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For Honor, Ubisoft’s upcoming multiplayer melee combat game, recently gave console players their first chance to go hands-on with the game in a closed Alpha. The feedback was strong and several key decisions about what to include, remove, and tweak, have been made as a result. The in-house interview; which you can see in full below, with producer Stephan Cardin, gives us some insight into what players had to say and what will be changing as a result. Perhaps the most significant point we can take away is that split screen co-op will be completely removed in favor of polishing on-line co-op.

For those who’d rather not sit through the entire video; the comments come around the 4:24 mark and run as follows:

We decided this week to cut the split-screen, it was a feature that we loved, but, when we looked at what needs to be done to support online co-op, for us it was critical to make a decision now so we can polish all the features at the AAA level and make sure that we have the most amazing experience.

Taken on their own, the comments in the video certainly suggest the feature is being removed completely. We’ve reached out to Ubisoft for further comment.

It’s not surprising that features in a game will change after a closed Alpha. We know that this is a fairly common practice. If a developer feels they can deliver a better core experience by removing additional features, it can be absolutely the right call. What’s surprising about this announcement, though, is that sources close to the game have previously suggested that local split screen co-op would be a key feature.

Way back at E3 2015, Creative Director Jason Vandenberghe told GameSpot that split screen was:

Super-required, because this is a game about fighting with weapons, split-screen [is] absolutely a key feature for us […] You want sit on the couch and beat up your buddy, that’s the thing.

Even more recently, at the publisher’s annual investor day in February this year the Managing Director of Ubisoft France John Parkes said:

With a fully-fledged story campaign, playable in solo or co-op, all modes available in split-screen, and a deep and rich multiplayer with competitive gameplay, For Honor will drive heavy engagement in-game[…]

For Honor still has another gauntlet of fan feedback to run, the public Beta is currently taking sign ups for early access. It’s likely that any changes that come from the second phase of testing will be less significant, though, as we approach the game’s Valentine’s Day 2017 release date.

Quick Take

For Honor’s Alpha was impressive, and if the overall quality of the game is genuinely going to benefit from the removal of the split-screen feature, then this is no different from the removal of any non-essential feature. I generally agree with Vandenberghe’s previous sentiment, though – this game is perfect for couch co-op, and I will be sad to see it go.

 

More About This Game

Dom O'Leary

Staff Writer

I'm a dyed in the wool gamer of the now irrelevant (I'm told) generation-X. If I'm not gaming, you'll find me writing about games, writing my wonderful fiction (opinions may differ), playing guitar, or eating... sleep is a distant memory.



  • ASCHGRAU_SEE

    “Axed”
    I GET IT

  • BurntToShreds

    Split-Screen co-op is fine and dandy, but if you can’t include that feature without overall performance taking a hit, then don’t put that feature in. As this is a third-person game with a whole lot going on in a straight-up battlefield full of action and stuff, would that feature really have ran well on all platforms?

    I’m sure that there will be people lamenting the death of split-screen and couch co-op like always, but if I recall, Gears 4 has it for a couple of modes.

  • Nick B

    STOP GETTING RID OF SPLIT SCREEN!!!!! This is f***ing ridiculous! Gears of War is the only franchise that gets this sh** right! My wife loves playing xbox with me. Why do people think this is dying out?! F***in stupid.

  • yeah its a double-edged sword, I personally always like split-screen modes but if they can’t get it to work or run well then there’s no point in including it. I just hope its for the former reasons than platform parity

  • Luministrus

    Because it is dying out. You’re not the entire world, so stop acting like you are. Online co-op is a far larger demographic, and if split-screen needs to be cut so they can focus on bigger things, then so be it.

  • Nick B

    I think you need more friends. With the technology these days, I’m pretty sure they can make it more of a priority. Nothing like sitting in a damn room with family/friends and making them watch you play games when they could be playing with you. I don’t see that ever dying out.

  • Luministrus

    Whatever you think doesn’t change the fact that people do online co-op far more often.

  • eltonBorges

    Not exactly. EDF still have it and it’s great. From what I remember every Musou game still have it. They are not axing it for lack of demand. They are doing it to keep tight control on how you play the game. They want people online, and will force them into it. That’s what happened to Halo, Forza, Rainbow Six and so on. It’s the same reason they use to remove LAN options.

  • LovingLife139

    Well, I guess I’m axing my pre-order, then. For Honor gets demoted to “rentable” status, and now the hubby and I will have to fight to the death over who gets to play it first. Hey, at least we’ll still be fighting to the death regardless. 😛