Disabled Gamers Laud The Old Republic As 2011’s Most Accessible Title

Disabled Gamers Laud The Old Republic As 2011’s Most Accessible Title

The advocacy publication for disabled video game enthusiasts has named Star Wars: The Old Republic its Mainstream Game of the Year, meaning it is the most widely released title that also is most accommodating of gamers who have different needs to enjoy full-featured gameplay.

AbleGamers praised SW:TOR for “many accessibility options such as full subtitles, queue-able actions, multiple action bars, area looting, auto looting, and built-in mouse sensitivity.” Other global design traits included the way characters face the enemy they’re engaging, full control through the keyboard or mouse and, near and dear to my heart (or eyes), a colour blind-friendly minimap.

Also, AbleGamers cited the “unintentional accessibility” delivered by the games companion features. “These NPC characters which accompany the player through most of the game provide support to those who need it without forcing them to request help from other players,” AbleGamers wrote.

Building a game inclusive of players with special needs is often a tricky proposition. While no one doubts that it is a kind and considerate thing to do, it often requires extra developmental cost and usually comes as a control set optimised for a minority of the gaming market. That’s why these accommodations, made by past honourees Dragon Age: Origins and Forza: Motorsport 3 (and, unrecognised but no less admirable, MLB 11 The Show) merit applause.

“What makes this game so special is that the developers took the time to include so many accessibility options while up against tight deadlines in such a highly anticipated title,” AbleGamers wrote, conferring the award to both BioWare and LucasArts.

AbleGamers Mainstream Game of the Year [AbleGamers]


  • Queue-able actions? Am I missing something? I haven’t seen anything like that at all… hell, you can easily cancel and ruin some of your attacks by using another ability too soon… damn Ravage having most of its damage at the end of the move…

    • No, what they’re referring to is the fact that there is an option that allows players to queue their next ability up to one second before the current has finished casting.

      The game doesn’t directly acknowledge that you’ve queued a second ability, but if you take something like the Bounty Hunter’s Tracer Missile, which has a 1.5 second cast, you can click or press a button for your next ability (Explosive Dart for instance) at any time after the cast bar is less than one second. Once your caracter will perform that action next.

      You can find this feature under Preferences > Controls > Combat > Ability Action Queue. It is set at .5 seconds by default, but can be changed up to a full second. As someone who plays and runs ops from Australia and has to contend with latencies between 200-500ms, this is a godsend.

  • So WoW could have won it.

    Been playing TOR for the past few days, really enjoying it, but everything apart from the story is WoW

    • I agree, its just wow in star wars clothing. Saying that, I’m more than happy to be playing something that isn’t wow after 7 years of wow, I plan on sticking around swtor for a while, I’ve finished my first month and I’m into my 2nd now.

  • I forgot to mention, I’ve seen threads on the ToR forums helping people with disabilities figure out ways to play. I remember a guy who lost his arm in iraq asking for help working out how to play, with peoples suggestions and help, he eventually come to the decision of a pair of foot pedals for back/forward and a razer naga mouse.

    The features mentioned in this article undoubtedly make it a lot easier to play with just a mouse.

  • “a colour blind-friendly minimap.”

    Too bad the actually map isn’t colour deficient friendly. Why they picked the friendly player colour to be almost the same as the background colour is beyond me. 🙁

    Sidenote: Still loving this game.

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