Deaf Game Review – Assassin’s Creed III Remastered

Assassin's Creed III Remastered Deaf Accessibility
4.8 / 6 Reviewer
Pros
All story dialogue is subtitled, subtitle options make text very easy to read, helpful visual cues
Cons
Stealth is tricky without sound visualization
Visual Representation of Dialogue
Visual Representation of Sound
Visual Cues
Controller Vibration

Assassin’s Creed III Remastered has the distinction (to the best of my knowledge) of being the first remastered game to incorporate current Deaf/hoh accessibility standards as part of the remaster. If you played the original release, you may recall the only subtitle option was to turn them on or off.

Options menu

In the remaster, not only is there (obviously) the option to turn them on, but you can also turn on speaker name, select from three impressively large text sizes (the default is larger than the largest option in most games) you can select from four text colors, as well as turn on a text background.

William and Desmond Miles walking carrying crates.

The above image shows the subtitles with the speaker name and background turned on, at the largest size option. There’s a very minor lag in the subtitles but not nearly enough to make any difference in gameplay.

While the subtitles got the 2019 Ubisoft treatment, unfortunately the rest of the game didn’t, though that’s not to say it’s a terribly bad or difficult experience for Deaf/hoh players, it’s simply not what we’re used to after Origins and Odyssey.

Haytham crouched in weeds, enemy soldier standing nearby.

Stealth missions are a bit tricky as you’ll have to pay attention to both the minimap and the small circle icon above Haytham’s head, AND the triangle icons above the heads of enemies. It’s a lot to take in and makes being stealthy rather difficult, especially on missions when being spotted results in immediate failure.

Haytham and Lee walking through Boston, approaching a couple to eavesdrop on.
Close-up of Haytham eavesdropping on a conversation.

There are quite a lot of eavesdropping missions too and those are made very easy for Deaf/hoh players, even on the off chance you’re playing with the subtitles turned off, by the visualization of the range you need to be within, as well as the little sound lines that display on the top left of the screen.

Haytham and Lee walking in enemy fort. Restricted zone indicated on minimap.

Unbelievably helpful for Deaf/hoh players, especially considering how much this game relies on tricky stealth, are the enemy icons that show the direction each enemy is facing clearly in the minimap.

Large fight scene with numerous enemy soldiers and Haytham in the middle. Active enemy target highlighted in white.

Making yet another appearance, as in AC and ACII, are the white outlines applied to the enemy you’re actively targeting. While not necessarily a Deaf/hoh accessibility feature, it’s was incredibly helpful for me, as a hard of hearing player, as these large combat scenes often got overwhelming sound-wise with all the enemies making noise, grasping for your attention at once.

All in all, the addition of Ubisoft’s 2019 subtitling practices did wonders for the Deaf/hoh accessibility of Assassin’s Creed III Remastered. While there are other features that could have been much improved, the game is still easily playable and enjoyable for Deaf/hoh players.