch which would allow me to bypass the tutorial that kept me from customizing the settings.
Like launching into a cinematic without allowing players to first toggle subtitles on, launching immediately into a tutorial without allowing players FULL access to settings is a trend I’d like to see disappear. It sets players up for failure and leaves them with a poor impression of the game. Had Mark not replied to my frustrated tweet, I never would have seen all the incredible accessibility options Destruction AllStars offers because like most people, I don’t enjoy feeling like I’m failing at basic tasks. More than that, launching into a tutorial without allowing gameplay customization tells disabled players that the game wasn’t designed to include them organically (organically? Sure, it’s early, let’s go with that.) Making some players start the game, quit the game, and relaunch it just to be able to access it doesn’t exactly say “Welcome.”
That said, how about that accessibility?
There’s a dedicated accessibility menu offering a high level of customization for all the things you’d expect, including extensive customization of the subtitles. Players can select the text color as well as the background color, size, and background opacity.
Shown above are the subtitles at their largest size. They obscure some other important UI elements but the dialogue isn’t constant, so that shouldn’t pose too much of a problem.
While scalable subtitles are fairly standard these days, one thing I really appreciated about Destruction AllStars is how many of the UI elements and visual cues players can scale as well. Icons on the minimap have size options (the largest size is shown above) and the minimap itself is resizable as well (the middle size is shown above). Also scalable are the incoming danger warnings that show directionality and how imminent the danger is via color (default colors are orange for “hey maybe get out of the way” and red for “you’re about to die in a second, MOVE.”)
Another notable feature in Destruction AllStars is its use of the DualSense controller. There are haptics for everything. From the vibration you’d expect from crashes to gentle tap tap tap of your character’s footsteps. And of course, haptics are all customizable in the PS5 system settings if you find them too much or too annoying.
Once players get past the clunky tutorial and can customize their gameplay to suit them, Destruction AllStars is a fine example of what an accessible game could and should be.