Deaf Game Review – The Crew 2

The Crew 2 Deaf Accessibility
4.4 / 6 Reviewer
Pros
Narration is subtitled, Great visual cues, Helpful controller vibration at some key points during races
Cons
Small and hard to read subtitles, Not fully captioned, No visible numeric countdown for race starts
The Crew 2 is a super fun game where you just get to race everything you could possibly ever want to race. There's a story but I'm not bothering to follow it because the subtitles are impossible, but I don't feel like I'm missing anything. The few deaf accessibility issues that there are only take away from immersion and being able to fully enjoy the story. They don't hinder gameplay at all and I'm still having a ton of fun despite the problems.
Visual Representation of Dialogue
Visual Representation of Sound
Visual Cues
Controller Vibration

The Crew 2 is an incredibly fun game, as well as an incredible improvement on the first game. It’s also exactly what I needed in a game right now. The world is on fire, I’m a Muslim immigrant in a country that despises me, I’m disabled… You get the picture. The Crew 2 doesn’t even have a hint of politics or moral issues and DAMN is it nice to be able to shut the dumpster fire of the US off for a while and just enjoy the (beautifully recreated) US in a whole host of vehicles. My gay little plane and I flew from Florida, up to the Statue of Liberty, home to Chicago, and ended up in San Francisco, just for fun. And it really was fun. Then I took my gay boat (yes, all of my vehicles are giant, moving rainbows) out into the ocean and just bobbed around for a while.

Blue sports car driving in the rain, downtown area in background.

It’s a stunning game with an equally stunning photo mode (you know how I love photo modes) and it’s just plain mindless fun. Exactly what I was in need of this week. That’s not to say it’s not without issues though. Is any game ever without issues? Probably not. BUT I’m happy to tell you, those issues don’t make it any less fun.

Flying above the Statue of Liberty

First up, we have the subtitles. They’re not good. They’re present and there’s no lag or buggy stuff, but they’re too small and often times far too difficult to read. Especially when you’re in a race and the narrator starts talking.

Racing scene with red sports car

I’m not exactly looking down at the bottom of my screen to read tiny text when I’m driving 100 mph and trying not to crash. The subtitles need to have size options and they need to be located at the top of the screen during races to solve the subtitles issues. Then there’s the lack of captioning, which, while it doesn’t have any impact on the game, it really annoyed me that there’s such good random chatter, usually at the racing hubs by an announcer, that I can’t help but feel purposefully left out of the full experience. As I said in a Tweet rant, if sound is important enough to be added to the game, it’s important enough to caption.

Boat race with a suspension bridge in the background.
Racing a boat on open water toward a suspension bridge.
Driving a boat under a bridge.

Then there’s the issue of the radar sound when you’re nearby something collectible being paired with a really hard to notice white pulsing band around the white minimap, as illustrated in the above three images. This could be remedied by either making the pulse a more bold different color, or even better, subtle controller vibration to match the speed and intensity of the radar sound.

Now those are really the only two deaf accessibility issues, but given how great Ubisoft has been at accessibility in their other recent games, it’s just not cool to still be running into them.

Red racing boat on water

Oh, one last minor thing, during the 3, 2, 1 countdown to beginning a race, there’s no visible countdown, only flashes of various pictures of your vehicle. Then before you know what’s even happening, the race starts and you’re 3 seconds behind because you’re still waiting to see some kind of countdown.

Pickup truck racing through canyons

Visual cues and indicators are fantastic and the color coincides with the type of race you’re competing in. And in every kind of race, there’s some subtle controller vibration to indicate that you’ve successfully passed a checkpoint.

Small plane flying low over water

On-screen instructions for races are given in text and an image illustrating the basic movement you’re supposed to do (this is for aerial races with stunts and such) and points/fans earned are indicated both in large text and in a bar at the top of your screen.

And that’s about all there is to it. Like I said above, The Crew 2 is a super fun game where you just get to race everything you could possibly ever want to race. There’s a story but I’m not bothering to follow it because the subtitles are impossible, but I don’t feel like I’m missing anything. The few deaf accessibility issues that there are only take away from immersion and being able to fully enjoy the story. They don’t hinder gameplay at all and I’m still having a ton of fun despite the problems.

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