Shadow of the Tomb Raider Accessibility Features

Show Transcript

Here at SpecialEffect we are always looking for games with accessible settings. In today’s video, we’re going to be looking at Shadow of the Tomb Raider with an emphasis on difficulty and accessibility options that we have found useful when helping other people to play this game. Shadow of the Tomb Raider is an action-adventure game with emphasis on puzzles, combat and exploration. You play
as the Tomb Raider also known as Lara Croft. It’s available on PlayStation 4, Xbox One and PC. In today’s video we’ll be looking at the PlayStation 4 version. However, all the accessibility options can also be found on the Xbox One and PC version of the game. In this game you can either take a stealth approach or engage in a gunfight. There are a variety weapons that you can choose from including a bow and arrow, a shotgun, a rifle and a pistol. The guns are aimed with L2 and fired with R2. You’ll have to craft arrows for your bow using items that you find throughout the game. These items can be highlighted using survival instincts by pressing R3. Survival instincts also show you where to go to progress through the game by showing a beacon. They can also show you where you can hide during enemy encounters such as in high shrubbery. The game also includes exploration of areas including using swimming and climbing to get around. For climbing, press Square to attach yourself to a craggy surface and then X to jump up to another surface, where you would then press Square again to attach to the wall. For swimming you press Circle to head down and then X to come back up. Whilst in the water, you could swim faster by either pressing L3 whilst moving or by holding down L2 or R2. By pressing Start and going into ‘View Controls’ you can take a look at what controls are required for the game. If you’re having difficulty reaching certain buttons, then the controller layout can be remapped. You can do this by pressing the PlayStation button and going into ‘Settings’ and into ‘Accessibility’ and then ‘Button Assignments.’ If you go into ‘Customize Button Assignments’ you can change the buttons to whichever one you want. For instance, here you can swap the sticks, and you can change L2 to Triangle. And then confirm. In this setup, Triangle is now Aim instead of L2. Xbox and PC also have the option to remap buttons. However, to fully play the game, all buttons are required. Before starting the game you have to select your ‘Difficulty.’ The game gives you a choice to mix up difficulties of each gaming aspect, including combat, exploration and puzzle. So you could have combat on ‘Easy,’ exploration on ‘Normal’ and puzzle on ‘Hard,’ as an example.
The combat relates to how much health the enemies have and how much damage Lara takes. So the lower the difficulty the less damage Lara will take and the less resistance enemies will give. Enemies will also take longer to spot you whilst you’re in stealth mode. Aim assist is also enabled in ‘Easy’ difficulty, meaning that once you aim, you lock on to the enemy. The ‘Exploration’ element of the game focuses on the progression of the area. With difficulty on ‘Easy,’ the path is clearly highlighted in white When climbing the game also gives you a longer period of time to grab a ledge when Lara is about to fall. For ‘Puzzles,’ the lower the difficulty, the more direct Lara will be in telling the player what to do next. Objects that need to be interacted with will be highlighted in blue or orange by using your survival instincts. Objects highlighted in blue means that that object has to be interacted with first before moving on to the orange objects. It’s best to ensure the game is fully updated so that all the accessibility options are available. Here are some of the accessibility options that we have found useful. In order to get to the accessibility menu, you pause the game and go to ‘Options’ and go on ‘Accessibility.’ For ‘Aim’ mode you have the option to either hold down L2 or do a single press also known as ‘Toggle.’ To aim your weapon you can either use the left stick or the right stick. Whilst aiming, pressing L3 can change the shoulder that you aim with. The sensitivity of the aim can be changed, meaning you can increase or decrease the speed you aim with. For events that require pressing the same button repeatedly you can change it so you just have to hold it down. When it comes to rotating the crank you can either choose to rotate the stick or push it in a single direction to move it. The camera can be soft locked, meaning the camera will follow and turn with Lara. The camera shake can also be turned off meaning that during gameplay and cut scenes, the camera is a lot more stable. There are several options for those who are hard of hearing including the use of subtitles. The game offers a choice to choose coloured subtitles meaning you can easily differentiate between who is talking. There is also the option for ‘Environmental Subtitles’ meaning you can listen to non-critical conversations taking place. The music intensifies whenever Lara is in combat. Whenever the enemies are cleared out the music slows down. The subtitles can tell you whether the music is intense or whether it has slowed down. Thanks for watching and if you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact SpecialEffect.

Here a SpecialEffect we are always looking for games with accessible settings. In this video, SpecialEffect Occupational Therapist Jacob takes a look at Shadow of the Tomb Raider with an emphasis on difficulty and accessibility options that we have found useful when helping other people to play this game.

Shadow of the Tomb Raider is an action-adventure game with emphasis on puzzles, combat and exploration. You play as the Tomb Raider, also known as Lara Croft. It is available on PlayStation 4, Xbox One and PC. In this video we look at the PlayStation 4 version, however, all the accessibility options shown can also be found on the Xbox One and PC version of the game. 

Shadow of the Tomb Raider screen shot showing the Select Difficulty page.

‘Difficulty’ Settings:

Before starting the game you have to select your ‘Difficulty.’ The game gives you a choice to mix up difficulties of each gaming aspect, including combat, exploration and puzzle. So you could have combat on ‘Easy,’ exploration on ‘Normal’ and puzzle on ‘Hard,’ as an example.

Combat Difficulty – The combat relates to how much health the enemies have and how much damage Lara takes. So the lower the difficulty the less damage lower will take and the less resistance enemies will give. Enemies will also take longer to spot you whilst you’re in stealth mode. Aim assist is also enabled in ‘Easy’ difficulty, meaning that once you aim, you lock on to the enemy.

Exploration Difficulty – The ‘Exploration’ element of the game focuses on the progression of the area. With difficulty on ‘Easy,’ the path is clearly highlighted in white when climbing. The game also gives you a longer period of time to grab a ledge when Lara is about to fall.

Puzzle Difficulty – For ‘Puzzles,’ the lower the difficulty, the more direct Lara will be in telling the player what to do next. Objects that need to be interacted with will be highlighted in blue or orange by using your survival instincts. Objects highlighted in blue means that that object has to be interacted with first before moving on to the orange objects.

Shadow of the Tomb Raider screen shot showing the Accessibility Options.

‘Accessibility’ Settings:

It’s best to ensure the game is fully updated so that all the accessibility options are available. Here are some of the accessibility options that we have found useful. In order to get to the accessibility menu, you pause the game and go to Options and go to Accessibility.

Aim Mode – For aim mode you have the option to either hold down L2/LT or do a single press also known as ‘Toggle.’ To aim your weapon you can either use the left stick or the right stick. Whilst aiming, pressing L3 can change the shoulder that you aim with.

Weapon Aim – Standard controls are to use the right joystick to aim/look and the left to move. By selecting the left stick in this setting, when you use aim (L2/LT) the left stick will be used for aim/look, whilst when you are not aiming it will be used for moving.  When combined with Centre Camera Horizonatally set to On, this means you can have control using just the left stick. In some situations you will not be able to use this method when L2/LT is used for alternatives, such as when swimming, or when your hands are occupied e.g. when talking on the phone.

Aim Sensitivity – The sensitivity of the aim can be changed, meaning you can increase or decrease the speed you aim with. For events that require pressing the same button repeatedly you can change it so you just have to hold it down.

Crank Control – When it comes to rotating a crank you can either choose to rotate the stick or push it in a single direction to move it. The camera can be softlocked, meaning the camera will follow and turn with Lara.

Camera Shake – The camera shake can also be turned off meaning that during gameplay and cut scenes, the camera is a lot more stable.

Centre Camera Horizonally – The camera can be softlocked, meaning the camera will follow and turn with Lara. When combined with weapon aim set to left stick, this means you can have control using just the left stick.

Screen shot showing the controller layout for Shadow of the Tomb Raider on PS4.

Controls:

In this game you can either take a stealth approach or engage in gunfights. There are a variety weapons that you can choose from including a bow and arrow, a shotgun, a rifle and a pistol. Guns are aimed with L2/LT and fired with R2/RT. Useful items and objective beacons can be highlighted using survival instincts by pressing R3. Survival instincts also show you where to go to progress in the game by showing a beacon. They can also show you where you can hide during enemy encounters such as in high shrubbery.

The game also includes exploration of areas including using swimming and climbing to get around. For climbing, press Square/X to attach yourself to a craggy surface and then Cross/A to jump up to another surface, where you would then press Square/X again to attach to the wall. To wall scramble a non-craggy surface press Cross/A once to jump and again to wall scramble. L2/LT or R2/RT is used to rappel, with Circle/B used to drop. Left Stick is used left and right to wall run to gain momentum before jumping. Holding L2/LT or R2/RT  and moving Left Stick builds momentum to rappel swing before jumping. Circle/B is used to scramble under objects. Square/X is used to pick up items. Triangle/Y is used to cut traps. Touchpad/Share is used to open the map.

For swimming you hold Circle/B to head down and then Cross/A to come back up. Whilst in the water, you could swim faster by either pressing L3 whilst moving or by holding down L2/LT or R2/RT. Pressing Square/X when prompted, lets you take a gulp of air from a nearby air pocket.

By pressing Options/Menu and going into ‘View Controls’ you can take a look at what controls are required for the game. If you’re having difficulty reaching certain buttons, then the controller layout can be remapped. You can do this by pressing the PlayStation button and going into ‘Settings’ and into ‘Accessibility’ and then ‘Button Assignments.’ If you go into ‘Customize Button Assignments’ you can change the buttons to whichever one you want. For instance, here you can swap the sticks. And you can change L2 to Triangle. And then confirm. In this setup triangle is now aim instead of L2. Xbox and PC also have the option to remap buttons. It may be useful to note that to fully play the game, all buttons are required.

If you have any questions, please visit the “contact us” page.

Game link (unaffiliated): Shadow of the Tomb Raider

Video by Cara Jessop

Music:

“Spirit of the Girl” Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com)
Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 License
http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/

“Outfoxing the Fox” Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com)
Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 License
http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/