Today, developer Guerrilla revealed all of the accessibility features that will be coming to Horizon Forbidden West. Brian Roberts, Principal Designer, Guerrilla wrote on the PlayStation Blog, “With the launch of Horizon Forbidden West only a few days away, we are keen to share some of the accessibility features that will be available for our players. Early on in the game’s development, we established that we wanted to bring the game to as many fans as possible and create an immersive and accessible experience that can be enjoyed by everyone. Some of these return from Horizon Zero Dawn, and some are newly added as we’ve continued to learn and understand more about the needs of our players.”
We are happy to share some of the accessibility features that will be available for our players!
— Guerrilla (@Guerrilla) February 10, 2022
Subtitles are automatically enabled when the game starts. Players will have the option to change the size and background used with subtitles for better visibility. A Notebook will also be available in the game menu. The Notebook is an expansive encyclopedia containing useful information about characters, machines, and datapoints found in the world. There is also a separate Tutorials section that can be used to understand the game mechanics and controls. Like Horizon Zero Dawn, Forbidden West will feature five difficulty options, Story Mode, Easy, Normal, Hard, and Very Hard. Story Mode eases the combat experience so players can focus on exploration and story. Very Hard is a tough, demanding combat experience that will test players’ skills. Guerrilla is also introducing a Custom Difficulty setting that will allow players to adjust damage levels that Aloy deals and receives to/from enemies, giving more flexibility in adjusting combat difficulty. There will also be an Easy Loot system and option that players can turn on to get any resources that are still attached to machines that were not detached in combat. The Easy Loot system is the default for Story and Easy difficulty and is an option in Custom difficulty.
There will be several preset options for controls including left-handed support. Horizon Forbidden West will also feature fully remappable gameplay controls with guidance on any potential conflicts. A new feature coming to the game is the Co-Pilot system. This allows a second PlayStation controller with mirrored controls access to the game. This requires another controller (DualSense for PS5, DualShock 4 controller for PS4) and a second user profile. Gameplay assist settings include how much the game slows down when the weapon wheel is activated and the ability to enable aim assist. Players can also increase the duration of Concentration which temporarily slows down time when Aloy is aiming with the bow. Players can also set certain actions to Auto such as Concentration, Sprint, Heal, and deploying the Shieldwing you Aloy falls from a great height.
Guerrilla has a couple of audio and visual settings that are specifically aimed at reducing any discomfort players might experience. Players can finetune the camera shake, motion blur as well as completely customize the game’s HUD to control what information is visible, and when. There is also individual volume controls for music, speech, and sound effects. Mono audio can also be forced and players can remove Tinnitus sounds – triggering sound like machine shrieks which are similar to Tinnitus sounds. The PS5 version will have additional options to trim the volume of machine sounds, weapon and explosion sounds, or ambient sounds.
Horizon Forbidden West launches on PlayStation 5 and PlayStation 4 next week on February 18, 2022.