With a number of exclusive titles on the way later this year, Microsoft has positioned the Xbox One for a great finish to 2015. Arguably their biggest title this fall is Halo 5: Guardians, promising not only the biggest Master Chief story yet, but also a new and improved multiplayer side of the game as well.
For many fans, the Halo series is synonymous with multiplayer including the oft forgotten feature, split-screen functionality. While many fans were excited to dive into this feature once more with Halo 5: Guardians, 343 Industries made the tough and shocking decision to ax the functionality from the final version of the game. Up until now, fans were not given a great reason as to why the decision was made.
In a developer blog post on Halo Waypoint, Josh Holmes tried to further explain why the tough decision to remove this fan favorite feature was made. While ultimately dropping split-screen proved to be a difficult choice to make, it was a necessary if Halo 5: Guardians was to run as 343 Industries intended it to and to provide the best experience possible for players.
The decision to remove split-screen support from Halo 5: Guardians was one of the most difficult ones we’ve ever had to make as a studio. We know that for many of our fans, Halo has meant playing together with friends in the same room. We all have great memories of past Halo split-screen multiplayer matches.
Ultimately, having split-screen available to players would have hampered the experience due to technical limitations. Holmes went on to confirm that 343 Industries is working to make sure Halo 5’s campaign is the biggest one yet, taking advantage of improved AI behavior, increased visual and gameplay fidelity, and delivering massive sandbox environments for players to explore. The team would have had to cut and compromise many of the technical improvements in order to deliver a split-screen setting, something 343 couldn’t justify doing to the end product.
Our decision was driven by a desire for scale, fidelity and focus to ensure that we would deliver the best quality experience possible. With Halo 5 we are delivering massive scale environments, improved AI behavior, increased visual and gameplay fidelity… something that truly takes advantage of a new platform.
The lack of split-screen support certainly caused a stir with fans, but another aspect which worried the fan base was the announcement that microtransactions, known as the Requisition System, would be included in the newly revealed Warzones multiplayer mode. In order to pacify and stop any sort of confusion, Josh Holmes also explained the system which actually has limitations in place so it’s not simply a way for players to pay to win.
Even with split-screen not making the final cut, Halo 5: Guardians does feature drop-in, drop-out co-op which Microsoft and 343 showed off for the first time at E3 this past June. The mode allows up to four players to play through the game’s campaign, switching sides between Master Chief and his Blue Team and Jameson Locke’s Fireteam Osiris. Better yet, each team features unique Spartan soldiers allowing players to utilize specialized loadouts and skills rather than simply occupying a Master Chief clone.
Though we’ve known split-screen wasn’t going to be available for a while now, does this news change your feelings at all? Let us know what you think below.
Halo 5: Guardians releases on October 27 for Xbox One.
Source: Halo Waypoint