Many returning Forza players were surprised when Forza Horizon 5 greeted them by name. The game pulls it from your Microsoft account so that it can properly say 'Hello'. However, for some trans players, this feature has led to the game deadnaming them - a painful experience.
"It sucked and it was jarring," Melody told me over Twitter. "You have a few mandatory bits to play before you can actually change it. I am not too familiar with the menus, but a lot of the customization is separated from the menu options, so I wasted a lot of time digging when it was elsewhere."
For new players, the game asks you for a name and nickname, but returning players don't get this chance.
"I was pretty shocked," one player, who asked to remain anonymous, told me. "I enjoyed the intro sequence and was having a lot of fun, but hearing the announcer call out my deadname completely blindsided me. I quit the game immediately and was close to just refunding it on Steam.
"I really wanted to play with my friends, so I cooled down a bit and spent an hour trying to figure out how to reset my save to remove any chance of it deadnaming me again. I just wanted to reset my save so my deadname wasn't on it. I changed my name in my Microsoft account to something it couldn't voice and tried playing the game again as normal after resetting my save."
Doing this led to the bug appearing. Now, the game calls them by the name of the last NPC they spoke to. "The game didn't handle it gracefully, I guess. Doesn't seem to affect gameplay at all, so I'm fine with it."
Forza Horizon 5 has implemented some great accessibility settings, and also included the option for players to be able to pick their pronouns, body type, and voice - its character creation system is what Cyberpunk 2077's promised to be. It's disappointing then that the potential for deadnaming was not considered when the greeting feature was implemented.
For the player who ended up restarting their game, it just takes the shine off it. "I'm really disappointed that they messed up something so basic but crucial to many people's enjoyment of the game."Next: Interview: Rockstar On Remastering Its Classic 3D GTA Games For A New Generation
Humans get a lot of flak in RPGs, but they shouldn't