Sections

Uncharted 4 is a paragon of AAA accessibility

Naughty Dog describes the new features in its latest blockbuster that make it more open to gamers with disabilities

In addition to being one of the most critically admired games of the year, Uncharted 4: A Thief's End is also among the most open to gamers with disabilities.

Naughty Dog included an entire "Accessibility" section in the game's menu system, offering a range of options for tailoring the experience to specific sets of needs. The studio had been thinking about accessibility on The Last of Us, but it was the effort of one person that convinced co-directors Neil Druckmann and Bruce Straley to step up their efforts for Uncharted 4.

That person was Josh Straub, the editor-in-chief of DAGER System, a website that reviews the accessibility features in games. One of the reasons he started the site was an unfortunate experience with Uncharted 2: Among Thieves, where he encountered a section towards the end of the game that he couldn't complete.

"I was faced with the reality that I had played this entire game, I had spent $60 on it, and I could not get any further without the help of an able-bodied person," Straub said in a video released by Sony today. It was a meeting with UI designer Alexandria Neonakis at GDC, where he relayed that same story, that convinced Naughty Dog to go further in making the game for everyone.

Watch the video below for an insight into how significant even the smallest changes can be for your game's accessibility.

Related stories

Naughty Dog marks The Last of Us' fifth birthday with 17m copies sold

Combined sales of The Last of Us and the Uncharted series are now pushing 60 million units

By Matthew Handrahan

Neil Druckmann named VP of Naughty Dog

Last of Us Part II creative director gets a new title to reflect his role on the studio's management team

By Brendan Sinclair

Latest comments (7)

James Berg Games User Researcher, EA Canada2 years ago
Josh is a great dude. Folks interested can usually catch him at GDC, and he attends the Games User Research Summit every year as well :)
2Sign inorRegisterto rate and reply
Anthony Gowland Director, Ant Workshop2 years ago
Good on them - most games don't even care enough to make their UI a readable font size.
6Sign inorRegisterto rate and reply
Bill Young Head of Strategic Partnerships & Sponsorships, esports, Twitch2 years ago
Impressed. Well done, Naughty Dog...well done, Sony.
1Sign inorRegisterto rate and reply
Show all comments (7)
Ellis Shale Sound Designer / 3D Artist / Level Designer, FingerPunch Games2 years ago
Honestly most AAA games should be thinking about these sort of things including colour blindness (which is thankfully coming into more games) UI size and a myriad of other options to make gaming easier for EVERYONE!
0Sign inorRegisterto rate and reply
Adam Campbell Game Production Manager, Azoomee2 years ago
This is great to see.
0Sign inorRegisterto rate and reply
James Prendergast Research Chemist 2 years ago
Fantastic news. I had noticed upon first loading the game up (I always dig through the menus before starting). I hope more follow in this trend!

@Anthony Gowland: As someone who has perfect vision, I have always wondered what the hell certain developers were thinking (especially in the early days of the 360 and PS3) making all their subtitles tiny, unreadable fonts. It was even worse given that both of those consoles were supposed to support output over SCART or equivalent. Makes me wonder how many different testing environments are looked at during the development of these games or are they only tested on the most expensive equipment available?
1Sign inorRegisterto rate and reply
Shehzaan Abdulla Translator/QA 2 years ago
I think part of it is that they might have been mostly testing on a monitor only viewed a couple feet away from their face. That's more likely to be the culprit than the cost of the hardware.
0Sign inorRegisterto rate and reply

Sign in to contribute

Need an account? Register now.