This month, Global Accessibility Awareness Day took place, an important day for the advancement of accessibility in the world around us. This year I spent it at the Bungie event unveiling of Destiny 2, which will be available on PS4 and PC later this year.
Walking into the room you could feel the excitement, the anticipation of what was to come. This was a room filled with diehard fans that had found a community to be a part of. That seemed to be the main theme of the event; community. Several times the handful of speakers that came out spoke about making Destiny 2 a place where everyone feels welcome. Whether they’re new to the game or fans since the original, they want everyone to feel like they have a place to belong.
As they spoke on this I remember being filled with the hope that this meant the game really would be for everyone that wants to play it, including those with disabilities. So, when it came time to get hands-on with the game, I was nervous. Especially since I received several messages saying that the livestream of the event didn’t have subtitles, so many deaf and hard-of-hearing individuals missed out on the inspiring speeches that were being delivered.
When I got hands on with Destiny 2, the options menu was filled with great accessibility. There was key remapping, several colorblind modes, different subtitle options (although I didn’t see an option to change the size of the subtitles themselves), controller (and mouse) sensitivity and more. All of this was especially exciting to see since the original game was missing many of these options when it first launched, which means they saw and learned. It made me really feel their creed of inclusivity that I’d heard for the last hour.
For actual gameplay they allowed us to play the entire first mission of the game as well as PVP mode in teams. It handled very well, and there were visual cues for every audible one. The screen shows you where the enemies are, where your comrades are, and the game could be completed without audio from what I got my hands on.
The only things I couldn’t find were options for aiming assists, being able to change text size, and the ability to use eye tracking software to play the game on PC. Because of the short amount of time we had I also wasn’t able to figure out if it’s possible to play the game one-handed, but with the options they did have available I’m very optimistic. For anyone curious there will be an open beta this summer, so you can get your own hands-on time with the game and see the strides it’s made accessibility-wise from the original. I’ll see you out on the field.