That being said, with various games coming close in some fields even if they missed the mark in others, I was definitely curious to see how this game might fair, especially after reading the accessibility options posted by the publisher a few days before release.
However, as most of you may know, it's one thing to watch gameplay of a title and another thing to try the game itself first-hand. The real question is, just how accessible is GOTG as a gamer without sight?
Utilising Optical Character Recognition (OCR), I deduced that there is no sound for when the menu system first appears, allowing you to select languages for text and voice, with a next button below it. This screen seems to wrap, which doesn't bode well for getting confused/disoriented in menu structures given there's no narration whatsoever.
Selecting next takes you to a brightness screen, which I just left at the default setting. For the next set of elements, I could read the options available, but not their state. This makes even adjusting the most straightforward of accessibility options (which could be crucial to my success or failure in combat for instance) very difficult if not impossible in terms of clearly knowing what I've changed. I was still definitely curious to see how good things like target locking could be, given the amount of customisation you can make to the feature and elements surrounding it.
After working my way through yet more menus and a license agreement (with nothing narrated up to this point), I managed to get to a point where I could select my difficulty.
The difficulty screen was only navigable because I could use OCR, meaning I could read the tooltips for each difficulty. Selecting Custom then presented me with numerous choices which again could've been narrated, but OCR got me through with reasonable certainty as things were rendered mostly as plain text, including numerical values that tied to things like damage.
Eventually figuring out pressing X would take me to the next screen, I was presented with controls. Though some inputs were clear (like LT), most were not, meaning I still had to wing it and bumble my way through what buttons did what, which can be an unsettling prospect at the best of times.
Initially I thought this was maybe some kind of opening credits sequence, but unfortunately OCR revealed that I might actually be in gameplay of some kind, though with no instructions (narrated or otherwise) that I could find as to how to proceed. After spending a couple of minutes pressing buttons without having any idea of what I was doing and then moving the left analogue stick, I eventually managed to trigger the next sequence (by sheer luck) and understood why there was no sound during the song; My character was wearing headphones (at least with the little information the game gave me, that was all I could get).
After that opening cutscene, however, I was completely stuck, with no way to progress forward, backwards, sideways or any other way with any reliability. All I got when trying to move around and pressing X was that something could be worth hundreds of dollars someday, with no sense of what the object in question actually was, where I'd found it, or even how to leave the room I was in and get to using space lasers to take down whatever threat stands in the way of Star Lord and his team.
With accessibility becoming an increasingly prominent talking point in the videogame industry and developers realising just how impactful and financially worthwhile implementing it can be, I hope it's only a matter of time before I can save the universe from alien super threats, cosmic or otherwise, with absolutely no assistance whatsoever.
I'm definitely interested to see what accessibility features are added post-launch, as Square Enyx pointed out during their blog post. While retrofitting is not an ideal course of action, it's definitely better than nothing and any learning can be transferred into future projects.
Though I commend the efforts of the developers trying to add so many options into this title which can assist a great many people for differing reasons, I'm still left wondering not just by this game but others as well: "If games where you play as heroic or powerful characters are so common, why is it that whenever I step into one I'm left feeling so powerless?"
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