Gears 5 Is the Most Accessible Game for People With Hearing Disabilities
The Coalition’s Gears 5 is the first AAA game to receive the perfect 6/6 score from caniplaythat, an online portal that reviews video games based on their accessibility for the deaf and gamers with hearing disabilities, making it the most accessible game till date.
The site scores a game based on six parameters, all of which Gears 5 has managed to ace and have set a new standard for video game developers to follow:
- Visual representation of dialogue: 6/6
- Visual representation of sound: 6/6
- Visual cues: 6/6
- Controller vibration: 6/6
- Player communication: 6/6
— Courtney (@CyclopediaBrain) September 5, 2019
The way the Coalition has managed to achieve this is thanks to the most information-inclusive subtitles ever seen in a video game.
You’re told where your character is being spoken from, there are essential ellipses that depict breaks/pauses in speech, you get to read how a speaker is sounding when addressing you, and non-speaking sounds like heavy breathing are a thing too.
You can gauge the extent of all this by the fact that combat is usually accompanied by music which slowly starts to settle down, letting you know that the battle sequence is over and there are no more enemies to shoot. Gears 5 has this too!
You can mark enemies by zooming in with Jack so that you never lose sight of them even if you get busy somewhere else. The position and intensity of the blood spewing out of your character’s limbs will instantly let you know from where you’re being shot at without having to rely on directional audio.
And there are additional clear visual clues that will do the same job if you can’t keep track of blood. Even the game’s multiplayer mode is incredibly accessible. The chat has both text-to-speech and speech-to-text functions.
The Coalition’s boss, Rod Fergusson, is proud of what his team has accomplished when it comes to making Gears 5 the most accessible game till date.
Wow! Extremely proud of this and all the hard work the team did at @CoalitionGears , especially @ottosson to make #Gears5 our most approachable and accessible game to date. Thank you Courtney! https://t.co/DMOx4KvkYx
— Rod Fergusson (@GearsViking) September 5, 2019
And he should be. This is something I hope other developers will follow to let their entire playerbase have the immersion and satisfying experience without any disability coming in the way. One can hope! You can view the complete accessibility options at the game’s website.