Although it’s no Animal Crossing: New Horizons, the release of DOOM Eternal has been a success in its own right. And while it’s a great-looking game, its range of deliberate design choices for greater accessibility is equally as impressive.
Broadly speaking, game accessibility deals with how software can be made accessible to all kinds of users regardless of their impairment. Sometimes individual users get creative and find their own customized solutions, such as the dad who built his daughter a custom controller to play The Legends of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. In DOOM Eternal, accessibility is king with so many options that many people may take for granted.
Throughout the Settings options players are presented with an abundance of Accessibility options across multiple tabs. For example, a Colorblind option can be found in the tabs for UI, Video, Accessibility, and elsewhere all with different functions. For the rendering options, players can select None (default), Protanopia, Tritanopia, or Deuteranopia.
Such a setting may not be necessary for most people, as Color Vision Deficiency, or CVD, affects roughly 1 in 12 men, but that is precisely the point. The addition of Accessibility options allows the maximum number of people to participate as opposed to only a majority, and DOOM Eternal should be lauded for its efforts.
There are many more options to choose from. Controller Layout is another point for consideration, with several common layouts offered, but also the ability to custom map a controller as one sees fit. For people with limited mobility and who find the usage of traditional controllers too difficult, this is ideal. The example mentioned earlier of the custom controller takes this approach to heart as well.
Yet another set of options for accessibility comes in the form of player perspective in game. Both the Field of View and Motion Blur can be adjusted, which perfect for players who get motion sickness from playing with rigid settings that cannot be adjusted.
When looking at everything that DOOM Eternal offers by default, it can be jarring to go back to other games that offer little or no options for increasing Accessibility. Dead by Daylight is an example of a game that has a large following, but despite requests for Colorblind options, has not offered anything in years, and this does not look to change.
Going forward, it should be the industry norm to make games with a focus on Accessibility, especially for the larger developers who both have the infrastructure and funds to create such tools and should be industry leaders. Although DOOM Eternal does a fantastic job at creating an inclusive game for all types of players, it is at the same time sad to think of it as an exception to the rule, and not the norm.
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