Video games offer immersive experiences that people of all ages and abilities should be able to enjoy.  That in essence is the whole point of inclusiveness or inclusion in gaming. That said, many gamers still struggle to fully enjoy their favorite games due to accessibility issues. So it’s essential to highlight games that go above and beyond in providing inclusion in gaming and making them accessible to everyone.

We’ll take a look at 3 games that have made a conscious effort to include accessibility features for all players. These features typically include closed captions, voice recognition, and alternative control options.

The 3 games below are leading the way in making inclusion in gaming an accessible hobby for everyone:

1.  Celeste

Inclusion in gaming: Celeste Puzzle

Celeste is a video game developed by Maddy Makes Games. It has been praised for its challenging gameplay and heartwarming story. The game is also highly regarded for its accessibility features, which make the game more enjoyable for players of all abilities.

One of the key accessibility features of Celeste is the adjustable game speed. The game allows players to slow down the speed to 50% by multiples of 10. So players have more reaction time, making obstacles easier to avoid. This feature also has a small impact on the game’s physics, making precise sections of the game slightly different than normal.

Another great accessibility feature of Celeste is infinite stamina. This grants players unlimited stamina, allowing them to grab indefinitely, making climbing challenges much easier. This feature is especially helpful for players who may struggle with the physical demands of the game.

In Celeste, players also have the option to set the number of air dashes they have, with options for default, 2, or infinite. The dash assist feature freezes the game and allows players to alter the dash direction, making it easier to get used to the dashing mechanics and improve dash precision.

In addition, the game includes an invincibility feature, which makes the player immune to all obstacles and hazards. This makes it possible for players to freely move through otherwise dangerous obstacles and eliminates the frustration of repeatedly dying in the same spot.

Finally, Celeste includes an assist skip feature, which allows players to skip a chapter entirely when on the chapter selection screen.

2.  Sea of Thieves

Sea of Thieves was developed by Rare and published by Xbox Game Studios. It has garnered praised for its innovative approach to accessibility. The game offers a wide range of features designed to make it more accessible to a wider audience of players regardless of abilities.

One of the standout features of Sea of Thieves is the customizable control scheme. Players have the ability to remap buttons and adjust the sensitivity of their controller. This allows them to tailor the game to their individual needs. This is particularly important for players with disabilities that affect their fine motor skills, as they can adjust the controls to be more comfortable and easier to use.

Another great accessibility feature in Sea of Thieves is the use of visual and auditory cues. For example, the game uses a color-blind mode that makes it easier for players with color vision deficiencies to see and distinguish different objects in the game world.

Additionally, audio cues are available to help players navigate the game world. The cues provide information about objects and other important elements in the environment.

One of the most innovative accessibility features in Sea of Thieves is its “Shrouded Spoils” update, which introduced a “Narrative Accessibility Mode”. This mode is specifically for players with hearing or visual impairments. It provides additional audio and visual cues to help players progress through the game. This mode also features an optional dialogue speed setting, which allows players to adjust the speed of dialogue in cutscenes, making it easier to follow along with the story.

3.  The Last of Us Part II

The Last of Us Part 2 was praised as being one of the most accessible games of our times when it was released in June 2020.

The game’s adjustable level of difficulty on a 5-point scale allows players to tailor the game to their own preferences. This gives players the ability to customize difficulty in various aspects such as stealth, enemies, allies, etc.

The game’s control options are extensive, with the ability to invert the camera, adjust look sensitivity, remap buttons, and utilize various assistance options such as camera orienting, aim assist, and lock-on aim.

The game’s HUD options also offer a high level of customization. This gives players the ability to toggle individual elements and track collectibles. Subtitle options include the ability to adjust size, color, background, speaker names, and even include a direction arrow, making it easier for players with visual impairments to follow the game’s story.

The Last of Us Part 2 also offers a range of audio options. The options include separate volume control and text-to-speech for players who have vision impairment. Additionally, the game’s accessibility options include alternate controls, magnification and visual assistance, audio cues, and additional control assistance options.  So players with disabilities can have a better gaming experience.

Final Thoughts

It’s evident that the video game industry has made a significant effort in making gaming more accessible and inclusive. Games like Celeste, Sea of Thieves, and The Last of Us Part 2 are at the forefront of this movement.

These games provide a level of customization and control that makes them accessible to people with disabilities, including hearing and visual impairments, and physical limitations.

As the video game industry continues to grow, it’s crucial to recognize games that go above and beyond in making their games accessible. Please share this article and help spread the word about the importance of accessibility in gaming.