Deaf Game Review – Sniper Elite 4

Sniper Elite 4 Deaf Accessibility
4.9 / 6 Reviewer
Pros
All dialogue is subtitled, very helpful visual cues
Cons
Subtitles are usually very hard to read
Visual Representation of Dialogue
Visual Representation of Sound
Visual Cues
Controller Vibration

In Sniper Elite 4 you play as an American soldier sent out on special missions to kill the Nazis in Italy. Not much is more satisfying than taking aim at a Nazi from your perch atop a tower, pulling the trigger on your rifle, and watching the bullet travel in slow motion and getting an x-ray vision cinematic of whatever body part you hit exploding. Particularly if you hit them in the crotch.

And it’s a good thing that this is pretty much the point of the game because if you’re playing the game for the story (which there really isn’t much of) and you rely on subtitles, you’re going to be sorely disappointed.

Player character standing on beach near rock arch. Illegible subtitles displayed.

Above are said subtitles, complete with no decent size options, no dark background to make them easier to see, and no speaker labels. But I’ve concluded that nobody actually plays the Sniper Elite series for the gripping story, so while they’re terrible, deaf and hard of hearing players can still have all the fun sniping those Nazis.

Subtitles aside, Rebellion did quite well with deaf/hoh accessibility:

Audio options menu

You’ll find the usual options in the audio menu with a few volume sliders for music, speech, and sound effects, as well as the option to turn on cutscene and in-game subtitles.

Player character looking through binoculars with two enemies tagged.

You have binoculars from the start, which serve as both a means by which you can locate enemies and tag them so you can keep track of their locations from afar. When engaged in combat, enemies you’ve tagged will change in color from gray, to yellow, to red, indicating their level of awareness of you.

In close-quarters combat, there is a large directional indicator that will appear on screen and fill in with yellow and then red as the enemy prepares to shoot you.

Player character looking at the sky with an airplane flying overhead. Overhead radar icon showing at top of screen.

For overhead noises like planes flying that could spot you, there’s both controller vibration and the icon you see in the above image at the top center of the screen. The number of bars increase the more visible you are.

Player character crouched in a bush, minimap outlined in red to indicate enemy is searching.

The minimap is very helpful when it comes to knowing where enemies are, as they also appear as gray, yellow, or red dots, depending on whether they’re actively looking for you, engaged in combat with you, or unaware of you completely.

Player character looking through binoculars, "Enemy Searching" text displayed on screen.

Lastly, players are told of the general situation they’re in throughout the mission with helpful text like the “Enemy Searching” or “All Clear.” There’s also a text indication when enemies have heard your gunshot, which seems kind of obvious, especially if you’ve just shot the fuel tank on a truck and caused an explosion, but it’s helpful nonetheless.

If you haven’t come to Sniper Elite 4 looking for a good story, you’re in luck. The game has exceptional deaf/hoh accessibility. The very bad subtitles are truly the only problem I came across during my time in the game, and let’s be honest, we’re here to blow up Nazi lungs and kidneys, not be engrossed in a stellar narrative.

Below are the other settings menus. Note that controls are not remappable:

Game options menu
Controls options menu
Control layout view