Far Cry 6’s accessibility features fall short of heaven


The problem with writing accessibility reviews is, well, they’re accessibility reviews. We’re doing our best, but no single person can adequately assess what multiple teams have designed for a growing audience. And as games get more complex, new problems arise that need to be solved with new innovations, while we haven’t answered the old ones yet. Far Cry 6’s approach to accessibility highlights both the industry’s radical strides toward inclusion and its frustrating current pitfalls.

Before we dive into the settings and gameplay, it’s worth noting that Far Cry 6 greets you with a warning regarding the game’s epilepsy triggers and a warning that it includes potentially upsetting topics, such as drug use. and addiction. The Far Cry series is known for its mature themes, and age and content classification is industry standard, so the specificity of these warnings makes a strong first impression. Last December, CD Projekt Red rushed to add a seizure warning to Cyberpunk 2077 after receiving backlash for not providing one. While I’m not epileptic and none of my trauma triggers are listed, it’s reassuring to know that I won’t be caught off guard as a new Far Cry player. This told me that Ubisoft’s development teams were aware of the varied user experiences from the start.

Indeed, Far Cry 6, like other Ubisoft titles in recent years, is committed to standardizing accessibility and disability. After a nice montage of credits, I am presented with Ubisoft’s promised list of extended parameters to adapt to my preferences. Most are accessibility related, but graphics and gaming settings also flash before you reach the main menu. By placing in-depth subtitle settings next to the sliders for gamma and brightness, so they’re front and center when you launch the game, there’s a refreshing feeling that accessibility isn’t an add-on. for marginalized players; it’s at the heart of the game’s design.

And when Ubisoft said the list of settings was long, they meant it. I should devote paragraphs of this review to list and discuss all of them, some of which are not relevant to my disability, so please me and yourself by checking them out here.

Highlights include: text-to-speech menu narration and support for Tobii eye trackers; two difficulty modes, Story and Action; the directional captioning option introduced in Far Cry New Dawn; color options for the outlines of enemies and objects; color blind modes; aim assist and locked aim; a mode without stick presses; the ability to map two different keys to the same command; and compatibility with the on-screen keyboard (OSK), which I’ll look at later.

Far Cry 6’s approach to accessibility shows both the industry’s sweeping advancements and its pitfalls

Oh, and while it’s not a dedicated accessibility feature, automatic driving is one of my favorite features. No mouse profile change between walking and vehicle sections for me, nor missing out on beautifully designed environments using fast travel.

The sheer personalization is overwhelming. Fortunately, the user interface is easy to navigate, and the settings are grouped into five different presets – auditory, visual, cognitive, movement, and motor – that you can dive into to fine-tune the tuning. In addition, the mouse, keyboard and gamepad controls can be completely reconfigured and are divided into subsections: general, on foot, transport (vehicle, horse, helicopter, plane, angelito), menus (menus , map, photo mode) and mini-games (cock fights, dominoes).

Automatic driving in Far Cry 6

My only gripe about the UI is that the font size used for option descriptions is small and fixed. That’s quite an oversight, especially for a company that has been praised for their readable caption size options in the past.

When Far Cry 6’s accessibility options work in concert with its gameplay, it’s a dream

The UI font size isn’t the only inconsistency. Since I can press “return” or “escape” on menu screens with my mouse, I’m surprised that I can’t do the same with notes or tutorial cards. I am using an app that connects my iPhone keyboard to my laptop.

And it seems like Far Cry 6’s Story difficulty swings a lot between bombarding me with enemies or giving me so little that I can stand still during firefights without being in real danger. I only die when the game pits me against too many enemies to count, or when I try to play exclusively using the onscreen keyboard.

Predefined motor accessibility in Far Cry 6

Surprisingly, the onscreen keyboard causes me the most frustration during my time with Far Cry 6. Because I have a degenerative disease, spinal muscular atrophy (SMA), I rely on OSK. It’s my favorite way to play. Unfortunately, action and shooter games traditionally lock your cursor onto camera movement, and therefore are incompatible with OSK. This is the reason why I had not touched an action game until 2019, when a friend told me about the compatibility of Dragon Age with the OSK, nor a shooter until in 2020, when I could risk buying a remappable gaming mouse that might not suit my grip.

Far Cry 6 is technically OSK compatible, as it allows you to unlock your cursor and remap camera movement. So far, so good. But while Ubisoft’s goal was to remove the barrier to entry for players like me, it unfortunately failed. Anytime I hover over the OSK while my cursor is mapped to camera movement, I get stuck staring at the ground. If I map camera movement to my keyboard, I am unable to follow enemies. Using the OSK to remap keyboard commands also registers as mouse clicks, so unless I remap the shot to another key, I pull every time I click the OSK. At one point, while trying to figure all this out, I accidentally injure my poor alligator companion Guapo.

Finally, I gave up. I’m still playing in windowed mode to make it easier to switch my mouse profiles, so I keep the OSK open and use it to open the game’s menus, but it’s clear that OSK compatibility isn’t properly built into it. Far Cry 6 FPS gameplay.

Reading Notes in Far Cry 6

I wouldn’t be so disappointed with the flawed OSK compatibility if it wasn’t representative of my experience with Far Cry 6’s accessibility tools and the gaming industry’s approach in general: torturously close to the radical inclusion, but still so far away. I’m not upset because Ubisoft did a bad job, I’m upset because their progress makes Far Cry 6’s remaining inaccessibility all the more blatant. When Far Cry 6’s accessibility options work in concert with its gameplay, it’s a dream. I don’t have a hearing impairment, but the directional captions combined with the stealth detection system make it easier for me to react in combat and become a natural part of the gameplay. This is accessibility.

I can’t recommend Far Cry 6 for people with disabilities (too bad, as cooperative play allows speech-to-text communication), but I recommend gamers and game developers to consider its accessibility and consider what’s possible. After all, every revolution builds on those that came before it.

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