Reflections promise ‘accessible’ Driver: San Francisco.

Driver San Francisco

As many Train2Game students will know, whether a game is easy to pick up and play or not can sometimes hold the key to its success.

Perhaps with this in mind, Reflection’s upcoming Driver: San Francisco will be “more accessible than any other Reflections game” Lead Designer Jean-Sebastien Decant told Edge, and that the return of the series has been focused on “Accessibility.”

The news may be disappointing to any Train2Game students that appreciated the challenge of previous games in the Driver series, but Decant insists it’s not about making Driver: San Francisco easy.

“In the history of Reflections they have made tough games for hardcore gamers. And this one, the core experience is more accessible than any Reflections game.” he said.

“It’s not about making it easy, it’s about having the right ‘helpers’ so that the AI is challenging but not unfair – for chases, races, getaways. The player has to know what he has to do in an instant”

“Having the proper information always displayed – especially in a game where you can be in any car at any time, where we change the gameplay a lot from one mission to another – accessibility applies to signs, feedback, UI.”

The concept of accessibility also applies to the Game Design of Driver San Francisco‘s online multiplayer, with the ‘Shift’ mechanic allowing players to switch vehicles instantly in an effort to give players who crash at the first corner a chance. Studio manager Gareth Edmonson explains why:

“There’s always been a problem with multiplayer games, that you crash into the first corner and you’re out of the action,” he said. “Shift totally changes that, and it creates a much more accessible, much more engaging experience. It totally changes the way you play the game.”

This Game Design feature intended to level the online playing field may be appreciated by some Train2Game students, but those who enjoy a challenge may not approve!

The whole accessibility issue sounds familiar to Bioware’s claims – reported by the Train2Game blog – that the Game Design of Dragon Age 2 is ‘more welcoming’ to novice players rather than dumbed down.

So Train2Game, what are your thoughts on the ‘accessibility’ of Driver: San Francisco? Is it a positive or a negative thing? Is it something you’ll consider when developing games? And which games do you believe have the right balance between being accessible but challenging at the same time?

Leave your comments here on the Train2Game blog, or on the Train2Game forum.

[Source: Edge]

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