It would seem that OrigamiKiller has been a little overzealous. Having one piece published this week hasn’t stopped him, in fact it’s spurred him on. This time he’s shifted from looking at Call of Duty to split screen gaming.
There is no denying that this generation we have seen a decline in split screen multiplayer. I remember a time when nearly every game that was released would have a split screen option. Sadly this isn’t the case anymore, in fact it seems fairly rare to now find a game with a really enjoyable split screen option. Why is this so?
Thinking back a few years to the PS2 I would only buy games which contained split screen. I find it so enjoyable to play with a friend by my side. It makes the game more competitive and gives you some great memories which you can discuss over and over again. In particular I have very fond memories of last generation’s Need for Speed titles; the fun that could be had playing with a friend was something not to be missed.[drop]Moving on to this generation, EA have released plenty of Need for Speed titles, yet only one contained a split screen feature. The holder of this prestigious distinction is ProStreet, which can be best described as an average game that remained incomplete.
Even though the feature has been missing from from quite a few games now, it still comes to mind when I spend time with a Need for Speed title. Whilst playing Hot Pursuit I ask myself “You know what could make this game better? If I was racing against my brother in split screen.” It’s true. As a result Need for Speed has sadly lost my interest.
There is only one reason which springs to mind when considering why split screen has slowly disappeared; online multiplayer. In the last few years online multiplayer has grown massively and in my opinion it has become the new split screen. I for one don’t believe playing with somebody over the internet can provide the same competitiveness and joy with a friend say by your side, although for some of you it might.
However, some online coop games provide a great experience. The way they allow you to complete games as a team arise to friendships forming with people you have never met before. It’s fantastic how this can happen.
One of the big issues with online play though is that not everyone can access the internet on their consoles or even in their home at all. When we see so many games released with online features and no offline multiplayer options it must be hard for many people with the lack of internet to get their worth from a game.[drop2]It’s not all doom and gloom for split screen though. I was pleasantly surprised when I discovered Black Ops contained online split screen. It was a smart choice to include it in the game and has in turn lead to me playing the online more than I would on my own. Before Black Ops I had never actually experienced online split screen, since then it has featured in Uncharted 3 and of course MW3. It has not only provided the fun with a friend sat by your side but also furnishes you with the unique experience that can be had online. It’s a perfect package for multiplayer gaming.
In the future I would ideally like to see a rise in split screen multiplayer, although a better choice would be to roll it into the online multiplayer. Combining the two seems to bring about the best effect, and brings the best of both worlds. In my opinion it would bring more competiveness and joy to gaming.
Do you believe that split screen multiplayer should be included in more games or are you more open to online multiplayer features? And also what are the best split screen moments that you have experienced in gaming?