When I was young, there was one game that was most popular above all games that my friends and I played. That game was Halo: Combat Evolved. On the original Xbox, we spent hundreds of hours splattering our in-game avatars all across the Blood Gulch. It was pure, raucous fun.
That fun wouldn't have been possible were it not for the local multiplayer. You have to understand, now, that this was before online play was very popular, at least on home consoles. The most fun we had playing Halo was in the same room, flinging curses (and sometimes controllers) at one another in delighted frustration.
It was a simple time. It was a good time.
However, it looks like the era of split-screen multiplayer is over, at least for Halo fans. The upcoming installment, Halo 5: Guardians, has been confirmed to not support local split-screen multiplayer.
Be it in versus mode or the co-operative campaign, players will no longer be able to share a couch and play the game together. The studio responsible for developing this game, as well as Halo 4 and the Master Chief Collection is 343 Industries, comprised of some members of the original Bungie team.
Josh Holmes, head of the developing studio, responded to queries from fans about the fate of the local multiplayer with this statement on twitter: "All MP modes use full screen on dedicated servers, incl Coop Campaign, Arena and Warzone."
Truly disheartening news for many Halo fans. I still believe that Halo 5 will provide an entertaining and engaging experience for long-time fans as well as those new to the series, but I can't help but feel disillusioned.
I don't have an Xbox One, and I don't really plan on getting one, though this still upsets me considering how monumental Halo's split-screen has been for me personally.
I've played nearly every installation in the franchise (we won't talk about Halo Wars), and part of the fun has been playing with a friend or friends on the same couch.
I guess now all I've got left is fond memories of the endless deathmatches played in Blood Gulch. Goodnight, sweet multiplayer prince.