Forza Horizon 5’s Upcoming Sign Language Feature Is A Win For Accessibility

In a fantastic step forward in accessibility, Playground Games is adding American and British Sign Language to Forza Horizon 5 cutscenes soon.

Forza Horizon 5 is proving to be stunning in almost every way. We gave it a 9/10 and described it as a “delight to explore” and “the best game in the series. With a stunning depiction of Mexico, it’s proving to be a true delight for gamers and racing fans alike.

But the technical prowess of Forza Horizon 5 isn’t the only area where it’s excelling. The racer is also proving to be one of the most accessible games to have released this year. The developer released a short video highlighting some of the key accessibility features, and one of them is the inclusion of full ASL and BSL for cutscenes.

YouTube video

Enabling the ASL or BSL setting will bring up an FMV overlay that fully signs the dialogue in each of the cutscenes. This is especially helpful to those who are hard of hearing. While subtitles are one alternative, they can’t always convey the exact tone of voice. That’s where the nuance of sign language comes in as it can provide more content to the way characters are speaking.

In addition, sign is a first language for plenty of members of the deaf community. Reading a huge chunk of quick subtitle text can be tricky for those that aren’t used to the language. Sign language bridges that language gap a bit further, making the game that bit more accessible.

Credit: Playground Games

More of this, please!

It’s a massive step forward in accessibility for games. As far as we know, there aren’t any other games that have opted to include fully signed cutscenes – most certainly not in the AAA gaming space. Hopefully, other big budget studios will take note of Playground’s advancements and start to consider ASL implementation in future releases. It certainly bodes well for the upcoming Fable reboot which is also being developed by Playground Games.

In general, plenty of other studios are starting to take accessibility features more seriously. Far Cry 6 also did a respectable job, as did the recent release of Psychonauts 2. There’s currently no word on when the sign language update is coming to Forza Horizon 5, but the developers promise “soon”.

Will you find the sign language accessibility features helpful in Forza Horizon 5? Let us know across our social channels.

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Featured Image Credit: Playground Games