With Obsidian's new survival RPG Grounded (opens in new tab) now in early access, we've seen the full breadth of accessibility options included in "arachnophobia mode," and well, spiders can be cute now?
As you'll see below, there's a slider in the Accessibility menu that lets you adjust the look of your spiders from godless eight-legged nightmares all the way to harmless(-looking) little white blobs.
Since the spider is on a slider you are able to choose your level of comfort. Here's what the sliders do to change the spider's appearance in game. pic.twitter.com/S8SndxvxpzJuly 28, 2020
The studio revealed back in April (opens in new tab) that Grounded would have settings arachnophobic players could use to make the game more accessible, but now we have the full picture. Over at Xbox Wire (opens in new tab), Obsidian communications director Mike Dowling detailed a study Obsidian and Xbox conducted on arachnophobia and how to give players the option to avoid certain triggers based on their comfort level with spiders.
"During their study, fear, and disgust increased across all respondent groups as spider textures, number of eyes, and audio effects were added. The findings from Xbox Research helped determine the best form for spiders to take in the game, while also deciding how to vary their appearance depending on the severity of the phobia," Dowling wrote.
GamesRadar's Alyssa Mercante was able to spend some time with Grounded director Adam Brennecke and learn about what it was like turning a bog standard suburban backyard into a foreign and dangerous survival playground. Check out the full interview here (opens in new tab), and here's a harrowing quote from Brennecke on the game's customizable spiders: "We wanted that 'Frodo going into Shelob's Lair feel'," he said. "I think that's super fun to play with."
Know what's scarier than spiders? The best survival horror games (opens in new tab), that's what.