First off, I must say I am greatly looking forward for Halo 5 Guardians. The new abilities, maps, weapons, game types, campaign, and so on. A little early, however, I was browsing IGN and noticed they made an article on Halo 5, “343 on Why Halo 5 Has No Split-Screen In Any Mode.” Those of use who look on Waypoint frequently have known about this for some time, but now there seems to be quite an uproar with IGN being a bigger nexus generally for gaming news. Skimming through the comments briefly gave way to a more than frustrated Halo fan base. I know this is kinda old news, but I just want to give a little food for thought, as this is just the opinion of a hardcore Halo fan since Halo 3.
Split-Screen gaming has been a ton of fun throughout my years gaming, from Ratchet and Clank, to Mortal Kombat, and of course Halo. Screwing with my friends on Forge or just having a causal slayer game always sparked frustration and fun. However, while it was stellar to be able to play with friends this way, I never personal cared for split-screen. An obvious distaste for it would be the small squares the TV would be split into. With these small play areas, it became somewhat difficult to pick out enemies, objectives, and weapons from a distance, and this goes for a variety of games, but Halo is definitely one of them. Also, and his might just apply to me, but you never know, I grew tired of the my friends calling out “screen cheater” or “screen hacker.” This wasn’t always the case of course, but it deterred me from wanting to play split-screen of any kind. Once Xbox Live was a thing, and my friends and I realized we could play games from the comfort of our ow homes, this became the norm. People may backlash with comments of split-screen being more social with friends side by side, and I do agree, but it can sometimes be a struggle to arrange a meet up with 3 of your buddies, especially once everyone grows older (work, school, etc). Playing online allows us to have access to our full TV screens, and it ends up being a lot more convenient generally. Obviously lag and varying pings and NATs are still prevailing, but, at least for me, it was never too troubling. Some people may find all of this somewhat obvious, but this is just the way I see it. Feel free to agree or disagree, but spare me from derogatory stuff. I’ve heard it all.
Some people I’ve seen complain about the removal of split-screen from Halo 5 say that since TMCC was able to pull it off, so should Halo 5. Halo TMCC obviously consisted of the old trilogy games, formatted for the Xbox One. Jokes about its launch and existing issues and bugs aside, TMCC was able to pull of Co-Op because, well, it was already in the games to begin with, but more importantly, they were “last-gen” titles. Halo 5 seems to be stepping up its game with huge environments to explore, with multiple routes, secrets, and narrative ques, improved enemy A.I., such as Jackals being able to melee and generally tougher opponents, and all of this being locked at 60 FPS. From what I understand, console games that are meant to run at 60 FPS generally stubble a bit more than their PC counterpart because of obvious software differences. The software that ran the games in TMCC is quite old at this point: the graphics are as glorious compared to current gen games, the environments, while pretty, are not at the same scale Warzone is set to be, with 12v12 player action with many vehicles, bullets flying, A.I. bosses, lighting, and graphic fidelity, all for the game to regulate and keep track of. Sure, you could play BTB on Halo 4 with a few friends on the same TV, but in intense matches the frame rate would suffer and the ping would also sink a bit (again, at least for me, but I assume not everyone has a godly gaming/ Internet setup). This might be bit more noticeable frame rate wise on TMCC, but it can be somewhat of a problem on older consoles, and again, this can apply to other games as well.
The new argument I’m seeing now is having 30 FPS with lower resolutions and split-screen, or having 60 FPS with higher resolutions and no split-screen. To me resolution doesn’t matter that much, but frame rate kinda does. Frame rate affects the flow of gameplay tremendously. After playing quite a bit of TMCC and then going to play something like Destiny or a so called “next gen experience” that is set at 30 FPS or had little motion blur, it gets me somewhat off guard and my eyes can sometimes get strained. Of course, this doesn’t last forever, but it definitely affects the speed and fluidity of gameplay. Most of my friends after playing TMCC and going back to see what the Halos were like on the 360 say they much more prefer the fluidity of 60 FPS, and from what I can gather, so do many other people. After seeing what’s in store for Halo 5, in terms of scope, gameplay, graphics and textures, and new mechanics, I can’t say I’m surprised with the decision to drop out split screen. Some people may say the developers are being lazy, or that they want to extort more money from us consumers by making us by an Xbox One, just to be able to play with our friends. With 343i consisting of a team filling dedicated to pushing Halo forward, while respecting its humble beginnings of causal area combat and vehicular action, something like split-screen, which goes all the way back to the beginning, is most likely near and dear to their hearts. In my opinion, I would gladly accept them taking out a feature I rarely used and put that time and effort into crafting better A.I. (after playing Halo for so long, Grunts become the pigs to my impending slaughter, which kinda grew dull), crazy Warzone maps, a more story driven and narrative campaign with many leading roles (all the different Spartan HUDs may also prove difficult for split-screen, but maybe only slightly) and places to explore, as well as a grand Forge mode (forging split-screen was VERY laggy for me).
Maybe in the future of the game, they will add back split-screen with a 30 FPS lock, decreased resolution and graphics, and so on. I have read a few articles promoting this possibly, but for now I’d like to hear what you guys have to say about this. Neither side of the 60 FPS without versus the 30 FPS with is wrong, it’s all just what people look forward to in games. I don’t see split-screen as amazing or a must have, just a cool feature that I can do without. I enjoy looking at and playing graphically beautiful games, but that doesn’t stop me from the chaos of Borderlands. Again, this is just my own personal opinion. I don’t go on these forums a lot, and I’m not the one to voice my opinions often, but I know people can get a bit antsy to say the least. Personally, I see Halo 5 to be shaping up to be a fantastic Halo game, as the campaign of Halo 4 has left me hungry for more! I just don’t think split-screen being a no is going to be the fate deciding factor of this amazing franchise, and it shouldn’t.