Neither a co-op campaign nor squad based gameplay is something new to the Halo franchise, however Halo 5: Guardians ups the ante by putting an entire new and in depth focus on squad AI and gameplay features, something which was missing before from games like Halo: Reach.
In the latest issue of Official Xbox Magazine from GamesRadar, 343 Industries studio head Josh Holmes sheds some light on this new co-op driven experience in Halo 5 which allows players to play solo yet feel as if they are part of a proper squad and give out commands to friendly AI.
According to Holmes, it was all about the narrative and it feeling wonky when people would play co-op and yet they would all be playing as Master Chief clones instead of distinct personalities, which impacted the narrative in a negative way since there are so many other great characters in the Halo universe who fight alongside Master Chief.
Holmes explained how the technical team focused on heavily on the AI for other Fireteam members, so even if someone is playing alone, it doesn’t feel as if they are the only fighting force trying to defend the galaxy. Holmes also talked about the decision to move the campaign to dedicated servers instead of player hosting to enable easy drop-in, drop-out experience.
It’s clear the game was designed to keep in mind both the social players who love playing with friends as well as lone wolves. Exactly how well this new shift in focus works out for the game will become clear when Halo 5: Guardians launches exclusively for Xbox One on October 27.