Deaf Game Review – Wolfenstein: Youngblood

Wolfenstein: Youngblood Deaf Accessibility
3.6 / 6 Reviewer
Pros
All dialogue is subtitled, subtitles are reasonably sized and have a dark background, helpful icons on the minimap
Cons
No speaker labels for subtitles, no size options for subtitle text, enemy location indication only present once enemy has been spotted by the player, voice chat only with no accessible options for player communication
Visual Representation of Dialogue
Visual Representation of Sound
Visual Cues
Controller Vibration
Player Communication

Good news, everybody! After 5 years and 3 games with subtitles that can only be referred to as an abomination, the folks behind the Wolfenstein series have finally come to understand that subtitles are actually supposed to serve a purpose.

That’s right, not only are the subtitles in Wolfenstein: Youngblood not microscopic, they also now have a dark background!

Cutscene with BJ and Jess, aiming a rifle. Subtitles displayed at bottom.

Just look at them! Actual legible text. Still no speaker labels but we can’t have everything now, can we? Maybe in 5 more years we’ll get those.

On top of speaker labels leaving Deaf and hoh players often wondering who said what (especially since there are two protagonists throughout this game who regularly talk to each other) there are no size options for the subtitle text either.

If it seems like I’m being harsh it’s because I am. Looking at other major games released this year, there is simply no reason to release a game without these basic features present in nearly every major game released this year. At this point, nobody can get away with saying they didn’t know better.

Anyway… On with the review.

New in Youngblood is a minimap with (limited) enemy presence indication, which is an invaluable tool for Deaf/hoh players who are trying to be the slightest bit stealthy. Unfortunately, the enemy indication only kicks in once you’ve actually seen the enemy and there is no indication of nearby enemies that can be heard but not seen. It’s also helpful (again, in a limited way) that different types of enemies have different icons on the minimap, as shown below.

Screenshot illustrating the icon for a more powerful enemy.
Screenshot illustrating the icon for a regular enemy.

The minimap will also flash a faint red when an emeny has triggered an alarm and waypoints for missions are displayed as well.

All in all, Wolfenstein: Youngblood is a tremendous leap forward in Deaf/hoh accessibility for the series and players will have an experience much more equal to that of hearing players thanks to the improvements and additions. While some things could still be better, it’s perfectly playable and enjoyable for Deaf and hoh players. However, players looking for a co-op experience may find it very lacking, as the only chat option is voice chat.

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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

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Courtney Craven

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