While most games these days embrace colorblind accessibility through adding colorblind modes, one title doesn’t need it.
The title in question is The Outer Worlds, which came out October 25 on PC, PS4, Xbox One, and Nintendo Switch.
As Josh Sawyer, studio design director at Obsidian Entertainment, explains on Twitter, The Outer Worlds doesn’t have a colorblind mode because it was designed to be playable without color information in the first place. One of the most colorful games out there, The Outer Worlds relies on other visual indicators to make color information redundant.
Apparently, Obsidian takes accessibility more personally than other studios. Tim Cain, one of the creators of 1997 hit Fallout and co-director for The Outer Worlds, has a form of colorblindness that approaches monochromacy.
Colorblind Twitter users confirm that The Outer Worlds plays really well for them.
As someone who is deeply red/green colorblind, I had no issues whatsoever with the game (which is frankly rare). Hell, I didn’t even have to crank the brightness up to help with differentiation in dark places, which is usually a big issues for me.
Others reported minor issues on that front.
Generally, the community appreciated Obsidian’s stance on accessibility, as evidenced in this comment on Reddit:
Colorblind modes and other options shouldn’t be an afterthought, they should be part of the gameplay design from the start and I feel like should be a core part of videogame development.
The game itself currently has a user score of 8.0 at Metacritic which indicates generally favourable reviews. On PC, the game is available though the Epic Games Store, Windows 10 Store, and Xbox Game Pass PC. The Steam release is planned in 2020.