Deaf Game Review – Dragon Age Inquisition

Deaf Game Review – Dragon Age Inquisition

Can I Play That?3 minute read

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Dragon Age Inquisition Deaf Accessibility

Individual scores

  • Visual Representation of Dialogue - 9
  • Visual Representation of Sound - 9.5
  • Visual Cues - 10
  • Controller Vibration - 10

Meet Inquisitor Don. He’s a human mage who has been drafted into the Inquisition by a very intimidating Seeker named Cassandra (he doesn’t know it yet, but he’s going to fall in love with her, even though she’s an intimidating Seeker) in order to find out why demons are falling from a big green hole in the sky, that incidentally matches his glowing green hand. Don, with the help of Cassandra Allegra Portia Calogera Filomena Pentaghast and the rest of the Inquisition, set out to build an army, help war-ravaged Ferelden and find and defeat The Elder One, the force behind the giant hole in the sky.

For anyone unfamiliar with the Dragon Age series, the game can take any shape you want and for us, that’s what makes the games so amazing. In DAI you can play as a human, elf, dwarf or Qunari, male or female, warrior, rogue or mage and you can customize your Inquisitor down to the shape of his or her eye shape and lip fullness. You can romance a number of characters and there’s a selection of romances whether you prefer men, women or both. Each character race and class has a unique backstory that plays a role in in-game dialogue and throughout the game, you can spend time learning the histories of dozens of other characters. Relationships can take whatever shape you like; you can be a friendly Inquisitor of the people or you can be an asshole that fights the role you’ve been forced into and the people you’ve been forced to work with. With more quests and side quests than one can count, it’s easy to become very invested in the relationships and storyline that DAI presents you with (which was a large part of the appeal of the last DLC, getting some sort of closure with all of the people you’ve gotten to know throughout the game).

How’s the Deaf accessibility? Ehh. There’s some great stuff while some things that could have been done much better. There are good visual cues that appear when you press the left stick on nearby items and there is controller vibration to go along with loud or high-intensity action in the game. Enemies show up as red dots on the minimap without the player needing to spot them first, so there are no surprise stealth attacks and visual effects for various sounds are helpful and diverse.

Dialogue choices are easy to read and the symbols that appear with many options in the dialogue wheel make the tone of the conversation obvious.

Where DAI fell short for us was with subtitles. It was the first game to patch in the ability to change the subtitle size in, one major thing that’s lacking are speaker labels during cutscenes. And there are a lot of cutscenes.

In-game there are also no speaker labels but there’s a little icon next to the image of the party member that’s speaking.

Bottom line: DAI is quite accessible to Deaf and HoH players with a wealth of visual cues and now easy-to-read subtitles. While the lack of speaker labels make the cutscenes a little hard to follow, DAI is still an enjoyable game.

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