Review copy provided by Ubisoft.
Hello, my name is Victor and I am a gamer with degenerative myopia since I was born. To give some context I had to wear glasses when I was 2 years and as of today, I have lost more than 90% of my vision. I am not able to read any text for more than 10 years without using the windows magnifier at 700% to read in all games and more recently the narrator has become my favorite accessibility tool. This is my review on Ghost Recon Breakpoint from a low vision perspective.
In the Settings I find most useful the Image Calibration options. Brightness and contrast are the ones that make a big difference. Texture Quality, Shadow Quality, and anything that makes things sharper help too when your vision is low. I disable Motion Blur because it makes things blurrier and harder to notice. I disable Antialiasing too for the same reason.
There are issues with the Settings menu itself. Text in general is too small and has a grey text over a dark background which is hard to see. The maximum level of zoom of the magnifier did not help because the image became too pixelated. I can’t read or see the options’ descriptions. The mouse must be pointed at the option to display the description and so I can’t use Windows magnifier to read it.
Whenever I click on an option to change I have a hard time finding where the choices are. It is too confusing because every time a dropdown appears I don’t notice where it is so I have to look for it in order to focus my sight and read it. I miss the old left/right arrows to change my options instead of the dropdowns. The Large size is not big enough in some settings where an Extra Large would help me, like with enemy markers, but the heavy background really helps. Thanks to these options combined I can spot more things, especially the loot boxes and ammo. I love the minimap in this game, but I would also like it to have an option to stay always on because this type of minimap allows me to find enemies and navigate the world very well, whereas the compass at the top of the screen in other games is useless to me.
Interface options are extremely useful. I set the UI to full size and all backgrounds are all set to Heavy. This level of customization makes everything easier.
I can’t read icon descriptions on the map. The texts are in a floating window making it impossible to read with Windows magnifier as described before. However, by manually selecting the mission on the map I can see the mission activities shown in the list of selected activities.
This also happens in other areas of the UI. I can’t see and understand what I’m supposed to do in the Mission Objective Descriptions for Weapons and Attachments. The way the UI is displayed is so confusing for me.
I could also not use the Weapon/Mod store. There is no way to see the weapon stats other than the floating descriptions. I can’t read the weapon stats, name or type. However, in Loadout I can check the status of weapons and gear by right-clicking. I can also quickly see the Gear Score of the weapon/equipment in the numbers shown next to each one.
Ghost Recon Breakpoint is the perfect game to have a narrator. I was shocked that there is no narrator in this game when I need it the most, especially when the game has those kinds of descriptions. Just having it in menus like in The Division 2 would be a big help for players with low vision like me. If there was a way to make it work with the text in item descriptions / stats / mission objectives it would be amazing and remove many of the UI issues described before.
Once in-game I can see the interaction prompts or control reminders on the HUD but I can’t read or see which key to press. This also makes difficult to interrogate targets because I don’t know which enemy I need to grab or what key to use Interrogation. But even if they were bigger it wouldn’t help, only if it was narrated. Right now all I learn is through trial and error, so once I managed to figure things out like what key does what it felt good. I can see easily loot boxes from far and ammo thanks to the size and background. Interactions with NPCs like talking are okay because sound cues make me realize something popped up and with the camera not moving I can use Windows magnifier to check the interaction choices. For Lobby menu I have to use a screenshot and open in Paint to see the options to interact with my teammates like join, kick, mute. I prefer to go on foot or helicopter. Driving ground vehicles is not fine. It’s hard to see the road. I use the helicopter many times because it’s the best way to travel in the game for me.
It would be so nice if I can check the distance I am from the objective in the current selected activities list. I can’t see the distances displayed in the world.
Manual markers are very useful when I see a spotlight showing a camp. I don’t have the exact perception of where to land near camp so I make a manual marking and it becomes easy to know the exact location. This function facilitates virtually everything related to exploration. Whether it’s a box, a gun, a vehicle or a civilian with information I can go and know where everything is.
Gameplay was much much easier once I got Thermal Vision. It allows me to see very well, making the experience so much better it’s hard to express with words.
The Minimap is amazing. I hope you can do more minimaps like that. I usually use it to see the objective marker which I found the best way to guide me. However my teammates could have more contrast. I waste too much time finding my teammates. I tried to change “HUD Markers Teammates” to “Always” but it only has “Dynamic and Never”. It’s much easier to see them when the name and level of the player are displayed.
It’s much easier for me to see things when they are moving due to general low contrast. A lot of times characters are standing still making it very hard to see them, especially in situations when I need to take down one or two enemies that are holding a hostage. The way I found for me to stop killing hostages was by using the drones to do the work for me. Drones can only shoot enemies so it has become my favorite way to save civilians.
Also if I mark an enemy and leave the area without killing them they stay marked forever and end up confusing me a lot because it appears to me all the time. I think it should be nice to show the markers when we are closer or remove them. Sometimes I go to check them so I can kill them but they are like 2 km away.
It is very good when the enemies start talking when I get closer. That allows me to know where they are, so in that regard the sound cues work very well. Cars could do more noise, sometimes I don’t even hear a car coming but in general the sound is amazing! One of my biggest assistive tools is present in this game: hit sound markers. I can hear each bullet hitting my targets! I miss this in other games and having it here makes all the difference.
Being able to change from 1st and 3rd person view is just perfect! The player Ping (Aim+Q) could blink to be easier to see it. I have to ask a lot of times to ping the direction for me but I see it most of the time.
Text-to-speech is not working for me. It’s stuttering all the time. I could not hear what my teammates said to me even once. Couldn’t make the Speech-to-Text work either. It never recognized my voice. Only voice chat works well.
I am a big fan of Stealth and shooter games and Breakpoint is a blast to me.
Unfortunately, there are many barriers between me and the game. I had difficulty in practically everything related to UI. The descriptions of missions are hard to read so understanding what I have to do is not possible for me, even with them selected I don’t see the visual markers for targets. For example when you have to kill a specific target, destroy a truck… I don’t see those markers but when someone indicates me when playing co-op I can do it fine because my teammates tell me. Also the UI needs some work because I didn’t even know it was there like character customization, weapons customization. Grey over dark grey isn’t a good choice for the lack of contrast. This could be fixed with a high contrast mode for UI or narrator.
Overall Ghost Recon Breakpoint is an amazing game that can give you a solid experience when things work. As I mentioned before the minimap and sounds work better for me in this game than in others. Thanks to the minimap I can spot enemies with relative ease and thanks to the sounds I know what is going on around me (helicopter approaching, being about to be spotted by enemies, hit / miss enemies when I shoot…). I find my way around issues. For example to avoid killing civilians I shoot the air, the civilians crouch and I can spot the enemies better using thermal vision.
Although it is painful to read in the game and find out how to do a certain action, the game, on the other hand, there tools to guide me around the world, making me feel immersed and move on.
Victor is a gamer with very low vision who is passionate about game accessibility. When he is not glued to the PC, he spends his days with his dog on long walks in green and beautiful places. Trying to improve every day in order to contribute as much as possible with the accessibility community. You can contact him on Twitter at @VictorAndre87