One of the features that truly made the Halo series great has been cut in the latest entry, Halo 5: Guardians. Local splitscreen co-op play has been removed from the game’s single player campaign, instead opting for online as the default, according to the July issue of Game Informer.
This is a definite loss for the series, as many gamer’s will fondly speak of sitting on a couch and playing through the Halo 1-4 campaigns with a friend. However, the writing has been on the wall in regards to local splitscreen features for awhile.
The issue usually comes in when the game pushes the hardware to its limits, as Halo 5: Guardians looks to do with the Xbox One. The extra processing power needed to allow for splitscreen features hurts the overall experience for both players.
To get around this 343 Industries has made it so that players do not need to have an Xbox Live Gold membership in order to play together online, at least for the campaign co-op portion of the game. This way if you and your friend both own an Xbox One and a copy of Halo 5: Guardians, you can play together through the campaign cooperatively without having to worry about an Xbox Live membership.
UPDATE: 343 Industries has released a memo clarifying that Xbox Live Gold is still required for online co-op play. They will be providing a 14-day free trial for Xbox Live Gold with all purchases of Halo 5: Guardians, but after that you will need to have a paid account to play online co-op.
Halo 5: Guardians will be released exclusively for Xbox One on October 27th, 2015.