Accessibility has been the focus of many companies over the past few years, such as Sony, and its upcoming game God of War: Ragnarok will have a detailed selection of options that players can check out. Sony, in particular, is actively advocating for accessibility, since many games from developers, such as Horizon: Forbidden West, Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart and even the recently released The Last of Us: Part 1, have a set of settings that can be customized.
In fact, earlier this year Sony confirmed that the long-awaited God of War: Ragnarok will have a variety of access options, even showing off a number of settings. A blog post from May showed most of the 60 available settings, including basic options such as captions and subtitle settings, automatic sprint, aiming and locking styles, options to reduce motion sickness, and even high contrast mode. In a recent interview, the leading UX designer of God of War Ragnarok, Mila Peacock, told even more details about this side of the game.
Pavlin said that a wide range of consultants and testers, including blind players, helped her team hone their skills in four key areas: vision, hearing, motor skills and cognitive understanding. From this, a high contrast mode was created that allows players to apply certain colors to objects, characters, backgrounds and more to improve visibility and reduce clutter on the screen. Other key accessibility features to help reduce what the team defines as “progress blockers” were beeps combined with captions to help indicate common area button hints and puzzle time.
The UX team strives to ensure that players receive a variety of sensory information in various forms, combined with audio, visual and even tactile feedback from the DualSense controller. The Peacock team hopes that these special features will move God of War: Ragnarok forward, allowing all players to customize the gameplay to make it easier for everyone to play.
The 60-plus features are incredibly accessible. I still think we can do better. I think we can push it further. But honestly, I feel like people will be thrilled to see how many more players will be able to play. And if I can bring the feature to the point where another player — just one player — can play, then that would be the greatest thing in the world; to be able to see that one player and understand how it allows them to connect with the community and communicate with everyone.
Part of this mantra includes controls that allow players to activate abilities such as Spartan Rage, or movements such as quick turns, using the touchpad instead of pressing certain buttons. Platform segments as well as item collection can also be automated, and there’s even an option for streamers to enable controller visualization where instant button presses can be relayed to their audience.
The release date is set for November, and fans are hungry for new information about God of War Ragnarok, and many assume that a dedicated State of Play is just around the corner. At the moment, the news remains slow, and the most recent disclosure is a small fragment of the gameplay in one of the newly explored worlds of Svartalfheim. After Odin banned access to some of the Nine Kingdoms of the World Tree in the first game, it seems that Kratos and Atreus can finally go to places like the ancient territory of the dwarves.
God of War Ragnarok is released on November 9 on PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 5.