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No Online/LAN Co-op for Halo 2

Zonk posted more than 9 years ago | from the master-chief-is-tough-he-can-take-em dept.

XBox (Games) 73

BlueMoon writes "It has now been confirmed that Halo 2 will not include support for co-op mode on Xbox LIVE or LAN play. The co-op mode will remain for offline play only. Bungie made all attempts to implement it however with the complexity of the game it was simply impossible to have a worthwhile co-op experience." You may not be able to play together, but as consolation, check out the Halo 2 Ads pointed out by an anonymous reader.

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But...but..... (2, Funny)

numbski (515011) | more than 9 years ago | (#10630921)'s good to play together....

Re:But...but..... (1)

KirkH (148427) | more than 9 years ago | (#10631054)

And you can with offline co-op or online team play.

Re:But...but..... (1)

numbski (515011) | more than 9 years ago | (#10631252)

oops. Forgot my html tags.


I don't even own an XBox. :P If I did, I wouldn't buy any games for it. Political issues. Buy it, hack it. ;) (No, I'm not talking about stealing games either...)

Game complexity? (1, Interesting)

tod_miller (792541) | more than 9 years ago | (#10630972)

That is what gets me - they say the state of the game makes the network take too much of a hit...

Much state in these games is down to pointless detail... since when can a game like this not be online - coop?

Sounds really dumb, or more accurately, a way of making you spend more on halo -2- online but with some stupid name that doesn't make it sound like you are paying twice for something.

Mark my words - they will release a pay-for addon for this... it was all in the plan.

Give up on Xbox and Halo. [my 0.02]

Re:Game complexity? (4, Insightful)

SilentChris (452960) | more than 9 years ago | (#10631022)

"Mark my words - they will release a pay-for addon for this... it was all in the plan."

Wow. I mean, wow. That's amazingly ass-backwards. That's like you have your head in your ass in someway that actually makes it look forward, but is still wrong.

Think about what needs to be done to maintain states. In multiplayer, you have a nice, small set of rules on a tiny map. All you need to note is where players go, whether or not X Warthog rolling over Y player will be valid given the physics, etc.

Contrast that with single player. Bunch of AIs running around doing their own thing. Cutscenes (How do you handle this? Play a movie while the other player is running around?) Scripted moments (what happens when the warthog driven by AI drives off with one player, while the other is left standing. Is he to just chase the original?) There's a lot going on, bub.

Re:Game complexity? (2, Interesting)

2Flower (216318) | more than 9 years ago | (#10631134)

Contrast that with single player. Bunch of AIs running around doing their own thing. Cutscenes (How do you handle this? Play a movie while the other player is running around?) Scripted moments (what happens when the warthog driven by AI drives off with one player, while the other is left standing. Is he to just chase the original?) There's a lot going on, bub.

Agreed. There are a lot of modern games that are eschewing multiplayer coop for exactly this reason -- the sheer complexity of trying to pull off all the scripted bells and whistles gamers have come to expect doesn't jive with the ability to add another character, another POV into the mix.

Bioware nixed coop from Hordes of the Underdark for just this reason; it wouldn't make sense from a story perspective, due to the cutscenes and how NPCs talk and interact with the character. Even in the game mods I design, I find coop often means "The main character all the NPCs form relationships with and make pacts with and such... and a bunch of guys who are along for the ride to help with the monster killing." Because anything more than that requires a LOT of special case scenario code for the NPCs alone, much less the puzzles.

Since there isn't really a screaming vast majority for a coop game, it's probably not going to happen unless the game was designed for that experience from the ground up, or has a game formula that works well with it (simple action games with no major scripted events).

Re:Game complexity? (-1, Flamebait)

tod_miller (792541) | more than 9 years ago | (#10631182)

Cutscenes: you don't have them simple.

Coop should play seamlessly, that is why quake 2 was good, a lot of seamless cuts between maps - and halflife was golden for that.

What they have to do it decide what can be delegated to the clients, and what must be synchronised over the network.

Also in coop you can reduce the effectiveness of physics to one interaction at a time. Blam, warthog flys in air.

You forget about it as it does its thing on each client.

Boom it gets hit again, ignore!

It finished its thing - you can now worry if it gets hit again, send this info to the clients, and let them work out the physics, since it is the same code (even send any randomised stuff centrally)

I am not saying it is easy, but since multiplayer gaming is assumed in many games, they could have made an effort. How often does being able to shoot a warthog in mid air effect gameplay?

Sounds like a weak excuse or weak network code.

Re:Game complexity? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10631211)

You obviously know nothing about high performance programming (like games) so why don't you have a nice big cup of shut the fuck up!

Re:Game complexity? (1)

Pulse_Instance (698417) | more than 9 years ago | (#10633257)

The entire physics can be delegated to each client that isn't the issue, the issue is state data, have you ever noticed that in multiplayer the maps are much smaller and there are a lot less of objects that interact with each other. The reason for this is the state of each object must be sent over the network all the time. In order to calculate physics it is necessary to know the current position of an object, which way it is oriented in 3 dimensional space, the speed it has, which weapon it currently has selected, there are more but even just those small attributes would be almost impossible to send over the internet for large maps. I think it is very possible that they had it working but decided that the quality of gameplay was not guaranteed so they cut it out.

Re:Game complexity? (1)

tod_miller (792541) | more than 9 years ago | (#10639561)

Multiplayer maps are smaller because they are not linear but designed so you can find each other.

In multiplayer maps there are no NPC's, technocally the size of the map (if there were no destroyable objects) would not affect the network at all.

Now if multiplayer means you can't shoot barrels or knock over crates, then fine, don't put them in.

Just my 0.02 of your fav currency as an amateur quake 2 map builder in the day.

I noticed you said what weapns it has selected blah blah. You didn't even make the correct point that it is the ENVIRONMENT doohickys that cause the problem, blowing stuff up.

Again as my other post, I see no show stoppers, and that is as someone who programs network code (although not for real time games).

I am just comparing counterstrike with halo, and saying, bloody fools, they are ripping you off with no multiplayer.

And that they will probably rape some dollars off you in the future for it.

Re:Game complexity? (1)

Kwil (53679) | more than 9 years ago | (#10632330)

While this would make sense if they included no multi-play at all.. they do.

You can still play co-op in offline mode, just not in online mode.

Re:Game complexity? (2, Insightful)

Ondo (187980) | more than 9 years ago | (#10633916)

Cutscenes (How do you handle this? Play a movie while the other player is running around?) Scripted moments (what happens when the warthog driven by AI drives off with one player, while the other is left standing. Is he to just chase the original?)

While your other points are valid, these particular issues had to be solved for offline co-op and don't seem to be any harder online.

Re:Game complexity? (1)

SilentChris (452960) | more than 9 years ago | (#10634463)

Offline co-op is handled on a single Xbox. One copy of the AI states, one playing of the cutscenes (if a player hits a cutscene barrier, the game "ends" for the other and the both watch).

Notice they didn't say there was any kind of co-op across linked Xboxes. Only splitscreen. Hell of a lot easier that way.

Re:Game complexity? (1)

Ondo (187980) | more than 9 years ago | (#10635027)

Ending the game and playing the cutscenes for both players is just as easy on multiple screens as it is on one. That's not the problem.

Not having to sync the AI is a legitimate point, which is why I didn't quote it and said your other points were valid.

Re:Game complexity? (1)

SilentChris (452960) | more than 9 years ago | (#10641263)

You're making the assumption that the multiple screens will be in the same room and the two players will know exactly what stage the other player is at in the game. It's a presentation thing. Can you imagine playing up in the living room while a friend is in the basement, and suddenly (without you even finishing the level) you're forced to watch a cutscene?

Re:Game complexity? (1)

bitwiseNomad (814756) | more than 9 years ago | (#10639471)

They should take a page from Serious Sam. You can handle AI calculations with a client-server architecture. The server only need to pipe back what the AI entities do to the clients (this is a separate problem in itself, but it's not like no one has ever come up with a good solution before). As far as cutscenes are concerned, in Serious Sam, the first player to active the scene would have it played on their screen while the others would not. The realtime aspect of the game was maintained, and usually no one gave a damn about not being able to see the cutscenes. I don't think that is really the appeal of co-op play, after all. If a cutscene revealed some sort of secret, it was up to the person who saw it to communicate with their teammates - just what should happen in co-op.

Re:Game complexity? (2, Interesting)

over_exposed (623791) | more than 9 years ago | (#10631053)

When I was back in school living in the dorms, we weren't allowed to play HALO via the LAN during certain times of the day (office hours mainly) because it did in fact impact the network performance. Granted, our network was nothing spectacular (10/100 switched throughout), but I saw usage charts and even did some data gathering of my own and I saw the hit our network took when more than 2-4 systems were playing via the LAN. Their reasoning doesn't suprise me at all. I think it's perfectly valid. Maybe they do have an "Add-on" in the works, but unless they invent a new ground-breaking X-box communications protocol (XBIP?), I think it'll see the same problems as the original HALO when it comes to network performance.

Re:Game complexity? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10631086)

Think for a moment about the size and complexity of a given single player/co-op level versus the multiplayer levels. The multiplayer levels have up to 16 individuals moving around, and NOTHING else. The single/co-op levels are much larger and would need to synch the state of hundreds (if not thousands) of AI controlled aliens, dead bodies, broken scenery, dropped weapons, etc. It seems like they gave it a good try, but were attempting a nearly impossible task with today's hardware and broadband limits.

Re:Game complexity? (1)

ru-486 (73117) | more than 9 years ago | (#10631126)

since when can a game like this not be online - coop? The PC version of Doom 3 didn't have co-op presumably due to the complexity. Interestingly, the xbox version of doom3 will have co-op play, although I'm not sure if it will be xbox live or just split screen play. In fact,the conversion to co-op is what is said to be causing the delay of the xbox version. I'm not a game developer, but the lack of co-op titles and the dropping of co-op play from Doom 3 and Halo 2 leads me to believe that there are significant problems in making it a good experience in the newer FPS games.

Re:Game complexity? (1)

MrScience (126570) | more than 9 years ago | (#10633401)

Network communications in non-trivial to implement... you can see this if you look at other games, such as Splinter Cell: PT. Notice that the offline experience is much richer and full of detail than the online experience-- and that's only adding four players.

Keep in mind that the Halo2 Multiplayer will undoubtably take place on smallish, MP-optimized maps, not the in-game full-detailed maps. So it wouldn't necessarily be as easy as flipping a switch: they'd have to recreate the entire single-player game into a reduced-poly co-op game that could handle the network communications at the same time.

I do believe that they did try, and found that they just didn't have the time, resources, or even space on the disc to implement a LAN-enabled Co-op version.

Re:Game complexity? (1)

tod_miller (792541) | more than 9 years ago | (#10639545)

Why reduce poly?

The CPU has plenty of time to be flushing gigabits to the graphics card while waiting for the arthritic network card.

All I am saying is, I played a 64 player amp of quake 2 on a uni lan, with out 40 odd players, yes sometimes everything was like the matrix, which was cool, esp. if you had been smoking too much.

If this was quake 2 days, and I see very very little map state difference that would worry me, why can't they do it now? For broadband?

Now, here is the thing - you know how much it costs to write network code?

You know how much it costs to run the servers? This title will no doubt sell, and sell xboxes (don't know why, IMHO halo sucked) but I see no show stopping technical reasons for a multiplayer version. (I think there is to be NO multiplayer at all right? not just no co-op)

Hey, They Tried... (3, Insightful)

VGMSupreme (228396) | more than 9 years ago | (#10630980)

Well, you have to give Bungie some credit. They at least tried to implement it into Xbox, but complexity got in the way.

Anyways, when I played Halo, I had more fun playing with many people in the room, and with one people as my partner going thru the game. I am sure that actually being side by side would be a better experience than talking via a mic.

You guys still get Co-op in Offline mode, and I am sure everyone will still enjoy for the great game that it is.

Republican's fault (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10630999)

Bandwidth to our homes isn't fast enough because the rich must become richer before we progress technologically any further. Also they totally let a convicted monopoly abuse their "free market" so they can maintain proper control over the huddled massed.

Demand proper network play for Halo 2!

I hope you're not serious (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10631235)

Parent is supposed to be some kind of troll, right?

Lord knows, the Republicans are a bunch of complete and total idiots, but this particular problem isn't their fault.

Re:I hope you're not serious (-1, Flamebait)

numbski (515011) | more than 9 years ago | (#10631298)

That's right. This one falls squarely on the shoulders of those damn democrats. All the hippie pot-smokin' draft dodgin' liberalism got us into this mess.

A little less weed and a lot more networkin' and ya might just have your online co-op mode.

I say, vote libertarian. ;)

(Nevermind that libertarians want to legalize drugs and treat it as a health problem and not a crime...)

Never promised (2, Insightful)

KirkH (148427) | more than 9 years ago | (#10631030)

I don't get it, Bungie never said they'd have online or LAN co-op, just the same type of co-op that the original had. There was a lot of speculation but never a word from Bungie promising this (or even mentioning it, as far as I know). Why is this such big news?

Re:Never promised (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10631109)

Because it gets (legally) released in 14 days and any time someone mutters "HALO 2" people (who care) wet themselves and start to shake... If I had control of a decently sized "news" content provider like /., I'd do my damndest to make geeks piss themselves as often as possible, just for fun.

Re:Never promised (0)

hollismb (817357) | more than 9 years ago | (#10631686)

Because Bungie never said Online Co-op wasn't in the game until now. People naturally assumed that is was in the game until they read in the newest OXM (with the review) that there was no online/Lan co-op in the game. It's not that they said is was going to be there, it's that they never said it wasn't.

Re:Never promised (1)

KirkH (148427) | more than 9 years ago | (#10634553)

So if I'm making a game, it's fair for everyone to assume anything they like about it and then get pissed off when their imaginary features aren't in the game?

I'm going to assume that Half-Life 2 will bake me cookies! I sure hope I'm not disappointed!

Re:Never promised (1)

hollismb (817357) | more than 9 years ago | (#10634629)

When you go to the effort to deny that some things are in the game (like bots) when people ask, but don't deny that co-op is in when people ask, then it's actually a fairly logical assumption that co-op was in and they planned on it being there. Don't get me wrong, I'm not hating on Bungie, but I, like many others, did naturally assume that online co-op was going to be in the game because of their information, or lack thereof. Just explaining why it's news, really. Because many people are shocked to find out it's not, in fact, in the game.

Wondering (1)

hammurderer (819640) | more than 9 years ago | (#10631063)

I know that halo 2 wont have online co-op thats ok i think that the amount of players that would try this feature would just make it suck. but will it have system link co-op because lets face it who likes to play co-op split screen

Re:Wondering (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10631130)

Boy, you newbies to Slashdot not only dont RTFA, you don't even read the fucking summary (RTFS)!

It states quite clearly in the summary that co-op play will NOT work for Live or LAN play. Meaning no networked X-boxes. Meaning you'll play co-op in split screen or not at all.

Re:Wondering (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10636936)

There's no coop for system link or LIVE - only split-screen.

Co-op isn't *THAT* hard (3, Informative)

Goyuix (698012) | more than 9 years ago | (#10631156)

What more likely happened is they designed the engine in such a way that on-line, or even LAN co-op would require too much state being sent back and forth. Really their levels aren't that big, nor are there that many enemies that sending AI state would be a huge issue, I mean multiplayer games generally have support for at least 32-64 players simulataneously, and you wouldn't even suffer from bad lag on a couple of them (or maybe all of them if your connection sucks?). Perfect example, Serious Sam often has well in excess of 50+ enemies on the playing field, but it can somehow manage to send the state of those players.

The more likely story is they picked up where they left off with the Halo 1 code and tweaked it to add in the new features and bump the graphics up a notch. Co-op over the wire wasn't supported then, isn't supported now and most likely will never be supported in the Halo series.

Bungie was a much better studio pre-MS.

Re:Co-op isn't *THAT* hard (1)

Have Blue (616) | more than 9 years ago | (#10631885)

Halo 1 didn't support XBL. I'm sure the network component has been pretty much rewritten.

However, Serious Sam also has far simpler AI and physics than Halo 2 does- it has less state to send and the Xbox can handle it. Also, Serious Sam's graphics don't come anywhere close to pushing the limits of the Xbox, as the original PC game came out when Geforce 1s were just appearing. There's power to spare, so they can easily add some more players running around without any problems. Halo 2's campaign levels will use most of the xbox's capacity just for one player; there's nowhere to squeeze in network communications and I expect that split-screen co-op mode will perform noticably worse than single-player, as was the case with Halo 1.

Re:Co-op isn't *THAT* hard (1)

XMunkki (533952) | more than 9 years ago | (#10633778)

Well sure, it isn't that hard if you plan it right from the start. Not many studios do that. In fact most of the games that sport some kind of co-op these days tend to be inehrently multiplayer (Star Wars Battlefront) or otherwise easily extendable (Dawn of War). But when developing a game, it's a harsh reality to face. You have only so little time to develop all the technology, content, gameplay and multiplayer. Not an easy undertaking. And when doing things like physics, AI and cutscenes, the developers usually take the road that gets the job done. And this means that co-op (not a priority feature) is left to no attention.

Actually I would prefer that all developers developed more co-op multiplayer modes for their games as co-op is the best form of multiplayer entertainment for me. I hate playing against other people (as they're too good :).

Co-op more enjoyable than deathmatch? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10635188)

A true statement, and a no brainer. Hmmm... On the one hand I could get 0wnxored by a 14 yr. old pimply-faced teen whose only goal in life is to ruin my fun.... or on the other hand, I could team up with a buddy and frag some baddies without the competition and poor sportsmanship.

If I wanted to ownz or be ownzed against other people, I would have stuck to playing Magic:tg or Marvel Vs. Capcom...

Re:Co-op isn't *THAT* hard (1)

pforhan (182787) | more than 9 years ago | (#10645035)

I, too, am more than a little disappointed by the lack of networked co-op. And lack of bots in multiplayer.

Now, I'm consigned to play constant derivations of the same kill your friends games that was in the first one. The multiplayer is fun, no doubt, but not, well, epic, like the single-player/co-op is. Granted, I haven't played with more than 8, but still...

I'm seriously considering Star Wars Battlefront for its AI Bots in multiplayer, and Serious Sam for its wave-after-wave of baddies co-op, for this season's xbox lan parties.

Serious Sam doesn't count (2, Insightful)

MMaestro (585010) | more than 9 years ago | (#10638051)

Yeah Serious Sam did a good job with online co-op, except for the fact that it lacked cutscenes, during battles you were effectively locked in, the AI was nothing more a basic 'attack/charge player' system, and while the graphics were nice and powerful they really weren't used too effectively used (shiny surfaces, fire effects, and shadows, yet used maybe once or twice.)

The moment a game engine that can support an AI as good as Halo and more than 4 players online is developed, I'd go buy stock in the company that made it even if the graphics are budgetware. Hell just look at Battlefield 1942/Vietnam. Theres 64 player online co-op mode supported, but the AI is a retarded piece of shit in everything but flying airplanes, the graphics have aged horribly, and theres no real 'wow' factor that hasn't been done better by someone else. You want 64 player online co-op, play that game(s) and tell me its a better experience than 2 player co-op Halo.

Further confirmation (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10631197)

This news is just further confirmation that M$ and Halo are lame.

Kill Zone will reign supreme!

Re:Further confirmation (1)

TechniMyoko (670009) | more than 9 years ago | (#10633749)

Last I checked, Killzone has no form of co-op whatsoever.

Rooster Teeth (1)

HTH NE1 (675604) | more than 9 years ago | (#10631790)

Looks like this will put a damper on thoughts on using Halo 2's engine for redvsblue for awhile, unless Rooster Teeth get provided a special release that does have LAN play enabled, or can switch the screen to show only one player's POV even with four playing at once.

It would also limit them to having only three characters on screen at once without adjusting it in post (one player is the camera).

It's possible Bungie could give them a special version, but then Bungie could have also given them a versio of Halo that disabled the camera player fidgeting with his gun which can ruin otherwise perfectly good takes, or even so they wouldn't need to letterbox it and eliminate the target circle.

Re:Rooster Teeth (2, Informative)

scrypt (565580) | more than 9 years ago | (#10631905)

Red Vs Blue was made in vs. mode, not co-op. There shouldn't be any problem using Halo 2 as a platform for new episodes.

Re:Rooster Teeth (2, Informative)

bigman2003 (671309) | more than 9 years ago | (#10632570)

Not only that...but now they will be able to use Covenant Elites, since they are in the vs. mode.

Re:Rooster Teeth (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10632020)

Ummm... Ever hear of non-linear editing?

Re:Rooster Teeth (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10632922)

Ummm... are you not familiar with the phrase "adjusting it in post"?

Re:Rooster Teeth (1)

BigFlirt (632867) | more than 9 years ago | (#10632058)

Don't worry... anything that they need for RvB was taken care of when they flew up to Bungie. They even got them to revert fixes they made to Halo 2 just so they could continue making their silly little movies.

What?!?! (2, Interesting)

gregulator (756993) | more than 9 years ago | (#10631881)

This is the most horrible news of my day, my roomate who plays only tiger and madden was pumped for this feature. We played split-screen co-op on Halo and it was awesome, the only thing it needed was LAN co-op, just with 2 people... no reason for more. Full Spectrum Warrior does co-op over Live (but not over LAN) so why can't Halo2 !?!?!?!

Re:What?!?! (0, Troll)

gregulator (756993) | more than 9 years ago | (#10633198)

Fuck you, mod, your'e redundant.

Liars (-1, Flamebait)

canolecaptain (410657) | more than 9 years ago | (#10631924)

They're liars. It's not too hard if you design it properly. It's all about marketing a 'new' game for more revenue - even though it's most likely the same game / code as the first one with new levels and updated graphics.

I actually bought Halo for the PC, discovered that they don't allow Co-OP -at all- for the PC, and took it back. I won't be buying this one for the same reason. I'd rather play Unreal Tournament.

Re:Liars (1)

Rico_Suave (147634) | more than 9 years ago | (#10632439)

It's amazing how many expert programmers we have here - all with extensive experience in building network co-op games, no doubt.

Re:Liars (1)

Reapy (688651) | more than 9 years ago | (#10632592)

Yeah seriously. I mean the fact that you can at liest do co op at all is phenominal. What's the last first person shooter to allow co op play besides halo? Serious sam? Doom 2? Co op is a rare rare feature that a lot of people leave out. But my friend and I will pick up a lot of games just for the fact that they are co op and we can enjoy playing through them together.

Were they supposed to redesigne the whole core of their game just so they could do co op over a lan, a feature that not many people would use, instead of just saying, looks like you'll have to go split screen? Besides, what's wrong with split screen? If it is too small just go get a bigger tv :)

Re:Liars (1)

FiloEleven (602040) | more than 9 years ago | (#10633139)

>What's the last first person shooter to allow co op play besides halo?

Perfect Dark?
TimeSplitters 2?

TimeSplitters 2 was a fantastic co-op experience. If you don't limit to FPS, there's the new Bond game that had an entirely different set of co-op missions, which is good. So, really, co-op doesn't distinguish Halo 2. LAN or Live co-op WOULD, because the examples I mentioned are all split-screen, which I find mildly annoying - cuts down your vertical FOV or shrinks everything.

Re:Liars (4, Funny)

hambonewilkins (739531) | more than 9 years ago | (#10632519)

You took it back? How? Did you say "I bought this game on the belief in features not advertised on the box. Those features were not present, so I'd like a refund."

Re:Liars (1)

bigman2003 (671309) | more than 9 years ago | (#10632602)

psst... A lot of people on Slashdot are full of shit. If anyone here were as self-righteous as they claimed to be, they would have no life, and would be relegated to staring at a computer all day because the rest of the world wouldn't want to deal with them.

But nobody here is like that. So I assume that it is all lies.

Re:Liars (1)

OneHungLo (265284) | more than 9 years ago | (#10633984)

Hey! I resemble that remark!

16:9 Widescreen Support (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10632127)

"One encouraging detail regarding Halo 2's offline co-op mode is widescreen support. Being that Halo 2 fully supports 16:9 aspect ratio, the game will automatically play in a vertical split-screen so both players will essentially have a full screen to look at."

No one has commented on this part of the article yet. Although I already knew H2 would support widescreen, this is the first time that I personally have seen reference to VERTICAL SPLITSCREEN. This is just fucking awesome news for anyone with an HDTV. Jesus Christ I am wetting my pants to play this game.

Other developers should take note of this 16:9 action. Although some games do support widescreen, most do not. But even the ones that do, rarely do they provide for VERTICAL splitcreen. Hat's off to Bungie on this front!

Re:16:9 Widescreen Support (3, Informative)

hollismb (817357) | more than 9 years ago | (#10634701)

Yeah, the widescreen support is a pretty big deal, but has been known about for some time. Come to think of it, I can't recall another 16:9 FPS, at least of decent profile, on the Xbox at all. Riddick is widescreen, but doesn't really count, since the splitscreen doens't come into effect, seeing as there's no multiplayer component. That being said, vertical splitscreen in 16:9 racing games is pretty common (see PGR2).

Re:16:9 Widescreen Support (1)

Ezrem (559493) | more than 9 years ago | (#10642355)

Two words: Rainbow Six 3.

3 is not a word. 3 is a number.

Technically, so is Six. So, one word.

Rainbow Six 3, to make my original point, is playable in 16x9 widescreen.

Re:16:9 Widescreen Support (1)

hollismb (817357) | more than 9 years ago | (#10642645)

No, it's not. The game is 4:3, and just happens to look okay stretched. There is not one single 16:9 UBISoft game on the Xbox. Beyond Good and Evil is letterboxed, but not 16:9. Check out if you don't believe me.

Re:16:9 Widescreen Support (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10643189)

Not only are you wrong, but you MISSED MY WHOLE POINT you retard. I didn't say there weren't widescreen games, I said of the few there are, hardly any have a VERTICAL splitcreen mode. And before anyone flames me on that, I didn't say there were no games with vertical splitscreen (PG2), just that it was very rare. The fact that H2 will have it is completely awesome!

Re:16:9 Widescreen Support (1)

hollismb (817357) | more than 9 years ago | (#10647675)

Yeah, that's true that it's awesome that Halo 2 has veritcal splitscreen, but it's also true that Rainbow Six 3, and Black Arrow, and Ghost Recon, and Splinter Cell, and all other UBIsoft games do not have a 16:9 mode. You, my friend, are wrong. They look good stretched to fill a 16:9 screen, but they are not 16:9. Seriously, go check the sites that keep track of which games are widescreen, and you'll see.

I'm truly sorry, but... (0, Flamebait)

bersl2 (689221) | more than 9 years ago | (#10632162)


I mean, the only way it becomes (almost) impossible instead of hard is when you don't account for it as you plan and revise.

When the submitter says "worthwhile," that decodes as there being too much lag to support network co-op. Is this a consequence of being too lax with one's networking code?

The other possibility is that the Xbox hardware isn't powerful enough. But if they can implement deathmatch, et al., why not co-op?

Co-op makes for a good time, and it should get more respect than it does from developers and gamers.

Re:I'm truly sorry, but... (2, Insightful)

AlexMax2742 (602517) | more than 9 years ago | (#10633728)

When the submitter says "worthwhile," that decodes as there being too much lag to support network co-op. Is this a consequence of being too lax with one's networking code?

The other possibility is that the Xbox hardware isn't powerful enough. But if they can implement deathmatch, et al., why not co-op?

Your second speculation is off the mark. And the first one is uninformed. In order for co-op to work over a network, you need one of two things...

1. Have the game react the EXACT same way on two different PC's at the exact same time under the exact same situation, so the AI does not desync over the two systems. This is how Doom 2 did it, and is also the reasons that demo files are so small, they simply record player movements. I doubt it's anywhere near as easy for games such as Halo or Halo 2.

2. Send ALL of the information related to the enemies over the network to ensure they NEVER desync. I hope you don't like more than 64 enemies in a single level.

I bet Bungie attempted it, after all, it's what Halo fans wanted, but they just couldn't make it work over a network, much less the high latteracy world of the internet. By worthwhile, I personally think they meant that they would have to sacrifice the game in other areas, and it simply was not worth it.

Also, you seem to think that Netcode is some magic bullet that it's either good or it's bad. Wrong, netcode makes sacrifices, either it is extremely fast, extremely secure against errors, or a happy median of both. Let's say that you had to transfer all of the data for all 1,000 of the coveneant (which are not predictable and easy to 'predict' what their next movement is) on a particular stage every 30 seconds, what they were doing at the time, plus the two combatants, and ensure it got there as fast and as securely as possible. A quite daunting task.

Doesn't matter, the reviews SHOULD suck (-1, Flamebait)

zarthrag (650912) | more than 9 years ago | (#10632167)

I have it on good authority that the single player/co-op mode has one of the WORST endings - possibly one of the worst in gaming history (that, or it will rank way up there).

Games I expected to have a bad ending generally don't - Doom3 had quite the stylish ending despite my worst fears. But now that I think about it - I doubt there will be a great ending to Halo 2 (Maybe a bonus for beating it in legendary mode - the assgrab scene was pretty damn funny.)

Re:Doesn't matter, the reviews SHOULD suck (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10638568)

I hope the metamods catch this grave injustice

I think..... (1)

KenwoodTrueX (825304) | more than 9 years ago | (#10633250)

I think the bandwidth requirments would have been to high (having to send the positions of all the enemies and everything to the other Xbox). The way to fix this is to have both Xbox's run the full game simulation and only send controller input data to each other. They must not have time to implement that though.

Free Flat Screen HERE! []

Re:I think..... (1)

NotNormal23224 (748016) | more than 9 years ago | (#10634023)

That flat out wouldn't work. the AI's are fixed things, so you could very easily end up with one elite on one box going wone way when the other one that is supposed to be the same elite might go the other, insanity would ensue! One player would have support soldiers with him and the other might have lost his support or face an enemy that is not in the same position as it is on the other player's box. That would be bad.

Re:I think..... (1)

NotNormal23224 (748016) | more than 9 years ago | (#10634083)

woops "are" should have been "aren't"

Re:I think..... (1)

KirkH (148427) | more than 9 years ago | (#10634502)

It's true that they aren't fixed things, but you can reproduce identical results if you seed the random number generator the same across machines.

In fact, Bungie did this in a different situation with the original Marathon game. You could place enemy AIs into the multiplayer games. You could then save multiplayer match replays -- the resulting files were very, very small because only player inputs were recorded. When you played them back, everything (AI decisions, etc) was re-created by the computer because you are providing identical input (user controls and random number seed).

So, I'm not saying it would be quick or easy, but it can certainly be done. After all, Doom III for Xbox has online co-op as a listed feature.

Re:I think..... (1)

hollismb (817357) | more than 9 years ago | (#10634828)

So do all the online Tom Clancy games on the Xbox. Ghost Recon, Rainbow Six, Splinter Cell: Chaos Theory (not out yet), not to mention some racing games like ToCA Race Driver 2, and Moto GP2 (if I'm not mistaken). Oh, and Full Spectrum Warrior, Star Wars Battlefront, Star Wars Republic Commando, Brothers in Arms, and all online team-sports games. All those games have non-player controlled AI in online games that must be carefully synched across all machines on the network at the same time. I don't think the difficulty was the main problem here.

Who cares? (0, Redundant)

lightdarkness (791960) | more than 9 years ago | (#10633963)

I belive that the true hard core halo fans won't care. I certainly know that all my friends care about is the multiplayer. I have never touched single player, or co-op play.

is there more then 2 players in co-op (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10743690)

i understand that there's no on-line or lan co-op i just want to know if more of my friends can play the story with me
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