As many of you who follow my work will know, I try not to cover Ubisoft games where possible. In the summer of 2020 it came to light that there was a serious abuse problem within Ubisoft, perpetuated by upper management, which in the year since Ubisoft has failed to properly address. It’s why I have stopped doing traditional reviews of Ubisoft games.
However, it’s undeniable that Ubisoft is becoming a leading force in the video game industry right now when it comes to software based accessibility. Disabled players don’t always have a lot of options for games that are playable for them, and as such I recognise that there is value in reporting on accessibility news when it exists for Ubisoft games. As such, my current approach is to discuss Ubisoft games on this show, but with the caveat that I recommend people read up on the abuse allegations against the company.
So today, on Access-Ability, we’re going to go over the accessibility settings coming later this year to Far Cry 6. We’re going to talk about the settings confirmed for the game, who they help, and why it’s so important we know about these settings months ahead of the game’s release.
On first boot of Far Cry 6, players will apparently be met by a series of selectable presets and quick start accessibility options. These options are not all of the game’s accessibility settings, but they’re enough to help disabled players jump quickly into being able to play.
Much like 2020’s The Last of Us 2, Far cry 6 will feature disability presets dedicated to players with colour based, cognitive, motor, hearing, and vision based disabilities. These presets will tweak a number of common settings, but can be customised if you find that you don’t need every setting offered by the preset.
Far Cry 6 supports menu narration, making use of your console of device’s system narration.
Players can toggle subtitle size, as well as other common subtitle settings. You can have a background behind subtitles, turn on direction indicators for where a given speaker is, see speaker tags for who is speaking, and set up subtitles for sounds happening in game which are not spoken text, such as an explosion or a gunshot.
On a similar note, the User Interface and fonts in Far Cry 6 can all have their sizes increased.
For players with visual disabilities, you can set Far Cry 6 to place outlines around enemies and items, to make them easier to see clearly as distinct from their surroundings.
For motion sickness prone players, motion based visual effects, such as the camera swaying when the character is drunk, can be turned off. Players can also turn off camera shake, and full screen effects.
Additionally for motion sick players, Far Cry 6 offers an adjustable FOV slider, and the ability to lock the framerate to something stable rather than variable.
For players with motor control difficulties, or those needing alternative control schemes, Far Cry 6 offers full control remapping, options to alter how toggles, holds, and repeat presses work in game, alternative options for how to sprint in game, left handed player focused controls, one handed control presets, a no stick presses mode, a holdless mode, aim assist, aim lock on, auto steering, and the option to turn quick time events into a single button press.
The game will feature two difficulty modes, story mode and action mode.
Players can customise the HUD in game, reducing clutter if they find that distracting, or adding additional elements if that would be useful.
By clicking the right stick during gameplay, players can enable voice over, which will narrate every in game item or ui element you point your cursor at, with options for custom voices, speaking speaks, and volumes.
Lastly, the game features Tobii Eye Tracking support, allowing players to rotate the in game camera by rotating their head, aim based on gaze, direct “amiigos” via gaze, and more.
All of these accessibility settings sound really promising, and continue a trend of Ubisoft producing really robust accessibility options in all of their major titles. But, perhaps more interestingly, we know about all of these settings almost four months ahead of the game’s release. This is very unusual for any game developer, and is a really welcome change.
A few weeks back on this channel, I posted a video, linked in the description, all about the importance of video game developers and publishers not treating accessibility settings news as surprise reveals, to be trotted out mere days before release. Ubisoft is one of the few companies acting on this advice. By providing this information months ahead of release, disabled players are able to determine if they can play a game ahead of release, meaning they know if they should get excited to play it, or hold their excitement back cautiously.
As I said at the start of this video, I have a lot of issues with Ubisoft’s handling of last summer’s abuse allegations against management staff, and I do not review their video games or share general news about their announcements, but Far Cry 6 is the latest example of they pulling it out the park in terms of accessibility offerings, something I would be doing disabled viewers a disservice by ignoring.
While I’m in a position where I feel able to boycott most of Ubisoft’s software, not every gamer is, and for many disabled gamers this level of accessibility support is vital to getting to play video games. I may not praise Ubisoft a lot, but this is one area that other developers could stand to learn from them. Our industry would be better if every major publisher had this level of accessibility in their games.