In the last two years I have lost my eyesight. Maybe it’s just a natural side effect of being in your 30s. Or maybe over a year of staring at the screen without a break during the lockdown was, in fact, bad for me. Whatever the reason, my once ancient vision is gone and now I am nearsighted.
It has given me a more in-depth look at the gaming industry’s ideas of short text, HUD elements, and other user interfaces. I’m lucky enough to be able to put on just a pair of glasses when something on the screen is too small for me to see, but other, like partially blind players, don’t have that option. They’re at the mercy of a game’s accessibility options, which don’t always account for every problem.
That’s my primary concern when I play hello infinityis multiplayer. The current UI of the beta is nothing short of a nightmare for those who already have trouble watching games. While the lack of a mode-specific playlist and features like a weak Battle Pass are the most criticized at the moment, additional accessibility tools should be the game’s primary concern.
a lot is happening on the screen during a hello infinity matching, You have radar, a health bar, equipment information, a score bar, a kill feed, and tips that appear on the screen when you die. It’s all pretty standard for a shooter these days, but it can strike a difficult balance. Developers want players to be as immersed in the game as possible, which often means reducing or eliminating HUD elements to allocate more screen time to the action. In fact, Halo Infinity’s UI menu allows players to turn off the HUD entirely.
As far as I can tell, it doesn’t allow me to do this, increase the size of some text or anything outside the menu font size. This solves some problems, but I still see myself in critical moments, even while wearing glasses.
To the game’s credit, developer 343 has included an impressive suite of accessibility options outside of it. Players can reduce the opacity on screen elements, which is a big help, or disable confusing visual ticks like motion lines that appear while dashing. I appreciate the work that has gone into both audio and visual accessibility overall, though this limited UI scaling makes the more puzzling to me.
I’ve essentially given up on using dime-sized radar entirely. I usually never know what gadgets I have or how much ammo I have. It’s not just the persistent HUD elements that are posing challenges for me. In the game’s Stockpile mode, a small white insignia is where the Power Cells are on the map. In my first round, I couldn’t see the symbols. They kept getting lost in the white rocks, forcing me to tell my friends about what I should be watching all round.
I wasn’t the only one who complained during my first six hours with the game. The people with whom I partyed also voiced similar confusion. Some teammates were confused about how to raise the arms, not seeing the swirl of semi-transparent text on the screen. When a game ends they are often shocked, not seeing what the score was despite being pinned to the bottom of the screen. I thought the problem might be less noticeable closer to a larger monitor, but a colleague who played on PC mentioned many of the same challenges when we played together. I shudder to think what a game will look like when it comes to phones via Steam Deck or Microsoft’s cloud gaming service.
Not every issue is about size. hello infinity Makes a whole bunch of esoteric UI decisions. The equipment menu is laid out as a battle pass-like rail that has to be scrolled. The in-game subtitle is tucked away just above the score bar, instead of using the wide open space above or below it. Strangest of all, the game allows players to choose their armor colo, meaning you can spot an enemy in friendly blue armor instead of red. The game’s solution is to add an (also) subtle outline around the characters.
there is Accessibility is telling in the community Which has stuck with me for years: “Accessible design is just good design.” hello infinity Currently facing a visual literacy problem that does not only affect people with disabilities. Unless you’re playing on a giant monitor, it’s hard to read visual information on the screen. Not everyone will have this problem, and it will lessen as people get comfortable with the language of the game, but there’s no shortage of letting players escalate things. It is not benefiting anyone; This is letting them see important information.
I have no doubt that more size adjustments will be available in the future. Microsoft is leading the charge on accessibility in gaming, as seen with games forza horizon 5, even hello infinity Goes above and beyond most modern games with its suite of equipment. Still, small text and UI are a frequent problem in a lot of games, and one that only gets worse as technology allows us to play games on any screen.
Let’s hope this is one of the reasons why Microsoft is labeling Surprise Launch a “beta.”