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.”