Horizon Forbidden West patch adds accessibility mode for people terrified of deep water

Horizon Forbidden West
(Image credit: Guerrilla Games)

Horizon Forbidden West players who suffer from thalassophobia - a fear of deep water - will be now be able to play the game in a newly-added accessibility mode.

Added to the game today via Patch 1.21 in preparation for the Burning Shores DLC, Guerilla Games mentions Thalassophobia Mode in its patch notes on the Horizon subreddit. Sparse details are given, but the game mode should hopefully make Horizon Forbidden West more accessible to those with a debilitating fear of deep water.

"Additional accessibility features" are also listed in the patch notes, though no further information has been given on what this might entail. Other features included in the PS5-only patch are special modes for color blindness, enlarged subtitles, an auto-pickup toggle, auto-camera, and "Navigation assist in Focus mode". It also provides support for the Burning Shores DLC, which is available to pre-download now.

Many parts of the game involve plunging Aloy into large bodies of water to complete missions or puzzles. Avoiding swimming altogether is easier said than done, with tasks like collecting all Horizon Forbidden West vista points forcing you to dive into the ocean or stare out across it. 

Exploration-based puzzles can be a hassle for anyone, even in one of the best open world games. But for someone with thalassophobia these instances could be downright distressing. Given that Horizon offers one of the best underwater gameplay experiences, though, here's hoping Thalassophobia Mode helps everyone feel more comfortable.

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Jasmine Gould-Wilson
Staff Writer, GamesRadar+

Jasmine is a staff writer at GamesRadar+. Raised in Hong Kong and having graduated with an English Literature degree from Queen Mary, University of London in 2017, her passion for entertainment writing has taken her from reviewing underground concerts to blogging about the intersection between horror movies and browser games. Having made the career jump from TV broadcast operations to video games journalism during the pandemic, she cut her teeth as a freelance writer with TheGamer, Gamezo, and Tech Radar Gaming before accepting a full-time role here at GamesRadar. Whether Jasmine is researching the latest in gaming litigation for a news piece, writing how-to guides for The Sims 4, or extolling the necessity of a Resident Evil: CODE Veronica remake, you'll probably find her listening to metalcore at the same time.