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Returnal Director Agrees To Make Games More Accessible In Future, But Not Too Easy

There has always been discussion about accessibility in games that somehow correlates to difficulty and making games less challenging as result. That really isn’t true: you can make a game accessible for everyone with a plethora of visual and handicap-friendly options, while also making the game maintain its core gameplay without compromise.

That’s what Returnal director Harry Krueger from Housemarque believes, in a way. He said that developers can always “do more” to make games more accessibile, but gameplay challenges and narrative are inseparable (via PS I Love You XOXO).

“That’s definitely always going to be an interesting challenge to find that sweet spot. I think we can always do more and could always add more support for different ways to play the game and different control methods. I think when it comes to the difficulty I think it is a question of what kind of experience you are having with Returnal.”

Krueger also elaborated further on what he meant by the game difficulty and story being inseparable:

“[For example], the character, Celine, she is talking about dying over and over and how these are insurmountable odds, and she can’t keep going on, and there’s this descent into madness that is happening purely because of the challenges she’s facing, and her challenges are the player’s challenges as well in many ways.

It feels like if you were allowed to just power through a boss without any challenge, or just go from A to B to C through the narrative points, it almost feels like it would create a bit of dissonance.

The game is telling you this is really challenging, and that you’re overcoming these obstacles but you wouldn’t have had to experience that friction. So that’s always a line to walk, but it’s something we’re going to keep in mind.”

So no Easy mode for Returnal, in other words. That’s fine by us: we wouldn’t be rating Returnal pretty high on our “Best Games Of 2022” if it was a cakewalk of a roguelike. Check out our review and guide here.

 

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