The Last Of Us 2 is a landmark moment for game accessibility, with a wide swathe of considerations ranging from audio cues and navigation assistance for blind gamers to directional subtitles, from high contrast modes to automated camera movement for one stick play.
While there's still plenty of scope for building on and expanding on TLOU2's efforts, the level it reached has resulted in an outpouring of emotion from all across the community.
I've pulled together a few examples here, if you're a developer reading this who has ever questioned whether accessibility is really worth the effort - or you're trying to persuade colleagues - I hope this gives you some of what you need.
Thanks to the accessibility efforts of, Naughty Dog, Neil Druckmann and many, many more, today, for the first time in over 15 years, I purchased a story based video game.
*roots through the settings, watches the intro, then rides horse out of the house and about 50m down the road while playing around with some of the features*
OK this is my game of the year already
I loved mooching through TLOU2's accessibility options when booting up for the first time. It feels like so much more than merely choosing (say) Y-axis - it's like having a pre-game huddle with the developers themselves.
For those of you who don't know, I was blinded from a gunshot when I was 8; I'm 22 now. June 14th was the anniversary of when it happened. TLoU2 hype really helped me get past that day :)
I could only cry when I started up the game with the accessibility options I picked to make the game play I needed it to be for me. I’ve never felt so included in a video game before and it touched my very soul. Thank you Naughty Dog.
As a Handicapgamer playing with Mouth, THX to Naughty Dog for so many accessibility options in The Last of Us Part 2
There’s an accessibility option that automatically directs the camera in the direction you’re supposed to go. With one button press. Where has this been all my dyspraxic life?! Some of us REALLY benefit from being told where to go. I can’t even do real life without a GPS.
The ability to replay cinematics is so important. I often find myself missing context because I can struggle to take in what's happening during a cinematic - especially if there's a lot going on around me that is also grabbing my attention.
I wonder how much of [the initial 4m sales] can be attributed to disabled players actually being considered in the game's development. Every single fellow disabled person I know has purchased this game. That's never happened before.
I really want to thank you and the other creators at Naughty Dog for making this game fully accessible. For the first time ever I am able to play a video game without needing sighted support.
Very happy to see this option when starting the last of us 2. Let's see what it dose for us dyslexic gamers. It reads notes u find... Amazing, finally get to enjoy that part of the game. Thank you naughty dog
My 70 year old Dad was stuck on a Last of Us 2 boss for a week and I couldn't help him with it, he lives in the Caribbean. Thank you Naughty Dog for the new accessibility options! Using the low vision mode he finally smashed it and facetimed me with a big smile on his face! ðŸ˜Š âÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂ¤
I’m tempted to buy Last of us part 2 just to give Naughty Dog my money, because of their amazing accessibility options and I don’t even own a PlayStation!
I really appreciate the game's accessibility options! So many things you can change to make the game fit your needs if you have to. So happy to see a motion sickness menu, thank you!
The accessibility options in Last Of Us Par tII are phenomenal! I personally turned on optional Slow Mo, Auto Pick up and Changed Text to Yellow as it’s easier on my eyes!
As a semi disabled person I'm utterly delighted at the accessibility options in "the last of us part II"
From the start, the accessibility options in The Last of Us II are bloody excellent. Big fan of being able to completely customise my subtitles immediately, rather than being in-game first.
I was particularly impressed when it recognised I was instinctively using the alternative boat controls and a tool-tip popped up that boiled down to, 'Hey! We see you, and we've got you! Just pop into the menu to switch it over and you're gravy'.
I was suffering a lot with motion sickness while playing TLOU2, but then I remembered about the accessibility settings of the game and YES, a whole section just for that. Thank you Naughty Dog!
A huge thank you to Naughty Dog for letting players adjust the subtitle size in TLOU2. The host of accessibility options this game has is awesome.
Thanks to the accessibility options in TLOU2 , I'm able to play! I panic when scary things happen which makes it hard for me to play things like this, but being able to slow down combat awesome & I really love it! Love being able to experience this game despite my anxiety.
I love that you can show the arrows on where people are talking from as I am deaf in one ear and have peripheral vision in the right so find it hard to tell where sound is coming from
Thinking about High Contrast mode from TLou2… Like, just, it's SO USEFUL, AND BEAUTIFUL, LIKE. I can't tell you how painful it is sometimes in video games when they start throwing random strobe lights at me, and seeing completely smooth surfaces with various colors that allow me to navigate a game without having to see anything that could potentially hurt my eyes
Amir Marie Lastrassi
Thank you so much for making TLOUS2 with amazing accessibility features and Trans rep! I'm blind and trans, I am sobbing at the fact that I was able to play this game and enjoy it to the fullest, story, combat and text-to-speech for notes! All my love!
I don't have any disabilities that would impact my ability to play this game, but the level of customization in this game is truly awesome and I would love to see more of this going forward.
I greatly appreciate Naughty Dog’s accessibility features for those of us that get severe motion sickness while playing video games. I still get a little nauseous if I play The Last of Us Part II for too long, but these settings help a ton. I love this game.
As a father of a son with a disability who games with me, what Sony and Naughty Dog did with The Last of Us 2 with 60 accessibility settings is awesome. I hope more games, from the start of production, make this a priority.
There are more difficulty settings than ever, assistance and accessibility improvements. This game has thousands of versions, and all feel great.
That investment in time and effort for accessibility gave all players freedom to enjoy the great experience. I want to thank the whole Naughty Dog team for their hard work, without the options I wouldn't have been able to finish the The Last of Us 2 twice.
I just want to give huge props to Naughty Dog on the accessibility options in TLOU2. I’m not good with horror or suspense at all, and the fact they’ve given me the option to make encounters much easier let’s me experience this game without getting super stressed.
Slow Motion Toggle in The Last of Us Part II is an accessibility feature for mental health. Lemme explain. I get jump scared by Infected. Slow. I can catch my breath, win and continue. Later, I know a fight is behind the door. I toggle Slow first. Open the door. I'm still startled by the noise, though that is slowed too. Which disarm it a bit. I handle the battle like a champ. All because I can toggle Slow-motion. I can catch my breath and aim. And keep on playing, less stressed because I know it's there. And I get to play the sequel to a game that means the world to me, in spite of my anxiety disorders. It's early in the game but it has been so refreshing. That's accessibility. Thank you Naughty Dog for setting a new bar in accessible design.
Thank you so much for creating an incredible game on Playstation that has such great options for accessibility when it comes to hud flashing, camera shake, motion blur & fullscreen effects. For someone with epilepsy, this is a godsend.
I just want to say thank you for the in depth accessibility options. The motion sickness one is god sent for me! I can’t count the amount of games I had to drop on console cos of severe motion sickness. Thank you so much!
I've gotta say it: The incredible new subtitle options in The Last of Us Part II actually brought tears to my eyes. To say my hearing is shit would be an understatement, but thanks to Naughty Dog's stellar accessibility team, for the first time in a decade+, I didn't miss ANYTHING!
About to cry over how much The Last of Us Part II accessibility settings helped me, i have a lot of trouble with combat & sensory overload due to my disability and i spent hours frustrated unable to beat this boss, but with the accessibility i finally can progress. thank u
Well, I've done it. I've played through the entirety of The Last Of Us Part II and completed it, as a gamer without sight, with no sighted assistance. This is the first time I've been able to achieve this in a videogame and for that, I can't thank Naughty Dog enough. I'm just so glad that all the hard work has allowed me to play through my first single-player experience entirely on my own terms.
I was a massive gamer before I lost what useful sight I did have. I thought I’d never play video games again. Thanks to the extensive accessibility features in The Last of Us Part ll I can enjoy this game the same as everyone else. Thank you so much Naughty Dog
The accessibility helped so much with my carpal tunnel syndrome. I can barely play these days without hurting my wrist but the variety of options really made a huge difference.
THANK YOU Naughty Dog for the STAGGERING amount of accessibility options in The Last of Us Part ll. I literally couldn't play the first game, and now I can play the second with a level of skill I can usually only have on PC.
So I’m 13 hours into The Last of Us Part II, having only been able to play in 2 or so hour bursts as it’s been giving me bad motion sickness. Go into the accessibility options and see a WHOLE menu of options for motion sickness I never knew was there! Thank you Naughty Dog!
Am I crying over amazing accessibility options? You bet I am! Naughty Dog you have done glorious things!
the wilder void
i’m actually so incredibly grateful for the accessibility options in tlou2 because there’s so many games i can’t play because of really bad motion sickness and i’m happy they made it so you could adjust the settings a lot. i still get a little sick from playing it but it’s nothing i can’t power through with some breaks but i definitely hope more games have these options in the future
The accessibility options in last of us is unlike anything I’ve ever seen. This needs to be the new normal. It’s phenomenal & makes the game actually playable for me.
The accessibility options in Last of Us 2 are amazing. Even as someone who doesn’t “need” the visual aids, high contrast mode can be helpful if you don’t want to search half an hour for loot with the sun shining on your TV.
I'd like to extend at least a thousand THANK YOUs to Naughty Dog and Neil Druckmann for the scope of accessibility options! To be able to play the game comfortably and adjust so many facets is absolutely incredible!
Today is an amazing day for us blind gamers. Thank you so much from the bottom of my heart Naughty Dog for taking a gigantic step in accessibility for us.
I broke down and cried when I saw the accessibility presets in The Last of Us II. Thanks for including people like me in the gaming experience.
Part 1 of my Last of Us 2 play through is really just me crying about the accessibility features for 45 minutes. No shame about my ugly crying. 'Text-to-Speech' definitely hit the hardest.
Bailey Seeking (nsfw)
The accessibility options in The Last of Us Part II are beyond words! Thank you, Naughty Dog for the NUMEROUS options! For the first time ever, my cerebral palsy isn’t holding me back at all! You guys are my heroes and a shining example for the gaming industry!
Thank you SO much for the amount of accessibility options! I'm deaf and having Names with color and text size options is so helpful! But the BEST option is the arrow that tells me where an off screen person is speaking! Thanks for caring!!
I've just played the first 45 mins of The Last of Us Part 2 as a visually impaired video gamer. The accessibility settings reduced me to tears, thank you Naughty Dog
Dr Amy Kavanagh
I might have to purchase a PS4 before they release the PS5. I'm too excited for this TLOU2! Naughty Dog thank you for your accessibility in mind approach to game design. My vestibulars thank you.
In June 2017 my sister (aged 12 lol oops) & myself played the Last of Us together over a month, after she gifted it to me for my birthday. It became a foundation for our love of gaming & spending time with each other. Today we begin Last Of Us Part II together. I’ve already played it so I’m letting her take the reigns this time. She hasn’t got as many accessibility needs as me, but she is loving the slow motion mode for her anxiety, I’m very excited for her. So my sister doesn’t ID as disabled, but has anxiety disorder (jumpscares kill her) & seeing how much the accessibility settings are enhancing the game for her is making me emotional. She’s loving the high contrast settings & slow motion during combat. This game man, amazing.
If I had one wish for 3D action games going forward, it’s that Navigation Assistance becomes standard. When the camera orients with a single button press I can immerse myself in the chase scenes instead of running and fighting the camera.
Thank you for an outstanding game. I couldn't sleep last night. Means you did a great job! What you've done for accessibility will never be forgotten. I think I'm still in shock.
The new theme colour for the code highlighter was inspired by one of the accessibility options in The Last of Us Part 2.
CoCart - Cart REST API for WooCommerce
Blown away by The Last of Us Part ll’s accessibility options. Wow! What an excellent case study for game dev classes.
Bob De Schutter, Miami University
Thoroughly inspired by Naughty Dog right now. Also, having other AAA studios being so invested in accessibility truly helps us pushing those initiatives forward. We need to keep each other accountable in this industry. Great stuff
Ameliane Chiasson, Square Enix
I adored the game, and want to thank you for the care and attention taken in crafting it, particularly the accessibility options. As a visually impaired gamer this is the first time a game has felt like it’s “for me”. It’s a masterpiece.
Beyond Absurd Cookie
Republished from ian-hamilton.com/blog