Halo: Combat Evolved (2001)
When Halo launched back in 2001, not only did it change first-person shooters, but also HUD designs as well. While Master Chief’s health display was certainly a relic of the past, the energy shield meter truly brought about a change to the FPS genre. In a perfect blend of HUD, game, and sound design, the energy shield’s meter alone helped shape the future of shooters everywhere. From its iconic “take cover, idiot” warning bleeps, to the calming hum of the shield recharging, gamers were given an audio and visual cue to either hide, or get back in the action.
The fast pace of the game holds true for another key part of the HUD: the motion sensor. Less of a minimap, and more of a danger tracker, the motion sensor tracked enemies who run or shoot. By only revealing these two things on the sensor, Bungie incentivized players to play slowly. In a game of speed, movement means the difference between life and death. So players who crouched remained invisible on radar also left themselves susceptible to ambushes.