Even before development began, Naughty Dog was aiming to make The Last of Us Part 2 as one of the most accessible games in history.
Speaking with The Verge in a recent interview, lead gameplay designer Emilia Schatz stated that there are about 60 different accessibility features available in The Last of Us Part 2. The features have been built to improve the quality of play and range from fully remappable controls to color-blind subtitles, to greyed-out graphics for the visually impaired and more.
Accessibility for us is about removing barriers that are keeping players from completing a game. 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? The idea here is to give players a starting point.
Schatz noted that the goal to make The Last of Us Part 2 as accessible as possible was birthed after a player was unable to finish Uncharted 2: Among Thieves. The acclaimed installment in the franchise has a particular scene at the end where you need to press a button rapidly to get through a mandatory narrative prompt. The player in question was not able to do that and hence, “inspiring” Naughty Dog to make future games better for such players.
Weighing in on what Schatz stated, game designer Matthew Gallant added that it would “feel like a failing” for Naughty Dog if a certain segment of the game was inaccessible in any way. The Last of Us Part 2 has been designed to overcome several such obstacles, even allowing players to navigate the in-game world by sound and being able to zoom in and out of scenes to get a better idea of the display.
The Last of Us Part 2 will officially release exclusively for PlayStation 4 on June 19, 2020.