Looking forward to the release of the Resident Evil 4 remake tomorrow, we took a look at the options in the Chainsaw demo that was released earlier. We hope the demo gives a good preview of Capcom’s approach to options and accessibility in the full version of the Resident Evil 4 remake.
On startup the demo gives a few initial settings, mainly to do with contrast and brightness, and language settings. You have a chance to review the complete menu before starting the gameplay itself. The menu has the traditional tabs for game play related settings. This includes tabs such as Controls, Camera, Display, Graphics, Language, Audio. Additionally it also has an accessibility tab with a novel approach that I personally appreciate a lot.
The accessibility menu in Resident Evil 4 gives you three presets. For each of the presets it shows the player which settings the preset changes. For each changed setting it also shows where it can be found, and what it will be set to. This keeps the settings in the tab it would traditionally be found in which can help any player find the settings they need. Not all players look at accessibility settings, some might think they will not apply to their preferences or needs.
In addition to the settings that are automatically adjusted, the explanation of the presets also tells players which additional settings may be useful for them.
Preset for Visual Accessibility
The preset for visual accessibility will set the HUD opacity to high. The subtitle size will be set to large, and the subtitle background opacity will also be set to high. Additionally suggestions are made to adjust the color for aim (the reticle and aiming guides), laser dot, and subtitles and speaker names. The Biosensor Scope setting is also recommended, which has three modes with different color schemes when looking through the biosensor scope.
Preset for Auditory Accessibility
Choosing the preset for auditory accessibility will turn on subtitles, captions, and speaker names. Suggested adjustments are all the different volume sliders that are available, enabling a good amount of customization. There are different sliders for the following categories:
- Master volume
- Voice volume
- BGM (Background Music) volume
- Sound Effects volume
- Menu volume
- Ballistic Impact volume
Preset for Motion Sickness
The preset for motion sickness turns off camera wobble, motion blur, depth of field, and lens distortion. Dot display is turned on, showing a dot in the center of the screen.
Suggested settings are adjustment of the FOV (field of view), and camera acceleration, speed, and sensitivity. Those settings can definitely be helpful with Resident Evil’s over the shoulder viewpoint.
Aside from the settings already mentioned by the accessibility presets above, numerous other settings are available. Many of which can make Resident Evil 4 more accessible. For example Tutorial messages can be toggled on or off.
Options are generally accompanied by a textual explanation of the setting, and a visual preview if possible. This is very helpful to effectively guide players to the desired changes. Seeing the effect in the same screen prevents the cognitive load of guessing at the outcome.
Remapping is available for seemingly all gameplay actions on keyboard and mouse. For controllers a few preset control schemes are available. Players can also choose which set of button icons match the layout of their controller. Both running and crouching can be set to either a hold or toggle. Repeated input type can also be set to a hold, avoiding button mashing. Vibration can be turned off as well when playing with a controller.
Two types of aim assist are available. Simply snap to a target once, or snap and follow the target as it moves. The strength of the aim assist is adjustable, as well as the speed of the reticle when over a target. Players can enable auto-reload and choose if scope magnification resets after aiming, further reducing button presses and cognitive load.
Visuals and audio
The camera viewing axis can be inverted for different situations. Additionally mouse buttons and scroll direction can be inverted as well. It is also possible to lock the mouse to the game screen. For controllers that support it players can control the camera with the motion sensor.
Damage display has two possible strengths, and can be turned off. This affects the blood-red screen effect around the screen. Bloom and Lens Flare can be turned off, a welcome option for players sensitive to these lighting effects.
The audio tab includes options to adjust for the orientation of surround sound speakers. It also has an option to turn Sound Reverberation on or off. This potentially makes it easier to get a sense of distance and space.
All in all there are a lot of options here. Luckily these are presented in a way that helps players find what they need and see how it affects the game. Especially the implementation of accessibility presets like this is a nice way to meet a player’s needs without overwhelming them.