After the PlayStation Store revealed some of Marvel’s Spider-Man 2 accessibility features last month, the PlayStation Blog now has more information. It also includes some post launch plans. We learn some features, such as the screen reader and audio descriptions are part of these post launch plans. For this post we also looked at the features listed in a new accessibility article on Insomniac Games’ support website.
Challenge Level Modifiers and Gameplay Assists
To match the challenge to players’ needs or preferences, several modifiers are available. These respectively allow players to adjust enemy health, damage, and stealth awareness. Chase assist lowers the speed of the target and helps players to track them more easily.
As we found out last month, players can lower the game speed to 70%, 50%, or even 30% of normal speed. Changing the game speed is also possible through a shortcut. Shortcuts can tie one of several predetermined actions to the left or right directional button. Aside from game speed, shortcuts can launch photo mode, toggle contrast options, or perform other difficult to reach actions.
An option to simplify puzzles is available, while players can also skip puzzles through the pause menu. Increasing the time available to dodge or parry is possible as well. Enhanced auto-aim will make it easier for players to snap onto targets while aiming. Automatic healing and Quick Time Event (QTE) autocomplete complete the list of assists.
Players can choose to display control reminders, as well as puzzle hints explaining solutions to puzzles.
Specific swing assists allow players to make it easier to navigate by web swinging. Steering assistance can reduce the effects of physics, making it easier to swing. Slow corner timescale can reduce the game speed during transitions. That should make it less disorienting to go around corners at speed.
Players can invert look (camera) axis and Web Wings control axis. Controller vibration can be set for more immersion, useful feedback only, or turned off. The intensity of the vibration is adjustable as well.
Button holds can replace button mashing, and enabling continuous dodge will keep dodging while holding the button. Players can choose between button hold and toggle for several gameplay actions. Web-shooter burst allows players to shoot three webs at once, further limiting button presses needed to fully web up enemies.
The support article mentions remapping of controls, but as something included in the post-launch update. This sounds like remapping is not available at launch, which would be an unlikely missing feature. If this is true, this might unfortunately mean players with mobility issues need to wait until the update.
Audio and subtitles
Audio frequency controls are a novel set of options allowing players to disable uncomfortable sounds. Players can select a cutoff for sounds above and below certain frequencies, and can also remove a specific frequency range.
Aside from that, separate volume sliders are available for different categories. Players can turn on narration for subtitled American Sign Language (ASL) dialogue, and voice boost to make dialogue more clear.
Subtitles are available and customizable in size, color, speaker name color, and background color and opacity. The color for emphasized text can be selected too.
Marvel’s Spider-Man 2 includes a high contrast mode to provide accessibility to low vision players. This mode seems very customizable, allowing players to apply colors to the player, allies, and NPCs (Non Player Characters). Enemies can even be colored differently, depending on the type of enemy. Different kinds of interactables and collectibles can also be made more visible through the high contrast mode. High contrast options are also available for background, Spider-Sense, and Perfect Dodge effects.
There are several settings to adjust the behavior of the camera. Adjusting sensitivity, camera shake, and swing camera motion all can help to prevent motion sickness. Automatic reorientation of the camera can help players keep track of their enemies, objectives, or where they’re running and swinging. A center dot can help players avoid motion sickness as well.
Players can turn off fullscreen effects. These include screen effects indicating damage, or intense flashing. Disabling other effects such as motion blur, film grain, chromatic aberration, and depth of field is possible too. These effects can all contribute to eyestrain, headaches, and even seizures. The ability to turn these off is very welcome, and for some players essential.
To remove movement from elements in menus players can disable UI parallaxing. The map can lock to always point up to north. Mission waypoints can always be visible instead of only on scans. Lastly, icon and prompt sizes are adjustable as well.
Post launch accessibility plans
The blog post mentions that an update planned for December contains several more accessibility features. One of these features is audio descriptions for which Insomniac worked together with Descriptive Video Works. Invaluable for blind players, audio descriptions may also benefit many more players, describing the visuals in cinematics and even QTEs. Players will be able to separately set the volume for audio descriptions.
Marvel’s Spider-Man 2 will get a screen reader as well, narrating tutorials, menus, and more. Players can also customize several aspects of the screen reader.
Last in this section are captions for non-dialogue sound in cinematics and key audio moments in gameplay. The captions are customizable separately from subtitles, allowing players to change size, color, and background color and opacity.
A nod to Access Controller for PS5
The blog post also pays attention to the upcoming Access Controller for PS5. Sam Schaffel explains how he uses a custom profile to map two commands to a single button, while combining an Access Controller with a DualSense controller.
Aside from getting early accessibility information about Spider-Man 2, providing information about future additions is very helpful. It tells players that while the game might miss something at launch, it might be fixed for their needs soon. For now we’ll all have to wait just a little longer, until its October 20 release.