Tried this about 15h into my playthrough, it’s not a perfect implementation by any stretch but it does enough to shake up the gameplay that it’s worth trying IMO. I near-always try to turn off the HUD in games at some point so I recognize that I’m biased, but if the game is less immersive than you wanted it’s a simple toggle in the UI options that might save your playthrough.
To me, all the small changes stemming from turning off the HUD made the difference between “getting immersed in a game” and “getting immersed in a world”
-It’s much easier to take in the absolutely GORGEOUS skyboxes and landscapes when the HUD elements aren’t there constantly reminding you that you’re playing a video game
-You have to pay much closer attention to the environment to look for loot and objectives, and you’ll eventually get used to how you have to look at an item to pick it up
-Giving your companions “cool” gear ends up making them easier to pick out in a brawl, which coupled with a lower difficulty encourages you to go for style rather than your highest-stat Heavy Elite armor
-Switching off dialogue subtitles makes you “listen” to characters instead of just reading what they say, and despite having to look characters in their soulless eyes they often have surprisingly expressive animation and it’s easier to take in the wonderful “backdrop” system as well
-Ironsights aren’t actually lined up with the targeting reticle, as the crosshair usually sits a little above where the aiming point *should* be and will require you to internalize the aim compensation
-Scopes and holographic sights of all kinds are now borderline unusable as the crosshair acts as your normal “red dot” in a scope/sight, but it *does* dissuade you from trying to “stealth archer” the game
-A lot of quest objectives are clearly intended for you to just follow the waypoint, and will necessitate frequent map glances, a lot of wandering around, or in some rare cases giving up and switching the HUD back on for a minute.
-I’d highly recommend turning down the difficulty to Normal or at least one tick lower than you normally play as you only have the low-health “screen blood” to let you know how close to death you are, and Normal will likely be too easy if you’ve invested heavily in tinkering
Small things that would GREATLY improve the HUDless experience, either through updated options or modding (likely a long time off, if ever):
-Readjusted weapon placement on-screen so sights actually match up with the aiming point, and *actual* red-dots on scopes and holos
-More customizable HUD options like fast-fade/only on during combat (a la Skyrim’s “Immersive HUD” mod), transparency, and ideally a “leaner” HUD altogether (
-Allow object outlines to still be present when the rest of the HUD is toggled off
-Another difficulty between Normal and Hard or individually-tweakable player/enemy health/damage settings, as Normal was still too easy but Hard is near-impossible if you can’t accurately manage your health
-A HUD toggle hotkey
After playing HUDless for a long time, switching the loud HUD back on surprisingly grossed me out a little bit with all its glowing lights and button prompts. If HUDless was implemented even a couple of the changes above I feel like it’d be the outright ideal way to play the game; as it stands the game itself recommends the HUDless option as a good way to take screenshots instead of a good way to play through the game.
It’s worth at least trying for everyone, but I imagine most people are going to prefer their HUD on.