The Many Ways The Last Of Us 2 Is Designed To Be Accessible

With The Last of Us Part 2 launching on June 19 for PlayStation 4, Naughty Dog is finally divulging more information about its post-apocalyptic action-adventure game. In a recent interview, the studio talked about the new accessibility options, which seem to position TLOU2 as the most accessible title ND has developed thus far.

Talking to The Verge recently, lead gameplay designer Emilia Schatz and fellow game designer Matthew Gallant discussed the 60 different accessibility options found within TLOU2. This includes standard fare–such as adjusting the subtitle text to make it more legible and increasing the size of the UI–to much more involved tweaks like audio cues that play when near something interactable and text-to-speech options that read collectibles aloud.

There are also entire visual changes that can be toggled on and off, such as a high-contrast mode for low-vision players that gives the world a light grey veneer, turning allies blue and enemies red akin to something like Eagle Vision in Ubisoft’s Assassin’s Creed series. You can even use the PS4’s touchpad to zoom into the world just as you would while reading something on your phone.

“Accessibility for us is about removing barriers that are keeping players from completing a game,” Schatz said. “It’s not about dumbing down a game or making a game easy. What do our players need in order to play the game in parity with everyone else?”

That parity between players is something that was at the front of TLOU2’s development, with Gallant saying that the inclusion of these features was paramount. “We absolutely had to plan these features early in production,” he said. “It was absolutely critical. We couldn’t have done this if we hadn’t, from the outset, said ‘This is a priority.'”

With so many accessibility options available from the get-go for players to tinker with, Naughty Dog has provided a handful of presets–under categories like vision and hearing–that toggle various features on and off. This system sounds similar to Team Ninja’s Nioh franchise, which allows players to choose between Action (prioritizes framerate) and Movie (prioritizes visual fidelity) modes. In TLOU2, however, you can go into the accessibility menu and further fine-tune the experience to meet your exact needs.

Following right behind The Last of Us Part 2 is Sucker Punch Productions’ Ghost of Tsushima, which hits PS4 on July 17. You can check out both our Last of Us Part 2 pre-order guide and Ghost of Tsushima pre-order guide to learn more about what comes with buying either game before they officially drop.

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