Deaf Game Review – Revisiting Forza Horizon 4

When Forza Horizon 4 originally came out in October of 2018, Susan did the review. The Horizon series was one of her favorites and after she died this past March, it became one of mine, as it was the only game in our vast collection that allowed me to still play something "with" her as I raced against her Drivatar. On the rare occasion accessibility issues we find in games are patched, our usual practice is to just revise or update the review with the improvements mentioned and pictured. For Forza Horizon 4's most recent patch, which addressed the game's…
Massive improvements to the subtitles make this a perfectly accessible game for Deaf/hoh players!

Forza Horizon 4 Deaf Accessibility

Visual Representation of Dialogue - 10
Visual Representation of Sound - 10
Visual Cues - 10
Controller Vibration - 10
Visually Engaging - 10

10

Massive improvements to the subtitles make this a perfectly accessible game for Deaf/hoh players!

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When Forza Horizon 4 originally came out in October of 2018, Susan did the review. The Horizon series was one of her favorites and after she died this past March, it became one of mine, as it was the only game in our vast collection that allowed me to still play something “with” her as I raced against her Drivatar.

On the rare occasion accessibility issues we find in games are patched, our usual practice is to just revise or update the review with the improvements mentioned and pictured. For Forza Horizon 4’s most recent patch, which addressed the game’s tiny subtitles, I’m going to change it up a bit. I’m sentimental about both the original state of the game, as I remember Susan ranting about the horrible subtitles for a full day and her review was her snarkiest to date, and the review she wrote as well. So the old review will stay and this new one will be added, so players will be able to see the vast improvements made by the Forza team.

That said, let’s get to it!

Illustrating the original illegible subtitles in FH4.
Illustrating the original subtitles for ANNA.

Above, we’ve got how the subtitles appeared at the game’s launch. Really not great, right?

Illustrating the default size of the newly patched subtitles.

Here we’ve got the updated subtitles at their default size and background opacity. A massive improvement! But it gets even better!

Illustrating the newly patched subtitles at their largest size.

Above you’ll see the subtitles set to their largest option with the background opacity set to 65. I’d rank these among the best available in games.

Not only has the placement and legibility improved, players also have options regarding the subtitles now!

Subtitle options menu.
Subtitle options menu.

Previously players were only able to turn subtitles on and off. Now they come with a slider for the size, which adjusts from 1 to 13, and a background opacity slider that goes from transparent to a solid black background.

In the original review, the subtitles were really the only thing that had a problematic score. Visual cues and controller vibration were both rated 6/6. With that in mind, here comes Forza Horizon 4 as the first triple-A game we’ve ever been able to revise to give a perfect deaf/hoh accessibility score to!

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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