Deaf Game Review – Resident Evil 2

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Resident Evil 2 Deaf Accessibility

Individual scores

  • Visual Representation of Dialogue - 5
  • Visual Representation of Sound - 0
  • Visual Cues - 0
  • Controller Vibration - 10
Above scores were automatically converted from 0-6 scale to a 0-10 scale.

It will become impossible to play once Mr. X starts stalking you because the only way you know he is near is with sound.

@lizzylynngarcia

I could leave this tweet from @lizzylynngarcia as the entirety of the review for Resident Evil 2. The fact that the game becomes virtually unplayable very early on for deaf/hoh players qualifies it as a complete failure in accessibility. But it’s worth exploring a few other things, I suppose, so here we go:

Leon walking in a dark gas station convenience store, holding a flashlight.

Right off the bat, the deaf/hoh inclusion is lacking. You’re introduced to how Leon discovers what’s happening in Raccoon City in the above image. He enters a gas station and follows some scary and suspicious noises. There is absolutely no visual representation of sound, so the impact and immersion of the game is pretty much nonexistent for deaf/hoh folks.

Leon and Claire, separated by a locked chain-link gate, talking.

Then there’s the dialogue. It’s good enough. The size is okay (though size choices are always preferable). Since this is such a dark game, contrast isn’t really a problem for legibility very often. But there are no speaker labels, so it’s anybody’s guess who is saying what.

Audio options menu.

There are the standard helpful audio options, including sliders for SFX, background music, and voice, as well as a few toggles for other audio related stuff.

Close-up of Mr. X.

However, the problem of Mr. X—and all enemies—is a big one. The entire game revolves around being able to hear and anticipate enemies and if you can’t, you’ll find yourself dying quickly and often.

Bottom line: Unless you are patient enough to die repeatedly and rely on sheer luck alone, Resident Evil 2 is a hard pass for deaf/hoh players.

Below are the rest of the options menus for various other accessibility things:

Difficulty options menu.
Initial settings screen that appears upon first launching the game.
Display options menu.
Controls options menu.
Controller layout.

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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

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