Alan Wake II update includes accessibility improvements, including reduced flashes

Marijn / ActiveB1t2 minute read

An update for Alan Wake II was released yesterday, which includes several changes that may improve its accessibility. Players can choose to reduce the horror flashes, but there are more improvements hidden in the patch notes. The update also includes a chapter selection menu, which allows players to revisit parts of the game. Perhaps making finding certain collectibles a bit more achievable.

Reduced horror flashes

Media, social and otherwise, have picked up on the reduced horror flashes option, but many failed to recognize the impact it can have on player safety. One person even mentioned it would not have any accessibility benefits, just make the game less scary. While reducing the horror flashes may indeed cut down on the jump scares, reducing flashes definitely make games safer to play.

Not everyone who knows they are prone to seizures knows exactly what will be a trigger. And a lot of players at risk may not know they are at risk. Sudden flashes can also simply be very uncomfortable for people with other, or less severe, kinds of photosensitivity. Lastly they can also be triggers for other conditions, such as PTSD. Being able to reduce these effects in any game, scary or not, makes them safer to play. According to the patch notes players can choose low or normal horror flash visual and audio intensity.

The feature included is actually a really awesome photosensitivity safety measure that will allow for controlling flash rate. Remember: you don’t have to have epilepsy to experience a seizure. This makes me ecstatically hopeful for the future of photosensitive accessibility.

Liana Ruppert – @DirtyEffinHippy on X / Twitter

Other accessibility improvements

Aside from the reduced flash intensity, several other accessibility improvements are hidden in the patch notes for Alan Wake II. Some of these are PC specific, such as the ability to change the FOV (Field of View) in the UI. Additionally most adjustable graphics settings now include preview images making it easier to determine the effect of these settings. Mouse button icons now also reflect the primary button setting in Windows, so lefties and others who have swapped mouse buttons see the correct icon for them.

Several changes affect all platforms. Such as added descriptions for cases that are in progress in the Case Cabinet files. To make it easier to see, changes have been made to the item pickup indicator. Haptics on key events are adjusted. This affects shooting, reloading, the Light Shift mechanic, burning off Source Points, and using the flashlight. This could improve the experience for those relying on this information to play.

The patch notes include many more performance improvements and bug fixes, as you can expect in an update. As always it’s great to see the commitment to improving games, with intended and maybe sometimes unexpected accessibility wins.

Enjoy our work? Please consider supporting us!

Donating through DAGERSystem / AbilityPoints with PayPal may be tax deductible

(ActiveB1t)Website operationsHe/They

CIPT's resident one-person IT crew responsible for the looks, functionality, and accessibility of the site. Inclusion and accessibility troublemaker and creator of the Alt Or Not browser plugin for Twitter. Child of the 80's without an intention of growing up.

See all articles by Marijn

Follow CIPT

Latest from CIPT

(Opens in new tab) starting with