A blind video gamer got emotional after seeing The Last of Us Part II's extensive accessibility options for players with disabilities

The Last of Us Part II is set for release Friday, June 19.

(CNN)When blind gamer Steve Saylor received an early review copy of The Last of Us Part II, one of the most anticipated video games of the year, he wasn't entirely sure what to expect.

So he set up his camera, ready to record his reaction in a video for his gaming YouTube channel. But just seconds into the video, the Canadian streamer suddenly bursts into tears.
"I was expecting to record a really exciting, hype moment showing the first time I see all the accessibility settings, but basically the second I started up the game, I was hearing a text to speech read off every single accessibility option. To be honest, the floodgates just kind of opened," Saylor told CNN.
    "I couldn't stop crying for a solid 10 minutes. It was like everything I had been working for in the past five years, my efforts with disability consulting and advocating for more accessibility in games, finally paid off. This is literally the first time we have ever seen a game have this many features."
    The game, which launches June 19, is a sequel to The Last of Us, a 2013 action-adventure game developed by Naughty Dog and released exclusively for Playstation. At the time of its release, it was labeled "the game of the decade, a cultural phenomenon within the video game industry," according to Saylor.
    For years, fans have been anxiously waiting for the sequel, which continues the story of Ellie, the 14-year-old heroine of a post-pandemic world impacted by a fungal plague that turns people into zombies.
    In the game, players must evade or kill both cannibalistic zombies and hostile humans to protect Ellie, who is immune to the infection and possibly holds its cure. The Last of Us Part II takes place five years after the events of the previous game and is played from Ellie's perspective.
    Along with stunning visuals and breathtaking landscapes, the game comes with a diverse array of accessibility features that will provide disabled players with an especially unique gaming experience.
    "This is a first time we have seen a game where every piece of text on screen had text to speech in it," Saylor said. "Anyone without visual impairment could actually close their eyes and be able to play this game with all the settings turned on. That's how powerful it is."

    Working with disabled gamers on accessibility options

    For gamers with disabilities, the fight for more accessibility options has been long and tedious, with extremely gradual improvements over the course of decades. But when it comes to accessibility, The Last of Us Part II is second to none.
    Labeled by Saylor and other players as the "the most accessible game ever," the game features more than 60 accessibility settings, with expanded options focused on fine motor hearing and new options for low-vision and blind players.
    Emilia Schatz, one of the lead gameplay designers of The Last of Us Part II, said she was inspired to expand accessibility options after receiving a letter from a gamer. The player was unable to finish another Naughty Dogs game when they got stuck at a point where they had to repeatedly press on a button to escape during a fight.
    "It's heartbreaking for me as a game creator because that person is so passionate about playing our game but there was just this moment that all of a sudden blocked them. We found that it's often a relatively small thing that can unlock an entire game for some players," Schatz told CNN.
    "I think there hasn't been a huge awareness of how games are inaccessible to a wide group of people. A lot of developers have -- no pun intended -- a blind spot for things that don't personally affect them. Hopefully our game brings attention to the fact that there (are) things that can be done to affect players in such a positive way. It's absolutely worth everyone's time to try to fit it into their development schedule."
    High-contrast mode turns the main characters blue and enemies red to help visually impaired players.