Horizon Forbidden West accessibility features have been revealed

Ben Bayliss3 minute read

Guerrilla has revealed what Horizon Forbidden West accessibility features will be available at launch.

The announcement of the accessibility features heading to the PS4 and PS5 versions of Horizon Forbidden West was revealed in a PlayStation blog post by Guerrilla’s principal designer, Brian Roberts. The post opens up stating that early in development the studio “established that we wanted to bring the game to as many fans as possible and create an immersive and accessible experience that can be enjoyed by everyone.” It’s also noted that the studio will be taking on board feedback to fine-tune features even further.

General Accessibility Settings

Subtitles are the first talking point with Roberts saying they are enabled by default with the option to change the size and background. These are followed by a Notebook that will list characters, machines, datapoints, and the like, but also a tutorial section to highlight gameplay mechanics.

There will be 5 difficulty settings with Story Mode easing combat for exploration focus, and can be increased up to a Very Hard mode. Custom difficulty is also being introduced to Horizon Forbidden West which appears to allow players to adjust individual parameters such as how much damage Aloy inflicts or receives.

Additionally, it’s mentioned that enemy parts can be destroyed if they aren’t detached from the machine first before killing it. To combat this, an Easy Loot system seems to be coming to the game that will these parts don’t get destroyed on a machine’s death. This feature is apparently the default setting for Story and Easy mode, and of course, can be applied in custom mode.

Watch Horizon Forbidden West - Announcement Trailer | PS5 on YouTube

Controls and Co-Pilot

Horizon Forbidden West will have a number of controller presets for accessibility and left-handed support. It also includes full remapping for gameplay controls. There will be “several options to swap between Toggle or Hold where applicable.” Players will also be able to make use of motion-controller aiming and sensitivity options for movement types and a quick-swap feature.

Haptic vibrations on PS5 DualSense controllers will be capable of being adjusted for different functions such as “cinematics, traversal, combat, UI, or the environment” and the adaptive triggers can be turned off when using weapons.

Roberts details a Co-Pilot mode allowing a secondary PlayStation controller with mirrored controls to be used in conjunction with the primary controller. To make use of this, it’s detailed that the game “only requires another controller (DualSense controller for PS5, DualShock 4 controller for PS4) and a second user profile.”

Game Speed and Assists

According to the post, players will be able to adjust how much the game slows down when accessing a weapon wheel. There’s also a way to increase Concentration duration for aiming with the bow, and Aim Assist and Auto Concentration will be available.

Auto-Sprint, Auto-Shieldwing, and Auto-Heal are also going to be available, and Climbing Annotations looks to be a feature that highlights climbable ledges at all times.

To help with the open-world, Horizon Forbidden West looks to use two waypoint systems; One that offers minimal guidance, and another that uses markers. Waypoints are also available, and mounts can be set to follow the road “with minimal player input.”

Reminders for gameplay mechanics are also available through pop-ups but can be toggled on or off, and a “Story So Far” screen should help players recall where they left off.

Audio and Visual

Some players should be glad to know that they can adjust the motion blur and shake as well as be able to “completely customize the game’s HUD”. Audio sliders look to be available, as does mono and the removal of tinnitus sound effects. There’s also an option to “trim” certain sound effects but this is a feature only available on PS5.

Horizon Forbidden West will be launching on PS4 and PS5 on February 18, 2022.

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Ben is the one in charge of keeping the content cogs at Can I Play That? turning. Deafness means that he has a focus on discussing captions, but with experience in consultancy and advocacy, he covers what bases he can. Having written about accessibility in video games at DualShockers, GamesRadar+, GamesIndustry.biz, Wireframe, and more he continues his advocacy at CIPT. He was actually awarded a Good Games Writing award for an article he wrote here! He enjoys a range of games, but anything that’s open-world and with a photo mode will probably be his cup of tea. You can get in touch with him at: ben@caniplaythat.com

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