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Dark
Souls II
19 Accessibility Features

We've documented 19 accessibility features for Dark Souls II, including Fully Voiced (Or No Speech), Control Assists, Play Without Hearing, Colour Blind Friendly and Audio Cues. Its accessibility is strongest in Controls and Visual but it also has features in Reading, Navigation, Audio and Getting Started to reduce unintended barriers.

This report is created with input from accessibility experts and the player community to help people find games that have the accessibility features they require. Once you have found potential games on the database, there are excellent specialist accessibility sites that offer in-depth reviews to guide your purchasing decisions.

Dark Souls II is a fighting game with an emphasis on precise timing and extreme difficulty. You navigate through labyrinthine ruins and ancient kingdoms, defeating monsters with your weapons and magic. It pairs immense difficulty with a grand story and fantasy worldbuilding to make for a novel and weighty adventure.

Our accessibility examiner, Ben Kendall, first checked Dark Souls II accessibility 10 months ago. It was re-examined by Ben Kendall and updated 10 months ago.

NotesAccessibility Notes

On PC, the game is fully playable with a controller apart from entering your name, which requires a keyboard. Although you can save progress without checkpoints, when you die you go back to the start of the level and have to retrace your steps. The game is incredibly difficult and requires precise timings and reactions to ensure you don't get hit. You can make the camera automatically lock on to enemies, reducing the number of controls you need to use when in combat.

There is no map or navigational tools, and although levels are fairly linear, it is still possible to get lost or be unsure of the way forward.

You can hide the HUD, as well as disable blood in the game. There are screen shake effects, but you can disable depth of field and motion blur as well as certain cinematic camera moves to reduce motion sickness.

DetailsGame Details

Release Date: 11/03/2014

Out Now: PC, PS3, PS4, Xbox 360 and Xbox One

Skill Rating: 14+ year-olds

Players: 1 (4 online)

Genres: Action, Adventure, Fighting (Narrative, Role-Play and Simulation)

Accessibility: 19 features

Components: 3D Third-Person

Developer: From Software PR (@FromSoftware_PR)

Costs: Purchase cost

 

ControlsControls

We've documented 7 accessibility features for Controls in Dark Souls II which deal with how you control the game, different options for alternative inputs and whether you can remap these settings to suit your needs.

Gamepad

Can play with the following:

Multiple Buttons & Two Sticks: Can play with multiple buttons and two sticks.

Mouse And Keyboard

Can play with the following:

Mouse and Keys: Can play with mouse and multiple keys.

Remap Controls

Can customise the controls for the game as follows:

Remap Mouse and Keyboard: Can remap mouse and keyboard key bindings, on systems that support these controls.

Invert X/Y Axis: Can invert the direction required to control looking and aiming. This enables you to match your instinctive orientation when looking.

Controller Vibration

Vibration Optional: Controller vibration not used in the game or you can disable it.

Informative Vibration: Controller vibration indicates events or interactions in the game, echoing visual and audio cues. This can provide additional information about progress, approaching enemies or hitting a target.

Sensitivity

You can adjust

Adjust Mouse/Stick/Touch Sensitivity: Adjust how sensitive touch/mouse/stick controls are.

 

Similar Games With More Accessibility Features for Controls

If you want to play Dark Souls II, but it doesn't offer the Controls accessibility features you require, these similar games extend the Controls accessibility:

DifficultyDifficulty

We haven’t documented any accessibility features for Difficulty in Dark Souls II which deal with how you can adjust the challenge of play, and whether this is locked once chosen or can be adjusted as you play. The following games are similar to Dark Souls II, and offer accessibility features for Difficulty:

Getting StartedGetting Started

We've documented 1 accessibility feature for Getting Started in Dark Souls II which deals with what support is offered to get started with the game. This includes customising the experience when you first open the game via any onboarding processes it provides as well as tutorials and other assistance when you first start playing.

Assistance Getting Starting

These features aid your play of the game in terms of cognitive load on learning controls, dealing with pressure and coping with the environment and challenges.

Assistance With Controls: The game can automatically assist with aiming, steering, reloading, jumping, running etc. This reduces the challenge of certain aspects of play to remove barriers and make control of characters more accessible.

 

Similar Games With More Accessibility Features for Getting Started

If you want to play Dark Souls II, but it doesn't offer the Getting Started accessibility features you require, these similar games extend the Getting Started accessibility:

ReadingReading

We've documented 3 accessibility features for Reading in Dark Souls II which deal with how much reading or listening comprehension is required, how well the game provides visual and audible access to the text and whether subtitles and captions are a good fit for purpose.

Reading Level

How much reading is required to play the game's main path or story and how complex the language is. The presence of voiced characters doesn't reduce this requirement, as it's recorded as a separate datapoint.

Moderate Reading: Moderate reading required. The quantity and complexity of reading are at a level that a high school student (14-year-old) would appreciate.

Subtitles

All Speech Subtitled (Or No Speech In Game): All spoken content has subtitles, or there is no speech in the game. This means there is no requirement to hear spoken dialogue or narrative to play the game.

Voice Acted

All Dialogue is Voice Acted (Or No Speech In Game): All of the game dialogue and narrative can be voiced, or there is no speech in the game. This means there is no requirement to read the dialogue and narrative text to play the game.

 

Similar Games With More Accessibility Features for Reading

If you want to play Dark Souls II, but it doesn't offer the Reading accessibility features you require, these similar games extend the Reading accessibility:

NavigationNavigation

We've documented 2 accessibility features for Navigation in Dark Souls II which deal with how the game provides guidance and assistance to navigate its worlds. These are only for games that have traversal and exploration in 2D and 3D spaces.

Head-Up Display

Adjust Head-Up Display: Resize and adjust the content of the head-up display. This enables it to be made more visible. It can also enable the removal of too much information that can be distracting or confusing.

Menu Navigation

Digital Menu Navigation: Menu choices with Gamepad can be made without using an analogue stick to guide a cursor to a selection. For example, using D-Pad, buttons or the Stick to change menu selection in a single action.

 

Similar Games With More Accessibility Features for Navigation

If you want to play Dark Souls II, but it doesn't offer the Navigation accessibility features you require, these similar games extend the Navigation accessibility:

VisualVisual

We've documented 4 accessibility features for Visual in Dark Souls II which deal with how you can adjust the visuals to suit your needs, and offer additional information if you can't hear the game.

Audio Cues for Visual Events

Audio Cues for Visual Events: Audio is provided to indicate visual events. Game events or progress highlighted by visual icons, effects or animations are also accompanied by audio to signify that progress. This is useful for blind players.

Motion Sickness Friendly

Motion Sickness Friendly: Doesn't have 3D movement elements that may trigger motion sickness, like motion blur, depth of field and field-of-vision. Or includes the ability to disable motion blur, depth of field and field-of-vision effects.

Colour Options

Colour Blind Friendly: Game doesn’t rely on colour or can switch to colour blind friendly mode with double coding or similar way to avoid colour dependance.

Violence

Turn Off Blood: Reduce or disable graphic content of blood and gore.

 

Similar Games With More Accessibility Features for Visual

If you want to play Dark Souls II, but it doesn't offer the Visual accessibility features you require, these similar games extend the Visual accessibility:

AudioAudio

We've documented 2 accessibility features for Audio in Dark Souls II which deal with how you can adjust the audio of the game and whether audio cues compensate for aspects of the game that are hard to see.

Adjustable Audio

Balance Audio Levels: Set music and game sound effects separately. This enables you to select your preference as well as ensure critical game sounds aren't obscured by other audio.

Play Without Hearing

Play Without Hearing: No audio cues are necessary to play the game well.

 

Similar Games With More Accessibility Features for Audio

If you want to play Dark Souls II, but it doesn't offer the Audio accessibility features you require, these similar games extend the Audio accessibility:

CommunicationCommunication

We haven’t documented any accessibility features for Communication in Dark Souls II which deal with how you can communicate with other players in the game and what options are available to customise and control this interaction. The following games are similar to Dark Souls II, and offer accessibility features for Communication:

System Accessibility Settings

In addition to the accessibility features provided in the game, you can also use system-wide accessibility settings:

PC
Windows has extensive accessibility features. Some, like colour correction, work with games. Lots of accessibility software can be used with PC games, from voice recognition to input device emulators.
 
PlayStation 4
PlayStation 4 has a range of accessibility settings. Some are system only, some work in games (invert colours and button mapping).
 
Xbox One
Xbox One has a system features, the excellent co-pilot share controls mode and adaptive controller support for all games.
 
Read more about system accessibility settings.

VSC LogoAccessibility Report supported by VSC Rating Board, PlayabilityInitiative and accessibility contributors Ben Kendall


Taming Gaming Book Written by parents for parents, the database complements the in-depth discussion about video game addiction, violence, spending and online safety in the Taming Gaming book. We are an editorially independent, free resource without adverts that is supported by partnerships.

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