The most exciting update to a video game on my PS4 this week is Monster Hunter: World’s new option to increase the size of the text on the game’s busy interface. I sure could use this option in a certain other major game that is launching on PS4 today.
As game developer Joe Humfrey recently noted during a talk at the Game Developers Conference, the text in a lot of new video games is too small to be read comfortably by anyone who isn’t sitting right in front of their TV, as you would a computer monitor. That fact is, though, that I play my console games from a couch and I don’t think it’s just my over-40 eyes that are to blame.
I’ve been playing the new God of War some and have been charmed by the way the lore text is written in the voice of Kratos’ son, Atreus. I’ve been pained to read it, though, because it’s just so tiny:
It may look fine if you’re reading this on a screen that is close to you now, but trust me, it’s scrunched.
At GDC, Humfrey showed examples of ways to make on-screen text more legible with clean fonts and broader line spacing, among other things. So many of the new console games I play, however, require me to lean in from the edge of my seat. Even worse, they’ve made me think the unthinkable: hey, maybe I’d be into a companion app that had the lore text on it. A companion app! What a dark, dark thought.
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All this squinting is what got me so excited to see that Monster Hunter: World’s big 3.0 update doesn’t just deliver a massive new 16-player hunt. It also allows the game’s heads up display to show slightly bigger text. Every little bit helps.