The most exciting update to a video game on my PS4 this week is Monster Hunter: World's new option to increase the size of the text on the game's busy interface. I sure could use this option in a certain other major game that launched on PS4 yesterday.
The most important patch note
As game developer Joe Humfrey recently noted during a talk at the Game Developers Conference, the text in a lot of new video games is too small to be read comfortably by anyone who isn't sitting right in front of their TV, as you would a computer monitor.
That fact is, though, that I play my console games from a couch, and I don't think it's just my over-40 eyes that are to blame.
I've been playing the new God of War a bit and have been charmed by the way the lore text is written in the voice of Kratos' son, Atreus. I've been pained to read it, though, because it's just so tiny:
God of War has a lot going for it, including the writing of its lore text. The size of that text on the other hand...
It may look fine if you're reading this on a screen that is close to you now, but trust me, it's scrunched.
At GDC, Humfrey showed examples of ways to make on-screen text more legible with clean fonts and broader line spacing, among other things. So many of the new console games I play, however, require me to lean in from the edge of my seat.
Even worse, they have made me think the unthinkable: Hey, maybe I'd be into a companion app that had the lore text on it. A companion app! What a dark, dark thought.
All this squinting is what got me so excited to see that Monster Hunter: World's big 3.0 update doesn't just deliver a massive new 16-player hunt. It also allows the game's heads up display to show slightly bigger text. Every little bit helps.
Thank you, Monster Hunter developers.
Compare the size of "stone" on the left and you'll see Monster Hunter World's slight, but still beneficial, optional increase in font size