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Prince of Persia: The Lost Crown will let players pin screenshots to the map

"Ensuring players can feel the thrill of free exploration."

Ubisoft has detailed the accessibility options included in forthcoming side-scrolling Metroidvania Prince of Persia: The Lost Crown.

In particular, the game will include The Eye of the Wanderer, which will allow players to pin screenshots to the map to help with exploration.

"The genre is quite dependent on being able to 'take mental notes'; remembering and visualising things like blocked paths, or situations that need tools or powers that you don't have," said senior game designer Rémi Boutin.

"We know that can be a barrier for some players, so to assist with this the Eye of the Wanderer feature allows you to take a screenshot and pin it to the map as a visual reminder."

Prince of Persia The Lost Crown - Reveal Commented Gameplay | Ubisoft ForwardWatch on YouTube

Boutin noted other games from the genre "are not always known for accessibility", but the development team at Ubisoft Montpellier wanted to ensure the game was enjoyable for "the greatest number of players".

"We identified exploration as a key part of this," said Boutin. "Ensuring players can feel the thrill of free exploration without the frustration of feeling lost was a strong area of focus for us from the very start of development."

Alongside the pinned screenshots feature will be an optional guided mode to highlight blocked and available paths with icons.

The game will also feature challenging combat, so players can "experience the satisfaction of overcoming dangerous enemies," said Boutin. "But we know that people are varied and that challenging means different things to different people. So, we are providing both difficulty presets and a range of individual parameters, so that more people can experience a challenge that fits their capabilities."

Those parameters include enemy damage, enemy health, parry timing, and special attack charge and deplete rate.

Elsewhere, the game will be colour blind-accessible by design and have clear text presentation; visuals will feature enhanced contrast to distinguish gameplay elements; subtitles and volume sliders can be tweaked, with no important information communicated solely through sound; and gameplay controls can be remapped.

Boutin noted that being a small team aided accessibility due to agility of development and having the whole team involved in accessible gameplay design.

"Another good way to work efficiently is to look for ways to avoid unnecessary barriers by default, through design choices rather than options," he said. "And there are other benefits to accessibility-by-design too, like discoverability. We were able to do this in several areas. For example, colour-blindness, text presentation and QTEs (quick time events) are all addressed by default."

The full list of accessibility options can be found on the Ubisoft website.

Prince of Persia: The Lost Crown was revealed at this year's Summer Game Fest and will launch 18th January 2024.

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