Prince of Persia The Lost Crown’s accessibility isn’t an afterthought

Prince of Persia The Lost Crown’s accessibility isn’t an afterthought

Prince of Persia: The Lost Crown is nearly here and it looks absolutely awesome. It’s almost enough to make you forget about the long-delayed Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time reboot. And now, Ubisoft has shared how this all-new game will cater to disabled gamers, explaining that accessibility is anything but an afterthought.

Accessibility features can vary wildly between games and, in some cases, they’re only patched in after the fact. That’s not the case with Prince of Persia: The Lost Crown, as Ubisoft’s new behind-the-scenes video proudly declares. This time-meddling action-adventure game has been built with accessibility in mind and its developers Ubisoft Montpelier hope it shows.

“Our approach was to be accessible by design,” senior game designer Rémi Boutin explains, “We have no quick time events, we have no color-based feedback, we have big text by default.”

The game boasts an absolute wealth of accessibility options, from highlighting characters in semi-customizable colors to rendering players immortal and beyond. And while some of these address specific accessibility barriers, they also allow players to customize their experience.

“We found out that wall jumps can be difficult for people,” explains gameplay programmer Matthew Isidore, so, based on feedback from early builds, they added some barely-perceptible platforming assists.

‘Memory Shards’ are another handy feature which, if you’ve played any other Metroidvanias, you’ll be grateful for. Typically you find a blocked path that you can only access once you’ve got the right ability. But when you’ve got that new skill, you could have forgotten where it is. Memory Shards ease the “cognitive load” by letting you mark those unlockable dead ends.

People often point to Naughty Dog’s The Last of Us Part I as an example of how to do accessibility. Going by this, Prince of Persia: The Lost Crown could be another example of how to get things right. At least that’s assuming the final game doesn’t contain any Tekken 8-style issues.

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Ubisoft has also released another trailer, offering a glimpse at the game’s varied world, with its many monsters and diverse locales. At least, that’s the message they’re going for; I just kept thinking about how I was going to have to murder an Ent from Lord of the Rings.

The game launches this Monday 15 January, but is Prince of Persia: The Lost Crown on Steam? And if you’re after some more side-on shenanigans, here are the best Metroidvania games.

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