We already know that players will always have three companions by their sides in Halo 5: Guardians. Now, 343 Industries has explained why they are focusing so heavily on four-player co-op in the upcoming shooter.

In an interview with OXM (via GamesRadar), executive producer Josh Holmes stated that the idea for the four-player co-op campaign was formed during the end of Halo 4’s development. “We were winding down on Halo 4 and thinking about moving to a new console, and we had already planned some of the technological upgrades that we wanted to make to the engine,” Holmes stated. “And early on we started talking about the types of stories that we wanted to tell and the experiences that we wanted to create, and we really wanted to focus on a much more sociable experience, especially in our campaign.”

This led to the idea of two distinct squads, each with four Spartan characters to control. However, Halo 5 is not the first game in the series with four-player co-op. Holmes acknowledged that co-op has been a Halo trademark, but that past games in the franchise have not done it justice.

He explains: “I think co-op has always been a big part of Halo’s campaign, but in the past it’s sort of been treated as a completely separate experience, where you just have three other clones of the Master Chief running side by side. The narrative breaks down. One of the big creative goals that we had for Halo 5 was to bring that into focus and support it through the story.”

The four-player campaign required  large amount of investment. Online co-op (there is no split-screen play in Halo 5) required dedicated servers to enable players the ability to seamlessly drop in and out. “And then, from a technological standpoint, a huge amount of investment went into the AI system for the other Fireteam members. As well as moving the campaign to dedicated servers to enable that seamless drop-in, drop-out experience , and allow us to deliver a campaign on a much greater scale.”

Halo 5 releases on October 27th. The game will release exclusively on the Xbox One.

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