Given how bleak the games industry can be at times, it’s always refreshing to see something legitimately uplifting. In the video embedded below, Canadian streamer Steve Saylor – who also acts as a consultant – reacts to The Last of Us: Part II’s array of accessibility options. For those of you who missed it, the title features an unprecedented array of options and aids, meaning that it can even be enjoyed entirely through audio alone, for example.
There are tears, but they’re of the happy kind:
“This what myself and others in the accessibility community have been advocating for so long,” he says. “There’s so much here. This is why I do what I do. This is why I work so hard to promote accessibility. This is why, because this is important.”
You can read more about the game’s outstanding array of options through here. The thing is, even without any disabilities or impairments, we’ve even found ourselves using some of the toggles to improve our experience with the game, such as the larger fonts feature. This is the new gold standard for games, and we hope more developers will follow Naughty Dog’s lead.
Very heartwarming, well done to Naughty Dog! I hope other developers follow suit.
"meaning that it can even be enjoyed entirely through audio alone"
So does this make it like an audio book essentially? A choose your own adventure? I'm intrigued how this works.
Very freaking cool. They have gone all out in making this game.
Accessibility is something games industry heavy hitters should work together on. It shouldn't be a unique selling feature for one game or system over another. I'd love to see Microsoft, Sony and Nintendo put their heads together to come up with standards and guidelines and actively promote them.
Ahhh heartwarming.....I am an ungratefull so and so It's when I hear stories like these I should be gratefull for what I have.
@nookie_egg The game can read button prompts on screen, or indicate button prompts with a sound. And by scanning the environment, enemies or items will be highlighted by sound (presumably you need good quality headphones for this), so you can tell the direction and distance, almost like a kind of echolocation.
They have a bunch of examples on their blog: https://blog.playstation.com/2020/06/09/the-last-of-us-part-ii-accessibility-features-detailed/
@Octane That sounds very cool. I've never heard of anything like this.
I've watched his video using Fortnite to help explain how someone in his shoes struggles to play games. It helps put things into perspective.
@nookie_egg It's nuts. There's text-to-speech, sonars, and all sorts of stuff you can use to make it playable without even seeing the screen.
@SirAngry Agreed, but I think that's something they're all probably open to. The Last of Us 2 mentions that it's collecting data on the accessibility stuff, so presumably a lot of the learnings here will be applied to other first-party games.
Hopefully it can also filter that information out to third-parties and even other platform holders.
@get2sammyb couldn't agree more. It'd be great if controllers designed for less able bodied gamers worked across platforms for starters. These things are expensive and close to one off bespoke items. It'd be great if these gamers could buy one peripheral and just plug it in to their PC, Switch, PS5 or XSX and not have to fork out silly money on a peripheral for every device. These sorts of steps are long overdue. The industry can and should do better. Sony's tagline for the PS5 event was "play has no limits"... I'd like to see all of the big companies truly live up to that message.
All the haters should watch this video and hang their heads in shame at all of the abuse they have sent in naughty dog's direction over the past few months
This was wonderful, it gave me a much needed smile this morning. Thanks for Naughty Dog for caring so much and thanks to Push for reporting this.
@Rob_230 indeed, what ND have done with TLoU2 with accessibility options is phenomenal. They deserve massive credit. Trust me, trying to get a budget for different font sizes from most third party publishers is like trying to get blood from a stone. I'd like to see Nintendo, Sony and Microsoft, possibly even Epic and Steam set a baseline minimum standard for accessibility options for publishing on their stores / systems. Indies would need supporting in achieving this, either via middleware, or Active support, but the big publishers are swimming in cash.
@SirAngry while I understand and support that those big companies should come together and work on this to set up some, at least basic, guidelines for accessibility, I just can't turn a blind eye to the business side of it.
These are all big corporations we're talking about. One of their goals is making money. Without that profit, they won't last long. What you're saying is really awesome, almost too good to be ever true, sadly. As cynical as it sounds, I think accessibility options will become a selling point for certain games/companies. Like, oh yeah, our system/game has this so buy it. It's ***** but well, we ain't living in a utopia after all.
The text font is something I am honestly relieved to see can be adjusted and I am only a touch short sighted. I can only imagine the joy these options bring to others.
@SirAngry the dark souls series is one big example why accessibility is important...
but i know how toxic the fanbase is when it comes to things like this so i'll leave it at that, kudos for naughty dog for having these features that other games do not. 👍
@Sam-Bridges I'm not saying your version of the future isn't more likely, but that's no reason why we should just give in and accept that the future I and others want isn't possible. Nothing worth having was given willingly by those in power, all rights and liberties were won via struggle. It's actually quite a big topic at developer conferences, and there is always somebody doing some presentation on it at things like Develop. There's actually quite a lot of will to do this within studios, some of the image quality options could be hard baked into game engines really, and I think that's be a good place to push for this, but the standards do need defining, and for that their needs to be cooperation, and for egos to be shelved.
@Weebleman i'm fully short sighted so subtitles is a must for me, i just like to use them anyway but the bigger font options are a bonus for me also.
@huyi font size is a big issue. You'd probably believe actually the number of complaints that come back from game testing over font size. It's dumb. Teams spend ages trying to find the perfect font size for everyone, completely ignoring the fact that there is no such sweet spot. It's such a simple fix to allow variation in font size, so the gamer can choose what's right for them, and it affects so many gamers it's insane it hasn't already become standard.
@huyi I use subs pretty much in every game these days. I recently picked up days gone and some of the speech in that game may as well be filtered through a quiche.
That's great, I hope this accessibility option is baked on ps5 os, it will be cool if all games have this.
Not trying to be ignorant but does that guy have some sort of sight? Otherwise, i dont understand the corrective lenses. Like is he "legally" blind of flat out cannot see anything? Doesnt take away from his reaction or NDs effort im just genuinely curious
They should add an optional trophy for completing the game this way (as in not required for platinum). It would a) help spread awareness and understanding among fully abled players, and b) be one hell of a challenge.
@Mpquikster ha! You got there first.
@Rob_230 Couldn't have put it better myself. 👏
@get2sammyb Hi there friend. Great article. Another very positive moment in videogame industry. So many people that love gaming, but just don´t have the full motor, visual and hearing capabilities that we normaly have, and still want to enjoy their favourite games. Such a good story and hopefulyl more developers will be able to follow suit on this. Kudos to Naughty Dog for such a feat. And thank you Sammy for bringing this up. Cheers, stay safe and happy gaming to everyone out there.
This is amazing, and my mind is blown at the features Naughty Dog included in the game. Very encouraging that Naughty Dog spent so much time to make this game accessible to everyone. I hope this starts to be done for a lot of other big games, so everyone can experience them.
Touching video. Glad the research is being done, glad the options are there.
I was playing Uncharted: Drake’s Fortune on PS4 this weekend, and, literally, after YEARS of playing, getting frustrated, and rage quitting over and over again I FINALLY finished the game. The problem? The colors on all three of my tvs were too dark, and I couldn’t see where to go or what to do in basic cave areas. I had cranked up the brightness on the game settings and on the tvs, I tried playing at night in the dark, and it still didn’t matter—the game was still too dark in places...but for years I never knew that was the reason why I was struggling to play through it.
So, how did I finally finish the game? How did I learn the brightness was the problem? I finally broke down, went onto YouTube and watched someone do a playthrough. I hate watching playthroughs because I feel like I’m cheating. I enjoy figuring out the puzzles on my own. But, what I found was that the brightness levels on my iPhone go much higher than my tv, and it was like a night and day difference. I could see different colors and textures on the walls—it was awesome.
I do have some vision issues, but even with my glasses and standing a foot away from my 65 inch LED tv and squinting, I had to pause the game about every other minute on some of the final levels to view the iPhone YouTube walkthrough so that I could see what direction I needed to go.
The point is...accessibility options can be hugely important to game enjoyment. Uncharted had a brightness option, but it still wasn’t enough. Naughty Dog could’ve done more. I’m glad they’re doing more with TLOU 2.
Even if I play english games over 30 years, it is not my native language and I need subtitles to check different words, that pronounce almost same (I, eye, aye for example). Micro text is pain for me, and I rather sacrifice quarter of screen to have big text.
. The 3D audio processer in the PS5
Will make history for accessibility community
Beautiful, it's a bit of a shame the game is so depressing story wise tho but im sure he'll have a lot of fun replaying it
I'm all for this becoming industry standard up until the point of cost prohibitive issues. If it raises the price of consoles or their games, I will unilaterally not support it. If it affects game or console quality, I will not support it then either.
That being said, if Naughty Dog didn't scrimp on quality and let the extra development time come out of their bottom line, instead of our pockets, this is amazing.
@Rob_230 One good doesn't change the rest. As someone who works in a field where we crunch for 2/3 of the year, every year, by the very nature of the beast well... I couldn't care less about crunch.
The things they've been saying, the attacks and abuse of the legal system bc of their mistakes... that's where my issue is. Their response should've been, 'We're saddened by the leaks. Our job is to create unique, engaging stories and telling them through an interactive medium. While spoilers can negatively impact a players experience, we believe this is a story that must be experienced to understand. We may not always like the stories we experience. Some may not like our story and we can respect that. It's not always a pleasant story, but it's a story we all stand behind fully.'
That's a better reaction than 'F#$% you! Racist! Sexist! Bigot! Ya, if you don't like our game, that's what you are!' They sound like spoiled children. It makes it appear that they don't stand behind their work bc they're lashing out. Like their game can't stand up to the criticism. That's an issue.
@HUMPERDOO Why make it optional? It sounds like great challenge (for those used to seeing) that might inspire other developers even more!
@huyi people are asking for dark souls to be easy?
@Uoman abuse of the legal system? You are delusional. Also, the reason most took issue with the story WAS for sexist, bigoted, and homophobic reasons.
Should be a standard in today's gaming because everyone should be able to enjoy games from any walks of life, my son is 2 he has a very rare muscle disease which means he may not walk properly it's to early to tell but it effects his breathing and can be life threatening
But I hope he can play some games in a way to help with his development I really do, there's not enough in this industry to help people with disabilities
This is actually really nice. Everybody who wants to should be able to enjoy games.
The accessibility options alone make this game not just worthy of awards and acclaim, but an absolutely historical moment in gaming.
I'm not crying, you're crying!
@ChipBoundary if you believe that, you're delusional. Forbes released an article discussing the negative parts mentioned in both the glowing reviews and the critical ones. Including those who don't qualify for Metacritic.
A constant is displeasure with the shift in character. The levity Ellie brought is gone. The main character of the first, gone. Plot holes and leaps in logic abound. There's no self-realization or rationalization for the events. Some claiming a complete lack of character growth.
While some are upset by cannonization of dlc most didn't play, these are legitimate issues. (Thats another conversation) What's worse, the last 12-20 hours are not open for public reviews yet and that's the section most are critical of. Personally, I'd like to know how a person can review a game famed for its storytelling, criticize its story heavily, then give it 96+.
That's like JP Power saying 'Well, the wheel fell off. It burns oil faster than gas. And while driving in town, the vibration was so hard to deal with I wanted to walk back to the dealership. Yet I'm glad I didn't. So we give this car a perfect score!' And these are the primary complaints from the leaks, though they trend more towards hyperbole and attacks on intentionally unlikeable characters. So when reviewers negatives views line up with people criticizing the leaks, well, there's an issue there.
@Uoman if you don't like something, why waste your time criticizing it? You already know you don't like it, so what's the point? My favorite things in the world are the things I am most critical of.
Ellie grew up. If you think you're just like you were when you were younger...you're sorely mistaken. I've met plenty of people in the military that deploy and in less than a year they are completely changed. At the core they are the same, but all their mannerisms, sense of humor, etc are totally changed.
I'm not discussing legitimate reviews from actual critics, though. I'm talking about average gamers. Gamers, as a general rule, are the worst humanity has to offer. They hate, that's all they do. Hate and post on reddit.
@Uoman When it comes to the high scores accompanying so much criticism, I think people are misreading what the reviewers are being critical of.
From most of those reviews I looked at, they're not saying the game is mediocre or underwhelming. They're saying that it makes them feel uncomfortable or even outraged by the things that the game forces you to do.
And being uncomfortable or unhappy with the game's narrative isn't a legitimate reason to start lowering review scores as long as the quality is there, and the rest of the game holds up.
As for the holes in the story... I'd like to see a list of story-driven action/adventure games that aren't full of them.
@Kirbyboy92 congratulations... on proving his point.
font sizes been made bigger is great as i have poor eye sight wish more game companies did this
I can't wait to do a 3rd playthrough completely blind with accessbility options on! I mean it, I think it will be a cool experience to make me think about how privileged I am for being able to do something so simple like seeing!
This is amazing and I hope tons of people can enjoy it this way!
@Shinishii Well... Can you imagine the grief from less open-minded platinum hunters if they were forced into it? Change tends not to come from being forced into something. Better to angle it as giving bragging rights that may hopefully seed more empathetic ideas as a byproduct.
@SirAngry business always prevail... but there's always third party companies.
Ok I'll chuck my 20p in here, the options are going to be a game changer 100%, its a real shame its taken so long but I highly doubt ps3 or before could support this level of settings that has been given.
Roll on friday when I get my copy
@HUMPERDOO I don't see Naughty Dog of all studios pandering to less open-minded trophy hunters. In fact, I can't see trophy hunters getting that upset about it myself... I imagine the vast majority would welcome a challenge they hadn't seen before, rather than the same old nightmare modes, speedruns, and multiplayer leaderboard challenges. Maybe I give them too much credit.
I wouldnt be shocked if ND implemented this in R&C on ps5 to get plat and people will freak out but get that a lot of ND's games are less about the gameplay and more about the story and immersive feelings they give off.
ND and Insomniac are my 2 favourite studios with Valve and Bungie 3rd and 4th respectively.
All because of their abillity to generate great storys and immersive environments.
@Kirbyboy92 by trying to use my statement to insult me. And also by ignoring everything else in my comment. You latched onto something in my comment and posted something inflammatory in response. Your sole purpose for commenting was to get a rise out of me, the literal definition of an internet troll.
You conveniently gloss over the fact that I said, "as a general rule". There are always exceptions to every rule. The vast majority of gamers fall under the description I made, but there are a lot that don't. I've never once in my life posted something online out of hate or dislike. I don't rage-quit games because they have optional micro-transactions. I don't complain about DLC coming out that "should have been part of the game". I don't demand that people and companies change to support my world view. All of these things are pure toxicity, and the cry of the average gamer.
@Kirbyboy92 oh, it most definitely exists. The gaming community is rife with toxicity. I'd go so far as to say that the gaming community is the worst social community on the planet, when it comes to toxicity. Also, a gamer is someone that plays games as a passionate hobby, or even professionally. Just because you fired up Zelda or Mario a few times in your life and have fond memories of it or you happen to own a console and play call of duty once every couple months, doesn't make you a gamer. That's like claiming I'm a woodworker just because I built a few things with wood in my life and own some wood-working tools.
@SirAngry That should be a combined effort from Sony, MS and Nintendo.
So can we stop bitching now when a game is pushed back this clearly was quite a task.
@DarkLloyd yes, various difficulty levels for players
@Ypmud is it coming out this friday already? christ!
Well done Naughty Dog. Please, other developers follow suit.
"I recorded my reaction when I saw the #accessibility settings"
Confused..isnt this a blind gamer??
How did he SEE the accessibility settings?
That's awesome an all but still a cringy reaction tbh, no wonder he deleted this video
"I've been reluctant to post this"
I'll translate: "I've been dying to post this".
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