How Uncharted 4 Was Made More Accessible For Disabled Players

Naughty Dog and Sony actually took some time out from the development of Uncharted 4: A Thief's End to make it more accessible for disabled gamers. They really went out of their way with the fourth game to ensure that as many people as possible could play it.

In a video posted on the PlayStation channel, it explains how an advocate for accessibility in games named Josh Straub contacted the UI artist at Naughty Dog to help make the game easier to play for those with disabilities, whether it be closed captioning for those with hearing loss or custom button configurations for those with mobility and motor functional impairments.

Naughty Dog not only took time out to listen to Straub about the issues, but do something about it. For instance, Straub mentioned that one of the biggest issues for him was that he was unable to complete Uncharted 2 because of the button mashing segments near the end of the game. He had to have someone else help him get through those segments. As a way to rectify this problem, Naughty Dog implemented specific accessibility features into Uncharted 4 where users can turn on the option to hold down a button and it'll repeatedly press the button for them. This can be used for things like fighting, opening doors and other segments where button mashing is required.

Another really fascinating change that they made was to make it where dependency on the right analog stick was lessened so that players wouldn't have to constantly fiddle with the right analog stick in Uncharted 4. One way of fixing this problem included making it where the camera auto-follows Nate, but very subtly auto-targets the nearest enemy if Nate is heading in that direction so that players with hand disabilities don't have to worry as much with the precision aiming of the right analog.

The video also shows some examples of how they switched the original multiplayer team colors from red and green to red and blue because one of the designers was color blind. You can check it out below.

The interesting thing about it is that Josh Straub is no stranger to advocating for more and better accessibility within the world of interactive entertainment. Straub originally ran a website called DAGERS, which stood for Disabled Accessibility for Gaming Entertainment Rating System. Using the system he reviewed hardware and software and gave critical and acute feedback on how some games and systems were more or less accessible than others, such as the PS3 being more accessible than the PS4. He also rated GTA and Batman games for their accessibility, and even noted that the Wii U was actually one of the most accessible home consoles on the market.

Straub later went on to do some consulting at companies like Ubisoft as an accessibility consultant. Thanks to his efforts games like Uncharted 4 are now easier for those with disabilities to pick up and play.

Will Usher

Staff Writer at CinemaBlend.