With today’s industry seemingly intent on moving towards an increasingly homogenized scenario where all forms of multiplayer are confined to online play rather than the more traditional couch co-op, it’s hardly surprising that certain well-known series have dropped the feature entirely. One particular example that no doubt lingers in the minds of many is Halo 5: Guardians, which did away with allowing fans to play together through split-screen.
If you can cast your mind back two years to when 343 Industries’ follow-up to Halo 4 first launched, you’ll likely remember the criticism the studio received for omitting the feature, with development director Frank O’Connor having said at the time that the decision wasn’t made lightly, but needed to happen due to split-screen not being “feasible with [how] the engine works.” Considering Halo 5 ended up managing to maintain a near-constant 60 frames per second during its single-player mode, including a second player on the same screen would have no doubt forced 343 to compromise that buttery-smooth performance, but it looks like the developer has since realized the importance of giving players the ability to choose for themselves.
During a speech at DICE 2017, 343 Industries’ executive producer Bonnie Ross said the following (via GameSpot): “For any FPS going forward, we will always have split-screen in,” so rest assured that Halo 6, whenever it comes around, will most definitely see the feature return. Microsoft has yet to officially announce the sequel, however, let alone provide a release date, so it’s unlikely we’ll be seeing it this year.
Ross also touches on the protracted server issues that mired Halo: The Master Chief Collection‘s launch back in 2014, describing it as a slip-up that was both “painful for the community” and everyone else involved. Lesson of the day? You can’t learn from mistakes without making them in the first place.
Tell us, are you glad to hear of 343 and Microsoft’s renewed dedication to split-screen, or do you think it’s an unnecessary relic of the pre-internet age? Let us know in the usual place!