People widely hailed 2018’s God of War as a near-perfect action game. But it stumbled in one way: Its text was too damn small! Even a post-release patch, intended specifically to increase the font size, didn’t really do much. Thankfully, that issue won’t be the case with its sequel, God of War Ragnarök, according to a blog post today from developer Santa Monica Studio.
PlayStation’s first-party studios are known for producing narrative-driven games with slick production values — a holdout in the era of microtransactions and live service. Over the past few years, this portfolio has quietly gained a reputation for implementing some of the most robust accessibility options in big-budget games. In 2020, Naughty Dog’s The Last of Us Part II launched with more than five dozen options. (That year, The Last of Us Part II won the Innovation in Accessibility prize at the Winter Geoffstravaganza Showcase.) Earlier this year, Horizon Forbidden West was similarly lauded for its huge range of options. God of War Ragnarök, a Norse god-themed bad-dad game about learning how to be 3.125% less bad of a dad, will do the same.
The key here is the text size, which is not only getting larger — thanks to a new “extra large” font size — but will also cover more space on screen. The total coverage area should “match TV and movie subtitle standards,” Sony Santa Monica says. There’s also going to be an option to change the text colour of speaking characters, a small but enormously helpful clarifying feature — at least for those of us with impaired vision — that has become common for big-budget games in the years since God of War came out.
Beyond text size options, God of War Ragnarök will feature “icon scaling,” which allows you to tweak the size of in-game indicators for things like puzzles and interactive objects. Here’s what it looks like by default:
And here’s what it looks like with the setting kicked up to the highest:
The game also has options for a high-contrast mode. When activated, you can apply a vividly coloured overlay to characters, enemies, and items, allowing them to visually pop against the game’s backgrounds. That’s in addition to some minor-sounding but potentially major options:
- Direction indicators can point you toward where audio is coming from for gameplay-essential mechanics, including “puzzles that have sound cues.”
- A “navigation assist” will automatically orient the camera toward whatever objective is active on your in-game compass.
- A suite of traversal options allow you to automate the actions of jumping gaps, mantling ledges, and vaulting over, I don’t know, probably giant fallen trees. Also: Auto-sprint! [Slams table.] Auto-sprint!
- And, finally, there’s controller remapping, for all of us who simply cannot fucking stand when games have you mash the shoulder buttons to attack.
It’s an impressive list. You can read through it all here. Heads up, though, about the one option Sony Santa Monica didn’t detail today: The date from which you can actually play the game.