Indivisible Deaf/HoH Accessibility
- Visual Representation of Dialogue - 8
- Visual Representation of Sound - 0
- Visual Cues - 5
- Visually Engaging - 10
Game reviewed on Xbox One
Indivisible is a hand-drawn action RPG platformer from Lab Zero, creators of Skullgirls. The art and character designs take inspiration from various cultures and mythologies. The game, which recently came to Xbox’s GamePass, follows Ajna, a young girl who finds herself seeking revenge for her father after his death. From there, a mysterious power awakens within her. The charming setting and story find Ajna meeting a variety of people, some of which join your party and help you defeat the world’s enemies. With her new power, Ajna can absorb and manifest the people she meets during her journey to fight alongside her and help her save the world.
Indivisible is a game that I have been excited about since its crowdfunding campaign was announced. When a demo was released in 2015, I played the hell out of it on the PlayStation 4. But to clarify, I did not have the medical conditions I do now that I did then and as much as I wanted to play it, I had to stop. I mostly say this to preface the fact that I only played about five hours of the game, now on my Xbox. However, in regards to my hearing, Indivisible, or at least as much as I was able to play, is a playable game.
The game starts with the subtitles turned on and part of this is because while there is some voice acting, much of the dialogue is only conveyed through subtitles. Additionally, the subtitle box is a distinct enough color that it stands out from the backgrounds of the game.
Not only does the box clearly state who is the speaker, but the animation also highlights the person speaking. It offers a lot of clarity. Players can choose to turn off the dialogue auto-advance which forces the dialogue to move forward with the voice acting. By turning this off, players can read subtitles at their own pace which is a nice touch considering Ajna, as well as a few other characters, naturally speak quickly as part of their quirky personalities. Outside of the subtitles, the game does not rely on sound cues during any of the platforming or the unique real-time combat.
That being said, there are places Indivisible could absolutely stand to improve. The subtitles are fairly small and I found myself having to sit pretty close to my TV to see them. While not as small as Outer Worlds before its update, they are still tiny. Additionally, there is no option to make them larger or change the subtitles or box background color which are options you now commonly see on games like The Division 2 and Far Cry: New Dawn. Indivisible also does not have full-captioning. None of the grunts, noises of struggle, or environmental sounds are shown. In a game like Indivisible, it is not a huge loss but what is a loss is that all of the quips and dialogue that happens during combat are not subtitled either. People with worse hearing than me may miss the funny quips characters throw at enemies during the special attacks. That being said, none of these flaws makes the game unplayable for hard of hearing or deaf players, just less enjoyable.
At the end of the day, my issues with Indivisible are not with its deaf/hoh accessibility. Fans of RPGs and particularly RPGs with turn-based combat, though this combat moves much faster than traditional turned-based RPGs, should absolutely grab this gem.