Forza Motorsport will make serious strides in terms of its accessibility when it launches later this year.
Turn 10's upcoming sim racer has been confirmed to have revolutionary features that will aid its accessibility.
Forza Motorsport has always pushed the boundaries, but these changes will open the game up to more players than ever before.
So, what exactly can we expect when Forza Motorsport releases worldwide later this year?
Forza Motorsport Accessibility
When we talk about accessibility in video games, we're normally referring to how difficult it is or which consoles it's available on. Forza Motorsport, though, have really gone above and beyond when it comes to accessibility.
Being a blind video gamer is something that is incredibly difficult. Shutting your eyes and attempting to set a personal best around Suzuka is nigh-on impossible in most racing games, but Forza will buck this trend.
So, how have Turn 10 achieved this? Well, there are a few innovative features that make racing possible for blind players.
First is the steering guide, which pans the engine noise of your car to either the left or the right to keep you within the racing lines and out of the gravel. This isn't dissimilar to how bats use echolocation to navigate themselves around.
There are also track limit alerts, which sound an alert-like sound when you're at the edge of the circuit. If you drive a modern car, this is a bit like the accident-prevention warnings you might have experienced.
This is something that is entirely new in video games and can revolutionise the racing game genre in terms of blind accessibility. It'll be a leap into the unknown for gamers that aren't able to see at all or are partially-sighted.
As such, these settings can be adjusted to tailer the driver's preferences.
For example, the fastest way to navigate a circuit is to get as close, or slightly over, the line. As such, you can turn down the track limit alerts to allow you to get close to the edge of the circuit without being beeped at.
Forza Motorsport – Blind Driving Assists
To truly appreciate the level of effort that Turn 10 have put into Forza Motorsport when it comes to their Blind Driving Assists (BDA), you need to see the video they've produced.
Brandon Cole was born blind and works as an accessibility consultant for video game companies. Cole gives his input on how accessible games are to completely blind gamers.
Cole stated in the below video that "This is bringing the Triple-A racing genre to the blind community, to the fullest". Praise doesn't come much higher than that.
Something that isn't explicitly mentioned in the video is that it sounds like someone is narrating directions to the driver via a headset. If this is true, it's similar to how a co-driver reads pacenotes during a WRC event.
Gamers can also listen to a detailed description of the circuit they're about to drive around and hear a preview of the audio cues they can expect to hear throughout a lap.
The assists also extend to the gears if the gamers are wanting to drive using manual transmission.
One-touch driving & more
The accessibility in Forza Motorsport extends further than the blind and partially-sighted. There are also assists that will aid those with mobility and stamina disabilities too.
People with conditions such as these often have difficulty pressing multiple buttons at once and gripping the gaming controller. Keeping a consistent button pressure also makes it difficult for them to control the car as well as a fully able-bodied person.
Features such as automatic gear shifts are nothing new, but assists such as enhanced steering and braking assists will help no end. There are also new throttle and pit entry assists available too.
Players with impaired hearing will also be able to participate in multiplayer voice chats thanks to Text-to-Speech and Speech-to-Text communication being available in Forza Motorsport.
Contrast and Colourblindness assists are available in Forza Motorsport too. Backgrounds can also be fixed, to make it easier for users to read track maps.
For more articles like this, take a look at our Forza page.