Imagine if you booted up XVI and found the game too dark to see, too quiet to hear, and there were no subtitles. Now imagine that each of these settings (brightness, audio, language) were implemented as accessories and, at the start of the game, only two can be equipped at a time.
This may sound like a joke, but I assure you it is not. This is how it will feel to play XVI as a disabled gamer.
Here are XVI’s five accessibility accessories. At the start of the game, only three can be equipped at a time:
Disability comes in many forms. Even basic actions, especially timed actions like dodging or attacking, can be strenuous or near impossible. It may also be that a person’s disability prevents them from reaching certain buttons, even on Sony’s adaptive controller.
Limiting which options a disabled player can choose from is unnecessary and over designed. Furthermore, disabled players will miss out on any stat buffs or resistances that other players will enjoy because their accessory slots will be competing with the options above.
There’s been so many great examples of gaming accessibility in recent years, especially in other PlayStation exclusives like The Last of Us Part II, God of War Ragnarok, and Ratchet and Clank Rift Apart. As such, I’m quite confused by XVI. Accessibility, just like screen brightness and audio mixing, should be available in menu form at the start of the game, no exceptions.