GAME OF THE YEAR?! | Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy | Cognitive Accessibility Review

Hello, welcome back my friends
Today we’re going to be reviewing the brand new
Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy game thanks to Square Enix
who very kindly provided me a review code for this one  
and heck you are in for a treat
Before I get into the accessibility part of the review I just
really need to get something off my chest
This game…
I can’t tell you how much fun I’ve been having with it
It’s already one of my favourite games of the year
and I really didn’t expect it to be
I honestly hadn’t really seen very much about this game
in the run-up to release and
I kind of thought if I hadn’t gotten super into the Marvel Avengers game which was also Square Enix,
I probably wouldn’t be into this either but I could not have been more wrong
Guardians of the Galaxy is from the team at Eidos Montreal who were responsible for Shadow of the Tomb Raider and Deus Ex
and you’ll be playing as Star Lord with your fellow Guardians available to call on in combat and to interact with the environment  
Now, each Guardian has their own unique set 
of skills that make for really interesting and enjoyable gameplay
There’s a lot of story, a lot of conversation choices and lore  

your choices actually have a huge impact on the gameplay
I don’t want to give away too much but you will probably want to play this game more than once
The soundtrack is killer – it has tons of classic 80s rock and I am absolutely here for it
but I’m not here to talk about my love for dad rock,
let’s talk about accessibility
There’s some really really cool accessibility in this game
some features I’ve never even seen in a game before
and some things that are just literally  
baked into the game
I’ve honestly not been this impressed with a game in a really long time, I am so happy to be able to share this with you
So, keep in mind this is just my own personal opinion and
my accessibility needs might be vastly different to yours
I will be focusing on cognitive accessibility today as that’s the area 
that affects me the most
but I will link some other reviews on other areas of accessibility in the description below too
Firstly, the difficulty level is completely customisable – you can pick a preset from the options available,
or you can go in and customise further
I love this level of customisation, it really allows a player to set a level that’s appropriate to them
to make for a really enjoyable experience so definitely have a play around with all this stuff, it’s really good
The game has fantastic subtitles, we’ve also got closed captions for non-speech sounds and there’s overheard subtitles too
so you don’t miss anything that’s going on around you
The subtitles can be resized, there’s also the option to adjust letter spacing which I don’t think I’ve seen before
but it’s really helpful for making the text clearer
This is especially great for players that might have dyslexia
You can also force bold too so there’s tons of customisation available to help get the text in a readable state for you  
You can also adjust the background, the opacity 
and you can invert the colours too
The music itself isn’t subtitled but there is an album booklet in some scenes where you can read the lyrics
just like you did in the old days which is a really 
nice touch and really cute
I don’t want to spend too long talking about this because this isn’t 
exactly my area of expertise but
there are some really cool options in the audio accessibility section of the menu
Life is Strange: True Colours had an option that gave players a heads up anytime there was going to be a loud noise
and allowed you to be able to go and control the volume during those sections
and it feels like Guardians have just taken that idea a little bit further, allowing players to limit the highest playback level
of the loudest sounds for players that are sensitive to 
There’s also something called a Focus Mix that reduces the amount of non-essential game sounds
so you’re just able to focus on the gameplay sounds
that you need to hear
This is fantastic for d/Deaf and hard of hearing accessibility,
but also for cognitive accessibility too,
which I’m really excited about, so if you’re someone that’s having a lot of trouble filtering out some of the additional noise
and it’s all a bit too much, you’re going to want to try this
Give it a go, let me know how you get on, I’m really excited for this
It is a third person game so I haven’t experienced too much motion sickness thankfully,
but if you are susceptible to it you might want to check out the exploration dot setting
that just pops the dot in the centre of the screen
It’s similar to what we had in The Last of Us II and I found it really really helpful personally
Unfortunately, there doesn’t seem to be an option to turn the screen shake off though which is proving quite challenging for me
so I would really love to see this patched in at a later date as there are some segments that made me feel a little bit headachy
The combat is really fun and you can call on your buddies for special moves, things like that
I found the combat cues really good and really clear,
there’s a red danger icon when an enemy is about to attack
there’s also directional arrows so that really helped me respond in time and figure out where things were coming from
There are also a lot of assists that you can choose from in the difficulty menu too,
so you can adjust the amount of damage you’re taking,
your shield regen, the damage you’re dealing
I did have a little trouble with some of the quick time events
in the game which I’ll explain in a second
There is an option to skip quick time events completely but I usually quite enjoy them
It wasn’t that I didn’t have the reflexes for them or anything like that, it’s that I was getting a bit confused
and it felt like the game wasn’t communicating its parameters properly to me so I didn’t know exactly what I had to do
in those situations
Some of them were a little bit difficult to understand what they want from you so I didn’t realise initially that
I had to wait for the prompt to go green before I pressed it
and I kept pressing it as soon as it appeared on screen
because I was scared that I was going to miss it
and the game didn’t tell me this, it didn’t tell me 
that I had to wait for it to go green or anything like that,
so I just kept failing again and again and again and I couldn’t figure out what I was doing  
for a really long time until I was like “oh, hang on a minute… I’m getting the timing wrong,
I’m pressing it too soon, I need to wait for something”
There was another quick time event a bit later on in the game with the two analog sticks that wasn’t entirely clear
I didn’t understand that you had to push the sticks in so I was just like spinning them round and round
There actually were arrows when I went to have a look back but my eye wasn’t immediately drawn to them
and I guess just under the stress of a quick time event, I just completely missed them
I definitely felt like there was a little something missing in the communication with the quick time events
There are some really cool features that built into the game that make it accessible by design which I’m really excited about,
so for example, your character automatically runs when you move so there’s no need to press 
the analog stick or use a button to sprint, which 
can be difficult for many players
If players are mostly gonna want to run around for the duration of your game, then just make that the default
Just make them sprint already, it’s perfect, it’s so 
It’s a pretty linear game, it’s not a massive open world or anything like that so navigation doesn’t need much assistance
but what there is there in the game is really well done
There are environmental clues like different colours and textures on ledges that you can climb on,
similar to what you have in the recent Tomb Raider games
You can also use your visor to see where you need to go
and to scan items in the environment  
however there are some really nice touches 
that are just kind of built into the game so  
for example, the Guardians will sass you 
if you stray off the path for collectibles,
they might also give you some clues or prompts 
for puzzles or make suggestions here and there  
of how to get past a certain obstacle
It feels really natural and I just love how
it’s not an additional thing that I need to turn on,
it’s just there and it’s part of the experience  
I’m not being treated separately, I’m getting to have the same experience as any other person  
that’s playing the game and that’s where I 
would really really like to see accessibility  
going as we move forward
It is possible to make accessible experiences without tacking things on and piling on options
and yes the game does have a lot of options that you can play around with and that’s great,
it’s fantastic the amount of customisation that you’ve got in there, but my favourite things about this game
and my favourite part of the time I had with this game were
the things that were baked in,
the things that were just part of the game and
made me feel included
and it got me really excited and I’ve just had 
the best time playing this game, honestly
I can’t wait to finish it
I really hope you’re able to check it out when you have a chance, I’d love to know how you get on with it,
how you found some of the different accessibility settings
Please let me know, I hope you love it as much as I do
and I will see you again soon. Bye!

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