Deaf Game Review – Days Gone

Days Gone Deaf Accessibility
5 / 6 Reviewer
Pros
All dialogue is subtitled, helpful visual cues, subtitles have speaker labels, size options for subtitles
Cons
Visual indicator for nearby enemies not very accurate
Visual Representation of Dialogue
Visual Representation of Sound
Visual Cues
Controller Vibration

I have many opinions about Days Gone as a game, but I’ll spare you those (you can find them on Twitter if you’re interested) and suffice it to say, my feelings are right in line with most of the reviews you’ll read about the game as a whole.

Days Gone was an accessibility let down in a tremendous way when you take into consideration how great other PS4 exclusives have been recently with accessibility. It’s a shame Sony doesn’t hold everyone to some kind of standard because this is mediocre with accessibility at best, completely unplayable for some at worst.

But how’s the deaf/hoh accessibility? Well…

Still from a cutscene showing three peoples legs, image captured to illustrate subtitle speaker labels.

The good thing about the subtitles is that they come with speaker labels AND they’re displayed against a dark background. The less than good? They’re very small and come with no size options.

Audio options menu

The audio options are pretty basic with sound effect, music, and dialogue volume settings, as well as speaker setup and dynamic range.

Language options menu

Subtitle options are a far-too-basic on or off with language selection.

Deacon standing next to a broken down car with his motorcycle upside down. Hard to see tool-tips shown.

While not exclusively a deaf accessibility issue, there are many times throughout the opening hour where tool-tips display on screen, such as the one shown above, or the stealth assassination icon which are a dark green and blend into the surroundings, making them nearly useless.

Deacon walking inside very dark tunnel filled with cars. Enemy radar shown on screen.

The enemy presence radar, while helpful, isn’t entirely accurate in telling players a precise location of (audible) enemies. In one instance during my time in the game, I was looking directly at a nearby enemy but the radar showed it to be well off to the left. So it serves as more of an indication that an enemy is somewhere than it does as precise visual cues.

All things considered, Days Gone tries with deaf/hoh accessibility but doesn’t quite do what it needs to do. However, even with its flaws, it’s still playable and enjoyable for deaf/hoh players.

Below are the rest of the settings. Note that controls are not remappable.

Control mapping menu
User interface menu with only XP indicator toggle on or off
Gameplay settings menu

A bit more about controller accessibility: The crafting system requires multiple button presses (L1 + right stick + R1 to craft, L1 + right stick + R2 to use) and are hold, not toggle. There are also button mashing QTE combat moments for combat with no option to change from button press to hold.

Updated on 7/29/2019 after a major accessibility overhaul:

Subtitles now have size options and are much easier to read, and in-game icons have size options now too!

Many of the controller/button related issues have been resolved as well, as you can now toggle the button mashing to hold and the swipe pad controls can now be accessed through L1 and R1.

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Co-founder and EIC of Can I Play That?, captioner of many things, occasional writer of fiction. Any pronouns. courtney@caniplaythat.com

Courtney Craven

Co-founder and EIC of Can I Play That?, captioner of many things, occasional writer of fiction. Any pronouns. courtney@caniplaythat.com