Tom Quirk plays a lot of video games, but when he isn't, he is reading fantasy novels and watching way more television than is healthy.
Psychonauts 2, the long-awaited upcoming sequel to Tim Schafer’s cult classic 2005 platformer, is including an important optional accessibility feature. The developers have stated that the inclusion of an invincibility mode will make the game more accessible to more kinds of players, regardless of age and accessibility.
In a series of tweets, developer Double Fine explains why they are including an invincibility mode in Psychonauts 2. “All people should be able to enjoy games”, they tweeted. “All ages, all possible needs. It’s an ongoing and important process for our industry and a challenge we need to met. End of the day? We want you to have fun, to laugh, to experience a story that affects you. On whatever terms you want.”
Replying to Tweet from the official Xbox account defending playing games on the lowest difficulty, Double Fine tweeted “if you beat Psychonauts 2 with the invincibility toggle on, you still beat P2.”
All people should be able to enjoy games. All ages, all possible needs. It's an ongoing and important process for our industry and a challenge we need to met.
End of the day? We want you to have fun, to laugh, to experience a story that affects you. On whatever terms you want.
— Double Fine (@DoubleFine) July 9, 2021
This is a rather refreshing stance for a developer to take, in an industry that is slowly but surely drifting in a more accessible direction. From Microsoft’s adaptive controllers to the mind-bogglingly nuanced options in The Last of Us Part II that make it playable by gamers with disabilities, any additional mode that makes games available to more players can’t be a bad thing.
Some developers, such as FROM Software, have stubbornly resisted adding lower difficulty options. However, for the most part, more games are launching with, or being patched with, options for colour-blind players, or options to turn off quick time events. By providing more ways for more kinds of players to reach the end credits, everyone wins. It is good to see Double Fine is adhering to that philosophy with Psychonauts 2.
As per a recent confirmation, Psychonauts 2 will be coming out on August 25th 2021 for Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S and PC, with a simultaneous release on Game Pass.