AbleGamers Charity Celebrates 2014’s Accessible Games

This little war of mine, I'm gonna let it shine.

We all know what the bestest best games of 2014 are, and that there can be no disagreement about them. Sadly, a fair few of those will be difficult to play for people with mobility issues, colour blindness, or other disabilities. Celebrating games open to more people, the charity AbleGamers has declared its Accessible Game of the Year winners and runners-up. The PC is well-represented, but one surprising winner is one of the year’s most physically-demanding games: Platinum’s Bayonetta 2. I think it’s well worth us having a nosey at, even if it is a console game.

The AbleGamers gang considered games including Hearthstone, Tropico 5, The Sims 4, and Civilization: Beyond Earth, which you’ll notice are in slower-paced genres with mouse controls. Some were knocked out of contention by colour blindness issues, while Tropico being “not fully mouse compatible” is a problem.

Their joint Accessible Indie Game winners are Always Sometimes Monsters and This War of Mine, two games they praise for accessible pacing, no reliance on colour or sound, and friendly controls. And then there’s Bayonetta 2, the winner of their Accessible Mainstream Game of the Year award.

Bayonetta 2, like Platinum’s RPS Bestest Best Award winner Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance, is a super-fast, super-twitchy game with a ridiculously high skill ceiling for folks who can master timing and techniques. I hear wonderful things about its combat from people well-versed in such things. It also has a difficulty mode with one-button combat, which handles targeting, attacking, dodging and generally mowing down angels in fancy ways as people press it. Here, watch a dev demonstrate it in the first Bayonetta. It is so splendid that Platinum added this option. As AbleGamers say:

“The inclusion of a one-button combat mode creates an experience other character action titles should implement. As a proof of concept, this game demonstrates that accessibility can be implemented into a mainstream AAA game without harming any of the gameplay. Popular titles such as Shadow of Mordor could easily implement one-button mode for those who need such accessibility while leaving a complicated controls for those who prefer those methods, and still award players with a top-notch game that is accessible to everyone.”

Right on.

6 Comments

  1. BobbyDylan says:

    The highlight of the year for me was seeing This War of Mine rank higher on the Steam Top Sellers list than CodAW

  2. Eleven says:

    Bayonetta being popular despite being demanding shouldn’t be that surprising. A disabled person isn’t necessarily more or less talented than anyone else, but simply has less means of expressing it. A girl with no hands is disabled, not a newb :D

    It is kind of interesting that the game that sparked so much discussion about the empowerment vs. objectification of women is also one of the few big name games that has a one-button mode, a feature that empowers many groups of disabled people who are normally excluded from action games.

    • Alice O'Connor says:

      Oh, I mean it’s surprising in the sense that if you don’t know about the one-button mode (which I suspect most people don’t), Bayonetta seems impossibly twitchy and demanding.

      • tumbleworld says:

        I had no idea, and hadn’t even given B2 a second thought. My hands are rather riddled with arthritis, so I’ve had to give up everything even a little twitchy. Shadows over Mordor looks wonderful, but I haven’t been able to indulge myself. I’m even nervous about investing in DA:I. This one-button combat thing certainly looks very interesting, and I’ll have to give it a try. At the very least, the initiative they’re showing deserves some support.

  3. Premium User Badge

    SputnikSweetheart says:

    I’m not sure whether it is good or bad that indies are amongst the most accessible games. Surely if they can be inclusive more bigger titles should be doing the same too?

    As a disabled gamer I wish more games had options like easier or no QTEs as I’m not great at quickly mashing buttons. The more options the better really.

    Also it’s nice to see Always Sometimes Monsters getting some praise just cos it’s great.

  4. Premium User Badge

    DelrueOfDetroit says:

    Endless Legend must not be very colour-blind friendly if Beyond Earth is getting all the kudos.