Deaf Game Review – Forza Horizon 4

Oh Forza… You were making such progress! And you had a whole year to fix the accessibility issues from Horizon 3. But… but you made them worse. And we just… how? The subtitles in 3 were a vast improvement on those in 2, in that they existed in 3 and they did not exist in 2. We even gave you free feedback on how you could improve them and here we are, with the same lacking subtitles but worse in brand new ways.

So let’s discuss them, shall we?

Silver Audi driving on a clear summer day. Very small subtitles shown on bottom right of screen.

Lean back from whatever screen you’re reading this on and tell me, can you read the subtitles? Because we can’t. Would you be able to read them off your TV from across the room? No? Us either.

Map screen showing three points of interest and very small subtitles on the bottom right

How about here, can you read them? Do you think it’s important for, say, a first time player, to understand what’s being said to them, to understand this explanation of the map and its events? Are you aware that you have Deaf and hard of hearing people that might be first time players? Would you like their money?

Cutscene of player character and event organizer. Very small subtitles shown on bottom right

While were here on subtitles, let’s discuss this image above. Last year, in Horizon 3, you at least had the courtesy to caption your cinematic scenes in a legible way. What happened? We understand not wanting to take up screen real estate while players are driving but why on earth would you not make your story scenes accessible when you’ve already got a big black bar on which to put them.

You need to do better than this, Forza. Much better. Especially when we see you’ve got things marked as “story” on the map. Your deaf fans deserve the same story your hearing ones will get.

(For those looking for the actual review part of this review, there’s not much of one to give. Everything, save for the bad subtitles, is exactly as it has been in previous Horizons. Same helpful waypoint markers, driving lines, race checkpoints. And ANNA still isn’t fully subtitled. Horizon 4 is perfectly playable for Deaf and hoh players because if we’re being honest, we don’t think anybody plays Forza for it’s gripping storyline and dialogue. If you enjoyed 2 and 3, you’ll still enjoy 4.)

Forza Horizon 4 Deaf Accessibility
4.3 / 6 Reviewer
{{ reviewsOverall }} / 6 Users (0 votes)
Pros
Helpful visual cues, The prettiest game in the series so far, Subtitles
Cons
Tiny, illegible subtitles, ANNA, your GPS/assistant, is only subtitled for unimportant things and not actual helpful directions
Everything, save for the bad subtitles, is exactly as it has been in previous Horizons. Same helpful waypoint markers, driving lines, race checkpoints. And ANNA still isn't fully subtitled. Horizon 4 is perfectly playable for deaf and hoh players because if we're being honest, I don't think anybody plays Forza for it's gripping storyline and dialogue. If you enjoyed 2 and 3, you'll still enjoy 4.
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