Norms For Next-Gen: Customizable/Disable HUD Options

The next generation of consoles are still a few months away from release, and while we have seen some impressive multiplayer titles debuting already, it’s time we start setting some new standards as to what these next-gen games should feature by default.

Let’s face it, despite multiplayer existing for over a few decades now, things that should be standard by now just haven’t happened yet. This is where this new weekly (hopefully) piece comes in. Every week or so, we’ll be publishing a new article discussing and highlighting features that games should have by default as a norm for next-gen. In this first segment, we’ll be discussing game HUD. If there’s one thing I hate about most games today, it’s the lack of Heads Up Display options.

Why No/Limited HUD?

Why wouldn’t anyone want this as an option is a better question. First off, it gives players a choice than, rather forcing them to play in games that features no HUD by only playing modes related to ‘hardcore’ difficulties. For many, the HUD in most games just isn’t that attractive or is just plain distracting. Sometimes, you’ll want to look at something only to have a piece of the HUD in the way, while other times, you’re constantly being reminded by flashes occurring in the HUD (depending on the game of course). Other times we just want it gone for the sake of those gorgeous graphics.

In my fair opinion, I find having no HUD in a game to make it far more immersive than with one. We focus more on what’s around us, rather than what’s on us.

An example of this:

Can you imagine if this game (Journey) had a HUD? It could possibly ruin it!! Plus, it would make the environment a bit less interesting.

Here’s an example of Assassin’s Creed 3 with the HUD (image) and then with the HUD removed (video).

The game still looks good, but let’s see how much better it looks without the HUD.

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While some may prefer the HUD, the option to remove it is always a special touch nowadays that, at least on console, doesn’t happen as often as one would like.

Having a disabled HUD option also comes with its advantages. For starters, as shown above, it’s clean and really shows off a game for its gorgeous graphics. Along with this, you get more to your field of view, as in the HUD won’t block anything important such as an enemy in the distance or a collectible.

It’s also better for YouTubers and video makers in general. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had to work around a HUD because the lack of options. I remembered in Battlefield 3 (console version), before they had the option to have no HUD for custom games, that we had to work with the limited space. It’s annoying and takes too much time, along with getting too many shots to for the correct one. Options like these only make things easier for us.

For those who do like having the HUD, but at the same time don’t, developers could easily implement it in such a way that it’ll only appear after pressing a button. An excellent example of this would be the Dead Space series. It keeps players completely immersed in the dark atmosphere without any distracting interface, but if you do want to access it, a simple push will allow it to pop up.

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I know this isn’t something everyone wants, seeing that the HUD does have its advantage, but I truly believe that this should be an OPTION in every single game.

In next week’s article, we’ll be discussing custom controls.

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