One of the biggest, if not the biggest Xbox One games coming out this year will feature 4-player cooperative mode. 343 Industries, the developer behind Halo 5: Guardians, has said that the 4-player cooperative mode for the single-player side of the game can be controlled by other gamers, or by AI.
343 Industries says that it wanted to tell a "much more sociable" story, with the developer continuing: "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. 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".
While cooperative play isn't new to Halo, the studio acknowledges that past Halo games didn't really do it well, in terms of gameplay and story. Executive Producer on the game, Josh Holmes, added: "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".
But what about the technical side of things? 343 Industries says that the 4-player cooperative campaign required a "huge amount of investment" on the technical side of things. Halo 5's online cooperative play is powered by dedicated services, with Holmes adding: "It's been a really fundamental part of the design process for campaign. It's flipped the paradigm for the campaign in previous Halos, where solo was very much the focus and co-op was there as an add-on, but wasn't really embraced".