The Last of Us Part 1 Uses PlayStation 5’s Haptic Feedback to Help Deaf Gamers
The upcoming remake of The Last of Us Part 1 has some interesting accessibility features, including the use of haptic feedback to help deaf gamers feel how dialogue is delivered.
A PlayStation Blog post outlined the several accessibility features arriving in the game, carrying on from The Last of Us Part 2’s extensive array of modifiers.
“[One feature] which started as a prototype but ended up being really successful during playtesting is a feature that plays dialogue through the PS5 DualSense controller as haptic feedback,” said game director Matthew Gallant. “That way a deaf player can feel the way a line is delivered, can feel the emphasis, along with the subtitles to give some sense of how that line is delivered.”
This interesting new feature is made possible due to the PS5’s DualSense controller and its haptic feedback, a far more nuanced response than a simple rumble or vibration from other controllers.
Of course, it’s not the only accessible feature being added. “We’re expecting this to be an accessible experience for blind players, for deaf players, for players with motor accessibility needs,” said Gallant.
“The biggest new feature we have are audio descriptions for cinematics. We partnered with Descriptive Video Works, a professional service whose background is TV, movies and video game trailers, and integrated it into the cutscenes and across all our localized languages.”
Audio description is commonplace among TV sets, essentially narrating scenes for those with sight difficulties. The inclusion of audio descriptions in The Last of Us Part 1 really showcases the ways in which developers are looking to increase accessibility.
The Last of Us was originally released in 2013 and is coming to the PS5 next month.
IGN’s original review of The Last of Us said: “The Last of Us seamlessly intertwines satisfying, choice-based gameplay with a stellar narrative. It never slows down, it never lets up, and frankly, it never disappoints.”
Ryan Leston is an entertainment journalist and film critic for IGN. You can follow him on Twitter.