Deaf Game Review – Need for Speed: Heat

Courtney Craven2 minute read

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Need for Speed Heat Deaf Accessibility

While the game lacks size options for subtitles, the default comes with speaker labels and a background for text so contrast is never an issue. Helpful minimap icons provide a level playing field for hearing and Deaf/hoh players.

Score

9.3 out of 10

Game reviewed on Xbox One

A new Need for Speed is upon us and while getting deaf/hoh accessibility right in racing games is a fairly simple thing to do, EA brought vast improvements in that area of accessibility to Heat.

Most notable is the subtitle size.

Illustrating legible default subtitles size.

While it’s unfortunate that there are no size options for the subtitles, players do get a fairly decent default size and there is an always-on background for the text, as well as speaker names.

Not so great about the subtitles? Well, as you can see in the above image, there is often a lot of text on the screen and for players who don’t read as quickly as the characters speak, they may miss out on some of the dialogue and story. Also problematic (at least at launch, hopefully this will be fixed) is a fairly significant delay in subtitle display during in-game dialogue.

VOIP speech to text option for multiplayer.

Another nice feature is accessible chat for online mode. Deaf/hoh players have the option to toggle speech to text for VOIP during their online runs.

Illustrating the minimap icons for police pursuit.

Rounding out Heat’s nice Deaf/hoh accessibility options are those shown on the minimap. The red icons of police presence, including the type (car or helicopter), allow players to successfully flee the cops even if they don’t hear sirens nearby or the chopper overhead.

All in all, I think Heat marks the most Deaf/hoh friendly title in the series and players should have minimal to no issues enjoying the game.

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Courtney
CravenDirector of Operations and Workshop FacilitatorThey/Them

Founder of CIPT and Director of Operations and Business Development. They/Them courtney@caniplaythat.com

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