‘Halo 5’ Co-Op Will Require Xbox LIVE Gold, Splitscreen Not An Option

Halo 5: Guardians fans received a series of good news about the game with the revelation that it will add squad-based gameplay elements, see the return of Nathan Fillion as Buck, and that all multiplayer DLC maps will be free. The Xbox One exclusive had to throw some disappointing news in there somewhere, though. That came in the form of how the game is diverting from its couch co-op origins, along with Studio Head Josh Holmes correcting a bit of misinformation about not needing Xbox LIVE Gold.

The Halo 5 piece in the July issue of Game Informer issue includes a line that briefly mentions that the game will not have any splitscreen co-op. This is a major departure for the Halo franchise, as every entry has supported splitscreen in some fashion. It was missing during the multiplayer beta held at the end of 2014, but Holmes tweeted out at the time that it would be in the final version.

So what changed between December and now? Franchise Director Frank O’Connor explained in a post on NeoGAF, “Yes, it’s a bummer, but 60fps had to take precedence. It’s not just aesthetics – the entire simulation is built on the frame rate.”

We’ve seen games from Mario Kart 8 to the upcoming Star Wars: Battlefront reduce the framerate from 60fps to 30fps based while playing splitscreen co-op. O’Connor’s statement makes it sound like this is more of an architectural issue with the game rather than a manpower and time issue. Either way, it’s turned into a disappointment for fans, as they’ve voiced their displeasure in various community forums since the Game Informer piece was released.

Halo 5 - Fireteam Osiris Drop (Xbox One)

There was one tidbit that seemed to mollify Halo fans a bit, and that was the mention by Game Informer that online co-op play for the campaign would not require Xbox LIVE Gold. Unfortunately, that’s not happening, as Holmes issued a correction via Halo Waypoint.

“I need take a moment to make an important correction on something we miscommunicated in the story,” Holmes wrote. “I misspoke during the interview when stating that online co-op campaign would be supported with an Xbox Live Silver account. Co-op campaign will require Xbox Live Gold to play. I want to extend my sincere apologies to our fans, and to Game Informer, for this error and any confusion it has caused.”

A 14-day Xbox LIVE Gold trial will be included with Halo 5: Guardians, as it is with most first party titles. However, co-op will be an online-only affair this go round.

What do you think of the Halo 5 co-op news? Is it offset by the gameplay changes, graphics, and free DLC maps? Sound off in the comments below.

[Images via Halo Waypoint, Game Informer]

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