Forza Horizon 5 contains a ton of wonderful accessibility features to help make the game as inclusive as possible, and a post-launch update will add another great one – an on-screen sign language interpreter that will sign either American Sign Language (ASL) and British Sign Language (BSL) during the game's cinematics.
As detailed in an Xbox Wire blogpost and an accompanying video about Forza Horizon 5's accessibility features, the interpreter will appear in a picture-in-picture display near the bottom of the screen and either ASL or BSL can be chosen depending on the player's preference.
This is a great addition to Forza Horizon 5, a game that we gave a rare 10/10 to and said is "the result of a racing studio at the peak of its craft and the best open-world racing game available." It is also one of the few games to feature sign language in such a prominent way.
There have been games like Oculus Quest and PlayStation VR's Moss that saw its main character use sign language to speak to the player, and hopefully Forza's decision to add it will have a ripple effect across the industry so more developers will think to include it, if they are able. As Microsoft has said in the past, "When everyone plays, we all win."
As previously mentioned, Forza Horizon 5 features a wide range of other accessibility options at launch. These options, as detailed by Microsoft, include;
- A Game Speed Modification setting that allows gamers to play Forza Horizon 5 at a reduced speed when playing offline; this feature is great for newcomers and those who would like more time to progress through the game.
- High Contrast mode that changes colors to make things such as menus and text easier to distinguish for gamers.
- Color Blindness mode that allows players with color blindness to better visualize game elements. Players can adjust color blind settings independently for the UI and the game visuals.
- For Subtitles, we know the importance of customization. With these, you’ll be able to:
- Turn subtitles on or off
- Adjust the font size
- Adjust the background opacity
- Ability to highlight key words
- Customize menu and gameplay font size.
- Screen reader narrator that reads text, buttons, and other elements aloud.
- Text-to-speech and speech-to-text options for players that want to participate in Voice Chat and either need to send synthesized voice or receive voice chat as synthesized text.
- Ability to disable moving backgrounds.
- Notification duration setting, which allows players to set how long notifications in the game appear.
For more on Forza Horizon 5, check out how you can play it early and our performance review of the game running on PC and all the available Xbox versions.
We also wanted to remind everyone that Forza Horizon 5 will be released on November 9 and it will be on Xbox Game Pass, so subscribers are able to try it out and see if it is not only for them, but if it is accessible enough. If something is missing, Forza Horizon 5 developer Playground Games has said, "these are just some of the accessibility features we’re building upon, and we're constantly listening to the community to make Forza Horizon 5 an inclusive experience for everyone to enjoy."
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