Co-op play has always been a big part of Halo, allowing two or more friends to play together through the game’s campaign story. While the game has been playable solo, a big part of the fun comes from the teamwork a group of friends can create.
343 Industries is looking to build upon this co-op experience in Halo 5: Guardians, by improving and fine-tuning aspects of co-op play. In an official blog post on Halo Waypoint, developer Josh Holmes went into detail on 343’s new take on co-op play.
From the start, Josh Holmes explains that 343 Industries wanted to make co-op feel like all of the players are actually involved in the game and its plot, rather than just focusing on one main character like Master Chief. Halo 5: Guardians will instead focus on the entire team, and is designed so that friends can easily drop in and out of the campaign whenever they please without interrupting gameplay. The game will always feature a squadron of four, meaning that if only one person is playing, the remaining three will be operated by A.I.
A.I. players will primarily act on their own, but they can also be directly ordered to complete specific tasks. Players will be able to select an item or target and press a button to pull up an orders screen, and from there they can direct their A.I. teammates to pick up a weapon, engage a specific target, and so on.
To encourage further teamwork, 343 Industries has also added a revive mechanic. Rather than immediately dying and waiting for respawn, characters who are downed will be given a brief window in which they can be revived by their fellow players, whether A.I. or human. In addition to being able to revive others, the lead player character will be able to order A.I. companions to revive a fallen companion.
343 Industries has also made an effort to make each character unique, without alienating the player. Each character is designed to have their own personal attributes and unique starting weaponry, but controls will remain the same so that players don’t have to re-learn everything each time they switch characters. Additionally, Josh notes that each squadron will have slight visual characteristics of their own:
“We’ve deliberately designed these two teams to provide visual contrast with one another. Blue Team have a heavier, more weathered feel. Their technology is proven, reliable, and practical in nature. Fireteam Osiris represent a new generation of Spartans. Their armor is sleek and modern, technologically advanced and displaying less wear.”
The additions of being able to revive teammates and easily drop in and out of Halo 5 will probably be welcome additions to many gamers. Additionally, these additions may also make it easier for gamers who are familiar with similar mechanics in titles like the Borderlands series or Payday to give Halo 5: Guardians a try.
Some fans will undoubtedly still be disappointed that Halo 5 won’t have split-screen co-op, and the response to Halo 5 having microtransactions is mixed at best. While nothing can change these things, hopefully the myriad of additions and improvements help to make up for it.
Halo 5: Guardians releases on October 27 for Xbox One.
Source: Halo Waypoint