Microsoft has proven itself to be a leader in video game accessibility, and the features available in Forza Horizon 5 support reaffirm that status. In a blog post yesterday, Playground Games’ Mike Brown detailed a large swath of toggles and settings that make Horizon 5 playable for those who may be hearing or visually impaired or have other accessibility needs.
Highlighting the importance of these features in his post, Brown wrote, “We want everyone in the world to be able to experience our game, and with more than an estimated 400 million gamers with disabilities across the globe, it is vital that all players be able to tailor their gameplay in a way that works best for them.” Many of the features present come from conversations with the Gaming & Disability community, which detailed various barriers to entry to the development team. Here are some of the accessibility features described in the blog post available in Forza Horizon 5 upon release:
- 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.
Another significant accessibility feature in the works but isn’t present right away is picture-in-picture American Sign Language and British Sign Language interpreters during cut scenes. This innovative option in the AAA games space is said to be coming soon.
Forza Horizon 5 releases November 9 on Xbox Series X/S, Xbox One, and PC. However, those who prepurchased the Premium Edition or Game Pass subscribers who pay for the Premium add-on can play the open-world racer starting today. If you’re want to know more about Horizon 5, check out our review of the game right here.