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The Last of Us Part 2 gives players with disabilities a better gaming experience – CNET

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The Last of Us Part 2 launches June 19.

Naughty Dog

The Last of Us Part 2, one of PlayStation 4’s most anticipated games, is launching on June 19, with more than 60 accessibility settings and features that will make it easier for people with vision, hearing and fine motor skill disabilities to play. 

The game from studio Naughty Dog builds on the accessibility foundations established with 2016’s Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End, according to PlayStation’s website. In an early review, Blind Impressions gamer Steve Saylor called the sequel “the most accessible game ever.” 

Players can choose from three accessibility presets, which will configure all the recommended settings for vision, hearing and motor accessibility. Players can also go in and tweak individual options, even after they select a preset, the PlayStation site noted. 

Read more: The Last of Us Part 2: A profound, harrowing sequel

For vision-impaired players, the new Last of Us settings include an enhanced listen mode that tells you which buttons to push and enhances sound effects, so you can rely on those more than visuals. Text-to-speech is featured in every piece of text onscreen, which can be read to the player. A high-contrast mode highlights your character and allies in blue, your enemies in red, and objects in yellow. There’s also an option to skip puzzles and adjust combat modes. 

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A look at The Last of Us high-contrast mode.

Can I Play It/Screenshot by Shelby Brown/CNET

Deaf and hard-of-hearing players can turn on subtitles for the story, combat, names and directions. You can also turn on vibration feedback in the controller and set visual prompts to help you take action in the game if you can’t rely on changes in music or other sound cues. 

Motor accessibility features include lock-on aim, automatic targeting, weapon swapping and picking up objects, camera assist, navigation assistance, ledge guards, repeated button presses and several other combat mode adjustments, depending on your needs. 

Plus, for the first time, Naughty Dog is providing full controller customization, allowing players to remap every command to a different controller input, including touch pad swipes and controller shake. 

This is a big deal — video game accessibility efforts typically focus only on gaming software, leaving players with disabilities on their own when it comes to building an adaptive controller. Gamers who do use adaptive controllers often excel: An esports team of quadriplegic players is training to compete with able-bodied players. And one of the top-ranked Street Fighter players plays the game using only his face due to a muscular condition called arthrogryposis. 

For more on gaming, check out the first look at the new Sony PS5 console, and more on Marvel’s Spider-Man followup game on PS5.

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