Review copy provided by Ubisoft.
Far Cry games have always been filled with action, exploration and charismatic villains. All those three elements I like, but open world games can be challenging due to accessibility issues. For a Low Vision gamer, the thrill of a tropical island full of enemies can become a nightmarish experience very fast for many reasons. Ubisoft faces a similar challenge with Far Cry 6, and this in this Low Vision review I give my opinion on whether they succeeded it or not.
When running the game for the first time you need to do the initial configuration. The first configuration screen is called Accessibility, to enable or disable Menu Narration, Colorblind Mode and five different Accessibility presets: Vision, Cognitive, Motor, Motion and Hearing. When you enable one of these presets it will enable some accessibility features related to each of them.
When this screen is shown, the text to speech reads “Press L key to enable narration of on-screen text and menus”. Once you press the L key or Left Trigger, menu narration is enabled. Like in previous Ubisoft titles, this helps a lot to adjust the initial settings and make menu navigation comfortable from the very beginning. The fact that I can enable this feature just by pressing a key, makes it much more comfortable as I don’t need to look through menus to find it. It’s a big win for discoverability and helps with awareness.
So, the first option called we have Menu Narration, it should be called Narration Voice, because you can select from two different voices, Speaker 1 (female) and Speaker 2 (male).
For Colorblind players, you can turn it on / off. Yeah, it may sound less than expected but wait until we get into Colors.
After that we just have the option to enable the rest of the previously mentioned presets.
The second initial configuration screen is to adjust Brightness and HDR.
Next is Audio and Interface. Here we can adjust only the Master volume, Dynamic Range from Full, Medium and Night. This affects the sound range a general volume, with Night having less difference between louder and quieter sounds. Full is where is where everything felt more clear and louder. On this screen you can also enable Subtitles, change the Subtitles size and enable Sound Subtitles. Then you can change the Audio and Subtitles language. Finally, on this screen in Audio and Interface we can enable or disable Enemy and Pickups outlines, change UI and Font Scaling between Normal and Increased.
The last initial adjustments screen is Motion and Controls. I just want to highlight three options in this menu. Like always, I turned off Motion Blur. You can change Camera Shake from Minimal and Full. I didn’t experience any motion sickness because it is in fact minimal. We can also enable / disable Poison and Drunk Effects, I set it to off because they cause blurry effects that block my vision. Then we have some keyboard basic settings and mouse invert axis.
Adjusting your game’s settings can be very easy in Far Cry 6. You can customize your game mostly with the options available in the different presets, but there are some additional options that I feel important to mention later on each of the common categories, Gameplay, Audio, Video, Controller, Keyboard and Mouse, HUD, Third Party.
Vision is the very first preset, which makes total sense because if you are visually disabled, you want to easily access those settings.
The first setting is the Menu Narration, which like I mentioned before is to choose the narration voice. We can select from two different voices, Speaker 1 (female) and Speaker 2 (male). Adjustments for the Menu Narration Speed from Slow, Normal and Fast and the Menu Narration volume from one to a hundred. We can change the UI and Font Scaling from normal and increased, to increase menus, prompts, tutorials, in game text and HUD elements like the mini map, markers on enemies, etc. You can turn on or off the enemy outline and choose its color. You can select between nineteen different colors. The same works for the Pickup Outlines and their color. Enabling these will display colored lines around items and enemies making them easier to see. The next options are to turn on / off Subtitles and adjust their size from Small, Normal and Large and also to customize the background to improve the readability. We can change Reticle Thickness between normal and bold. I have it set to bold because the aiming reticles are easier to see that way. I also disable Reticle Sway because the aiming reticle will stay steady while aiming because I don’t have to force my eyes that much. Moving forward to the next option, we have Aiming Assists. You can turn this feature on or off. You can also enable the Lock on aim and its duration, value from zero to ten. This determines the amount of time the lock-on will stay on an enemy when using a controller.
Next, it’s Hearing. Here we can adjust the Master, Radio Music, Dialog, Score Music and Sound Effects Volume sliders. You can individually adjust the volume from zero to a hundred. I have both Radio and Score Music set to fifteen and the rest at a hundred. Then we have some additional Subtitles’ settings, choose rather to have colors or not in names.
Moving on to the next preset is Motor. I have Repeated Presses turned off and Camera Shake set to minimal like mentioned earlier. In Keyboard and Mouse, we have toggles for Aim Type and Weapon Wheel Interactions and enable or disable the Driving and Aim assist. In Controller we can adjust the Vibration from zero to a hundred. We have options for the Trigger Effect Function, Trigger Effect Intensity and Adaptive Triggers. I’ll talk about this feature in the gameplay section of this review.
In Motion we have some previously mentioned settings and two additional ones, Poisoned and Drunk Effects, and Motion Blur. Both, I always turn off when I’m able to make everything as clear as it can be.
The last preset is Colors, here you can change colors for everything. Well, this is something that really needs to become a standard thing. We can customize in-game elements colors. Main colors, where you can change all red highlights into white for example. These main colors are separated in three groups, Red Group, that communicates danger, restricted airspace zones, enemy markers, low health, low ammo, death info and failed objectives. The Blue Group represents info about allies, important locations, rank updates, challenges and tutorials. The Yellow Groups is for updates for operations, activities, challenges, locations, warnings, search areas and supremos. This groups also changes the weapon wheel selection. Yeah, it doesn’t matter if you are or not colorblind, you can just change the color that fits best for you. You can change the enemy laser color and it will change the color of the enemy laser when they aim at you. We can choose a color for the Reticle while aiming your gun, and choose a different color for the Reticle while you aim at a valid target. I personally have the Reticle color in yellow and when aiming at an enemy it switches to red color. This color change helps to know when I’m aiming at something. You can also change the PG240x color meter. You can change colors of the hot, neutral and cold temperatures shown right next to the mini map. You can also change Subtitle colors such as Player name color, friend names color and enemy names color. These are the colors of the speaker names in subtitles. Well, this is my favorite part, changing the enemy outline color and pickup outline colors. At first, I had the pickup outlines set to white, but that color blended with the scenario and I was not able to see it, so I changed it to yellow. I also set the enemy outline to yellow. Finally, we can switch the road color and GPS Path color shown on the mini map. Like I said earlier, this level of customization is so important, because consistency is something very hard to get when a game has so many different environment types. Being able to take care of that myself is just perfect!
Outside of the presets settings we can adjust a few more options in some categories.
In Gameplay we can set the Auto-steer between manual and automatic. If you set this to automatic, the vehicle will automatically follow the road while we are aiming. Automatic Change Seat, this allows you to enter a vehicle from any door, you will automatically change to the driver seat. Disable Autodrive While Aiming, as the option name says, you will not be able to use Autodrive while aiming your gun. I have the previous options enabled because Auto-Steer is very important to stay on the road and the automatically change seat is just convenient. The Disable auto drive while aiming is set to off because I need a lot of driving support, especially because the game does not have a third person view of the vehicles. And the last one you can give some attention if you’re thinking of playing cooperative mode, is the ability to turn on / off Co-op Friendly Fire. My friends will thank you for that.
In Video – Color you can adjust brightness, contrast and gamma. You can change values from zero to a hundred. In this game I have everything set to fifty.
Under Controller – General you can enable the Trigger effect function. This setting is to set on or off trigger vibration while shooting or taking damage. Then you can set a value of the trigger effect intensity from zero to a hundred. You can also enable the Adaptive triggers, but I still not sure what it does, especially because I play using mouse and keyboard all the time.
In HUD – Elements, you can turn on or off all elements of the game individually. In case one of more of them are not useful to you or if you’re getting overwhelmed by all of it you can simply customize the way you want.
Pressing New game, you have two difficulty options, story difficulty or action. I personally like to play in default difficulty, so I chose action and pressed continue.
While in control of the character the current objective shown on the top left side of the screen is narrated, in other words, every new objective you may have, it will be read to you. I mean, the fact that I don’t need to open the magnifier every two minutes to read or remember my goal is just wonderful. Also, the tutorials shown at the beginning are narrated too. A brief explanation is read to you and the key you must press to learn more.
On top of that, from the very beginning you will notice that control prompts are narrated too every time they appear. This is a real step up from Ubisoft, because this has been a huge issue for visual impaired players that can only get this information by using this narration feature. In the first portion of the game, reaching the objective was quite easy. The in-world objective markers helped a lot. These in-world icons have a blinking effect that makes it easier to find.
At other point, our objective is to find supplies in the beach. Well, like I mentioned before, I had the Item Pickup color set to white, and I spent some time trying to find the supplies, so I changed it to yellow. After this change, it was much easier to spot the items.
Moving forward I got to a path and heard some enemies, so I crouched and immediately saw the enemy outlines. When I approached the soldier the prompt “F key, machete kill” is narrated, letting you know that you’re in range in case you don’t notice the prompt visually. Narrated prompts and tutorials really made an impression on me. What is a huge problem in most games became something natural, making the gameplay flow.
With the Far Cry series being open world games, it’s just natural to be concerned about how accessible it will be to get from point A to point B. The mini map has good contrast and nice colors, especially to identify enemies and how great it is to have a yellow GPS path, but unfortunately it is too small. At some point I quit using it because I will always have to spend more energy than I want. I wish I could make the mini map as big as I need. If the objective marker is not in front of me, I prefer to look at the edges of the screen to find the in-world marker. Finding in-world objective markers sometimes is difficult during daytime or in places with similar color, as the marker blends with the background. But I can always find a shadow, a dark place or an object to increase contrast.
One of my favorite features in this game is Auto-Drive. Seriously it’s awesome, because it will not just take you to your objective, but you can also get there fast! Even with it enabled you can accelerate and turn to the left and right. If you slow down, it leaves auto-drive mode. If you find yourself going too fast, just stop accelerating.
Missions with multiple objectives are not an issue in Far Cry 6. When having multiple markers, we just need to manually mark one of them on the map, this function always give priority to the player’s marker. By doing this I’m able to follow one at the time, because it’s hard to follow multiple objectives at the same time when you can’t see the distance numbers below the objective icon. Auto-Drive can also help you to deliver important materials when stealing trucks, it will automatically set a root to the nearest vehicle pickup area. I forgot about where to deliver those trucks so, I appreciate having the path set to me automatically.
The only thing I miss from other games is the in-world GPS line to follow, which helped me so much in games like Far Cry 5.
When there are vehicles in front of us, our vehicle will ram through other vehicles automatically. This auto-drive feature added so much freedom in my game, I just need to pick where to go.
During a mission, arriving at your objectives can also be very satisfying, as it is common to play the cutscene just by getting close to a person you need to talk to for example, so I didn’t find myself wondering around much and after the intense gameplay I could just relax and follow the story.
The Map has good colors and contrast. I can identify that there are icons there, and some of them, I can only guess what they are. To know what each one means, I need the Narration feature. I think the only feature that I miss is the ability to filter the icons by type, so I can navigate through them even better.
When exploring the world, it’s very important to use your phone’s camera to mark enemies, locations, items, animals, vehicles, etc. While inside hostile areas, it’s essential that you mark them using your camera. Enemies behind walls are colored with the color you set for the Red Group, red by default. When they are exposed, it shows the outline only. This way when an enemy has half their body exposed, I can see the difference so it’s perfect to know exactly where to hit them.
I really like how the incoming grenade indicator is used to alert from Bomb Trap Wires, and I can also disarm them using audio cues. Oh, did I mention that Chorizo is your best scanner? He can highlight a lot of items for you.
I have so many troubles with alarms and cameras, they are so hard to see. I personally use a method to ensure I keep track on them, but I can only mark one at the time. Basically, I use the phone to scan the area, and I mark the alarm when my character alerts me about it through dialogue. It’s not ideal but it’s kind of cool that I have another way of tracking the alarm. Unfortunately, sometimes I get too close to the alarm, and someone suspects my presence. When I back off, I lose sight of the alarm and most of the time also the location. Well, good thing we still have guns in any case, right?
To be completely fair, I didn’t have any issues during combat. Enemies are always communicating with each other, giving orders, announcing reloads, gun sound effects, giving away easily their position. Like I mentioned before, visual cues are great and helps me a lot during some wild moments. I liked the awareness indicators a lot, I can see them even in chaotic situations.
Far Cry 6 has tons of audio cues and audio design that can really create an immersive experience. The game has different sound cues for completing objectives, audio cue when collecting new gear, failing objectives, getting in and out of mission areas, entering hostile areas. Also, when using your phone you have sound cues when you discover new locations, mark items and enemies, animals and a unique sound cue when aiming at a vehicle. You also get information about high value enemy targets such as engineers, medics and mission targets through dialogue. This one is great, especially when our character tells us about the tank we are aiming at, I can grab it and blow everything up. I just need to listen to that cue and run at the vehicle I want.
Disarming bomb trap wires is easy to spot not only because of the great visual cue. We can hear it too, it’s like a Tic Tac sound and once close enough, the control prompt can be heard. We can hear the alarms and cameras sound effects which can help me find them but depends on how much noise the current environment has. There was a place where I had to find two items to unlock a loot box. To find these items I had to follow the sound of wind chimes, well, it was cool!
During combat the audio cues play a big part of it. Like I mention before, enemies are always talking, announcing, making noises, telling exactly what they are doing. At the beginning when we use the very first guns, it is hard to hear the hit confirmation sound but once get a suppressor it helps a lot. That’s why the Nail Gun is my favorite gun so far. Silent, deadly and I can hear the confirmation sound better than with any other gun. I also like the fact that I can hear this sound cue well when using shotguns. When you land a headshot the hit sound is different, which doesn’t just give me information on the result but also makes me feel good about my skill.
Menu Navigation and Text-To-Speech
Overall, menus in Far Cry 6 have excellent contrast, with outlines around selected elements and font size is good for me when using magnifier but navigating in menus using text to speech is just wonderful. When navigating through the options, narration reads the name of the option, current value, controls to change the value and finally a brief description.
Checking gear / weapons stats is perfect! We can hover over a weapon, the narrator reads the name of the weapon, weapon quality, weapon type, weapon stats, followed up with a comparison with the current equipped weapon, Mods equipped and lastly the command to customize or equip. We can also check every element individually by pressing the customization key, F by default. And we can simply hover the cursor on each one of them to check their stats quicker and individually, so you can compare weapons in a more efficient way.
Navigating in the map using text to speech is also such a great thing to have. All icons on the map are narrated, prompts to fast travel are narrated as well. I mean, I can navigate through all menus with no barriers at all. If I must complain about something, I will say that I wish the item’s prices could be read before going all the way to the end of each item to know the price. This Narration features works almost everywhere in the game. The only places where it does not work are in the collection menu and while using the weapon wheel.
Like I said right at the beginning of this review, TTS reads prompts and tutorials. Prompts such as machete kill, press key to climb, use slider, collect are some of the many prompts in the game. I want to highlight that when we need to collect resources like scraps, gasoline, metal, or pesos we don’t know how much we collect but at least we know what materials we are acquiring and having an idea of what materials we are getting for a specific weapon or gear helps. It also reads all documentsyou find, allowing me to get all the lore and tiny pieces of the story.
In case you forget your current objective, you can press the T key by default to hide the objective, then press it again for it to show again and it will be read to you. You can use this in other ways too, like for example to make narration stop when you open the phone camera and it reads the control prompts.
Like previous Ubisoft titles, Far Cry 6 delivers such an accessible experience. The great audio design, visual cues and level of customization allows you to play the game the way you want. Giving the player the ability to customize colors for in-game elements was such a brilliant idea! Players can find the best colors for them. Ubisoft keeps stepping up their game with new features such as the narrated prompts and tutorials making the first contact with the game so much more comfortable and fairer to me. Accessing all game content using text to speech feature made the entire thing so much better. No unnecessary vision energy wasted in things that only make you lose time and energy and takes away the joy of playing. And talking about joy, the auto-drive and objective markers are key features that bring joy to the experience, removing the barriers of navigating the world. Just as you need to free Yara from a cruel dictator, I feel like I was free to play in my own way thanks to all these carefully designed features.
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