Some of the fondest memories players have of the Halo series involve playing side-by-side, in the same room, with a friend, yet Halo 5 is set to remove this feature, a choice 343 Industries describes as “one of the most difficult ones we’ve ever had to make as a studio.” In a recent blog post on Halo Waypoint, 343 explained why split-screen had to be removed from the game.
Speaking to the removal, “To move Halo’s gameplay forward and deliver a true next-gen experience, tough choices had to be made. Our decision was driven by a desire for scale, fidelity and focus to ensure that we would deliver the best quality experience possible.”
As for what that best experience is, the post continued, “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. Many of our ambitious goals for Halo 5 would be compromised in a split-screen setting and the time spent optimizing and addressing split-screen-specific issues would take focus from building other parts of the game.”
This is choice some may disagree with, but ultimately, “Game development is a balancing act of resources, time and technology, and in this case we made the tough decision to sacrifice something that’s been near and dear to us all.”
All of this comes at the tail end of a post detailing the strengths of the (online) co-op and the new focus for the game as a whole as 343 crafts what they hope will be a co-operative experience that “gives the campaign a new level of depth and richness.”
Halo 5 Guardians is scheduled to release October 27th on Xbox One. Until then whether or not players will agree the scale and fidelity of the game is worth the removal of split-screen remains to be seen. What do you think of the choice? Let us know in the comments.