Gears 5, the latest Coalition-developed game in the long-running Gears of War series, launched this week (or will do so next week outside of Xbox Game Pass) with a refreshing number of accessibility features baked directly into the game on day one.
It’s a move that the developer says aims to make the Xbox One and Windows title a “useable experience for as many players as possible,” and follows the actions of a growing number of developers that have included robust accessibility menus in their own games.
Those features include colorblind options that cover protanopia, deuteranopia, and tritanopia, toggles for camera shake and button taps, text to speech and speech to text for voice communications, gory and mature content filtering, subtitle settings, font sizes for some UI elements, and other options. A more robust list can be found on the Gears 5 website.
Gears 5 also offers support for Xbox and Windows 10’s Narrator for some menus and UI elements in the game. The studio notes that support currently only aids with navigation to the “most vital screens and social experiences” in Gears 5, but that it is “actively working on improving its accessibility offerings and will strive to ensure the experience is improved in further updates or titles.”
Recent games like Marvel’s Spider-Man, Shadow of the Tomb Raider, God of War, and Celeste have all likewise included a variety of accessibility features aimed at giving players the option to adjust elements of the game in a way that best works for them.
Organizations like AbleGamers, meanwhile, have also started their own initiatives like Accessible.Games’ APX Portal to give developers the tools and knowledge needed to build accessibility into the design of their games from day one. Xbox has also worked toward creating more accessible experiences of its own accord with its Xbox Adaptive Controller, a highly customizable controller that works with the console itself as well as other platforms like Google Stadia.