Guerrilla Games has detailed the various accessibility features present in Horizon Forbidden West.
Some are automatically enabled upon starting the game, but you can change things around such as the controller layout, and you can also choose your difficulty setting.
One of the accessibility options included with subtitles, is the ability to change the size and background used with subtitles for better visibility. You can select your preferred language, both spoken and subtitles when starting the game for the first time.
In the game menu there will be a Notebook that contains useful information about characters, machines, and data points found in the world. The team also added a separate Tutorials section to study game mechanics or controls.
Since every player wants their own type of challenge, Guerrilla added five difficulty settings. These include Story Mode which eases the combat experience up to Very Hard which presents you with a combat experience that tests your skills.
A Custom Difficulty setting which allows you to adjust damage levels that Aloy deals and receives to and from enemies is included as well.
Another option introduced is the Easy Loot system. Because detaching and looting resources off machines to craft ammo and upgrade equipment can be destroyed if not detached before the machine is killed, this option helps you out by automatically adding the loot to your inventory. This system is the default for Story and Easy difficulties as well as an option in Custom mode.
With the controls, there are several options to make them as accessible as possible, While there are a few presets for controls, including left-handed support, the gameplay controls can be fully remapped with guidance on any potential conflicts. There are also several options to swap between Toggle or Hold where applicable, and you can invert the X or Y axis.
A new feature is the Co-pilot system, which grants a second PlayStation controller with mirrored controls access to the game. This only requires another controller and a second user profile. The Co-pilot system was implemented due to feedback and support from the developer’s sightless accessibility consultant.
Horizon Forbidden West also features optional motion sensor controls allowing you to make micro-adjustments to aimed shots, and there are also sliders for the sensitivity of movement as well as Dead Zone settings for the analog sticks. You can also Quick Swap between weapons with one tap, and swap the functionality of the left and right sticks for character and camera movement.
As the PS5 version of the game makes use of the adaptive triggers and vibrations, there have been settings introduced for players that find these options challenging: you can change the vibration intensity on cinematics, traversal, combat, UI, or the environment, and you can disable the adaptive triggers when wielding weapons.
Gameplay Assist Settings will allow you to adjust how much the game slows down when the Weapon Wheel is activated or enable Aim Assist. You can increase the duration of Concentration or set Auto Concentration.
Other automatic settings are Auto Sprint, Auto Heal, and Auto Shieldwing. There’s also a setting called Climbing Annotations Always On, this makes the available climb options easier to see without requiring the use of the Focus. It’s worth noting that some of the Auto settings only work in Story/Easy and Custom difficulty modes.
Guidance tools have also been added to help you navigate the world. You can choose if you want to explore the world with minimal guidance, or if you’d like to see markers to help you reach your quest destination. The same goes for waypoints, and for longer travels, you can select Mount Follows Road.
There are pop-up reminders on how to use abilities, weapons, or engage with certain enemies, which you can toggle on or off. If you boot up the game again after shutting down your console, there’s a Story So Far screen.
Audio and Visual Settings are where you will finetune the camera shake and motion blur settings, and customize the HUD to control what information is visible to you. You can also decide on the size of the subtitles and toggle whether they are displayed on a background or not. With Audio, there are individual volume controls for music, speech, and sound effects. You can also force Mono Audio, and you can remove Tinnitus sounds.
In the PS5 version, there are also additional options to trim the volume of machine sounds, weapon and explosion sounds, or ambient sounds.
These are just some of the features you will come across when the game releases on February 18. Guerrilla says it will continue to look into more accessibility options in the future based on feedback.