Naughty Dog has outlined accessibility options included in The Last of Us Part 1.
In the remake, there will be audio descriptions for cinematics, haptic feedback for dialogue, and many more accessibility features.
There will be accessibility features for blind and deaf players and those with motor accessibility needs. The largest new feature is the audio descriptions for cinematics as part of a collaboration with Descriptive Video Works. These descriptions will be integrated into all cutscenes and across all localized.
Another feature finds the dialogue playing through the PS5 DualSense controller as haptic feedback. This option allows a deaf player to feel how a line is delivered.
Naughty Dog added alternative control options that allows players to customize the DualSense controller by remapping commands, including touchpad swipes and controller shake. Players can change button holds into a toggle and every rapid press into a hold. There are also camera assistance and lock-on aim options.
Three accessibility presets will configure all the recommended settings for vision, hearing, and motor accessibility. Players are free to customize these presets to suit their needs.
There are options to fine-tune the HUD size, color, and contrast to ensure text, UI, and gameplay elements are comfortably visible to view and read. There’s also a Screen Magnifier, allowing you to zoom in on any part of the screen using the PS5 DualSense controller’s touchpad.
Simulated 3D movement, which can be a source of motion sickness for many players, can be combated by adjusting camera shake, motion blur, camera follow distance, and field of view. An option for a persistent white dot in the center of the screen is included and can help alleviate the sensation.
Included are ways for blind and low-vision players to navigate using Navigation Assistance. Another option is Enhanced Listen Mode which will help the player find enemies or pickups. Additional features include simplified traversal input, ledge guard, and the ability to skip puzzles.
The game will also come with Traversal and Combat Audio Cues that work alongside the game’s audio to map identifiable sounds to commonly used actions. These are cataloged in the audio glossary that players can refer back to at any time. The developers also include a Screen Reader option which voices menus and other on-screen text.
Several combat options which can significantly alter the gameplay experience are included. There’s the Invisibility Toggle feature that allows you to experience stealth gameplay that might otherwise be inaccessible, there’s Slow Motion while aiming, and more.
Naughty Dog has included several visual display options for HUD information. Examples include Awareness Indicators that allow you to determine when an enemy has noticed you while in stealth. This option can also persist during combat and point players to high-threat enemies.
There is also a wide array of customization options for subtitles. Players can tweak the size and color, choose a dark background for contrast, speaker names can be enabled, and there’s even a directional arrow for offscreen speakers. Another option is subtitling for all systemic enemy dialogue during stealth and combat.
As an extension of the accessibility features, The Last of Us Part 1 also includes expanded difficulty options. At launch, there will be five challenge levels: Very Light, Light, Moderate, Hard, Survivor, and Grounded. Specific aspects of difficulty can be customized and individually tweaked to incoming damage, enemy and ally effectiveness, stealth, and resources.
The Last of Us Part 1 will be released for PS5 on September 2. A PC version is also in the works.