Without a doubt, 343 Industries are doing their best in order to make Halo 5: Guardians stand out in Microsoft’s long-running first-person shooter franchise. Whether it’s the single player mode’s inclusion of AI squads for support, or the fact that the title’s campaign length is double the size of Halo 4‘s, fans of the series certainly have plenty of interesting features to look forward to as far as gameplay is concerned.
Bearing Halo 5: Guardians‘ content in mind, many would argue that the game’s main draw is its multiplayer. As a matter of fact, a lot of fans were extremely excited to get their hands on the upcoming sequel after Microsoft revealed that the FPS’ Warzone mode has the largest multiplayer map in the franchise’s storied history. However, would-be Spartans had previously been reeling from the report that Halo 5 would have no local split-screen co-op for its campaign or multiplayer – one of the features that practically defined the series – so any good news was welcome to them at that point.
Considering the heavy hit that long-time players were taking, 343 Industries’ executive producer Josh Holmes commiserated with fans, saying the decision to drop split-screen was tough, but would provide a better experience overall. Of course, gamers still remain determined to make their voices heard on the issue. As a matter of fact, in an attempt to have the popular feature reinstated, one Twitter user sent a succinct message to Halo franchise development director Frank O’Connor that simply included the phrase “#BringHalo5SplitScreenBack”. In a diplomatic response, O’Connor replied by saying, “If we could do it, we would do it. But it is what they call ‘nontrivial.'”
Although 343 Industries is claiming the resolution to ax Halo 5‘s split-screen was a tough one, it seems as if all they’re trying to do is save face. For instance, due to the feature being an exceptionally favored mainstay in the franchise – popular among fans and critics alike – it’s odd that developers would decide not to include it, especially since a good deal of people are coming out of the woodwork to voice their opposition to its removal. That said, it’s quite possible that Microsoft and 343 Industries are striving to optimize the game’s large scale and high-resolution visuals while also following the industry’s trend of making multiplayer a purely online-only experience.
Nevertheless, in order to improve practically anything, risks must be taken, so perhaps Halo 5’s lack of split-screen could become a boon for the series when all is said and done. At any rate, once the game officially releases, it will be intriguing to discover if the feature’s absence is detrimental, and exactly why it’s rated T for Teen.
What’s your take on Halo 5: Guardians‘ lack of split-screen? Do you think that developers are trying to dodge any blame, and making an effort to deflect the issue? Or do you believe Halo fans should simply let the whole fracas go?
Halo 5: Guardians is set to release exclusively for the Xbox One on October 27, 2015.