The Day the Multiplayer Died

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Back in the day, 16 player Halo 2 LANs with 4 xboxes and 4 tvs were a blast. We did that for years.

The problem with using xbox live with my friends is, we live out in the country, and half of us either don't have 360s or don't have access to a good high-speed internet service. So, the only way we can play games together is a combination of split-screen and system link gameplay for the four of us, whether it's a game with 4 player splitscreen like Worms 2 Armageddon (great for 4 people) or Rock Band 2, or we get two 360s and two TVs system-linked together for some 4-player co-op (like in Gears of War 2's horde mode or Left 4 Dead 2 or Halo 3).

System link being available with splitscreen is important to us; a game's no good for local multiplayer if you have to choose between split screen or using system link (like with Borderlands or Rainbow Six: Vegas 2); you end up either having two players on one console or one player on each of two consoles, and you still have two friends left out of the loop.

There is a catch with modern split-screen gaming we don't like, and that's how graphics-intensive everything's getting nowadays. For example, in Halo 3, with all the shrubbery lying around, it's hard to pick out players versus environment looking at a small screen in splitscreen; versus, say, Perfect Dark.

I'd kinda like to see both. Sure, I love the friends gatehring around the tv(s) for the night and we make jokes and everything but, I do like to expand it sometimes and make jokes and pplay with an anonymous stranger.

I'd like really what the article says in the end. Something like any console connects even wiytth handhelds for any game for multiplayer. Then maybe the console wars will end and we can finally stop that stupid crap.

There was a period in my life, between Doom and Devil May Cry where I basically did no PC or console-based gaming. Other than a few very brief stretches for Diablo, Arcanum and Vampire: Redemption (don't ask). I didn't seem to have a lot of time for video games in undergrad, except for steadily declining arcade machines, mostly fighters and Silent Scope in the campus lounge.

Needless to say, I never got into online gaming, and still don't see the appeal of it. I prefer MP games with people in the same room as me. I do prefer brawlers, fighters or beat-'em-ups for this, but I wouldn't mind the occasional split-screen shooter or racer. It seems kind of silly now that widescreen HD has become the standard and split-screen is actually able to give you a workable amount of screen real estate that no one's taking advantage of that. Instead, we're getting beautiful widescreen vistas where you can't see the thing that's about to kill you because the camera sucks--progress!

we need bots back. time splitters was amazing and COD would be so good without the lame ass mofos on the other consoles.


I think split screen games are a soon to be a thing of the past. Maybe its just the people I know, but I have a hard time finding anybody willing to play a game when its squished into the tunnel vision of 1/2 or 1/4 of a screen. Especially when it is included like Gears of War, and there is no option to make the split vertical, which to me would make much more sense on a widescreen TV.
Local multiplayer is still awesome though, and I'm pretty confident it wont go away. Maybe when hardware is powerful enough, and monitors are super cheap, game consoles will have the option to plug in up to 4 monitors or TVs doing away with split screen, and keeping all your friends in the room to play.

I'm gonna pick on you, but it's not just you, a LOT of people want that dang verticle split. Here is why it sucks. Periphial vision is absolutely key in first person shooters. Without it, you don't know who is shooting you, and you don't know who to shoot. I made the sorry mistake of playing through the entire Vegas 2 coop campaign in verticle split. AND omg was I ill from it. Screen real-estate is not the issue, as we played on my 160 inch projection screen. . . but 8:9 is not an acceptable screen ratio! The 16:5 split does feel a little wierd at first, but play through Gears 1 or 2 and then try to go back to Vegas. I dare you.

That's a fair point. I think my only other experience with vertical split screen was back in the PS2 era anyway when we didn't have widescreen TV's, so perhaps I'm talking out of my ass. I will say that the want for the vertical split came up because during co-op in Gears of War you can't see where you're bloody grenades are going to land half the time when you need to aim up to get distance. But I guess in the battle between peripheral vision and accurate grenades there is a clear winner :).

I was playing CODMW2 free for all recently with 4player split screen and I have to admit that I hadnt had that much fun playing multiplayer since Goldeneye! "STOP WATCHING MY SCREEN!!"

I agree. I'm astounded by the fact that so many games' don't have SS.
L4D2 and L4D both have split screen on XBox360 and even PC. Yep, since they use the same engine you can play SS on your PC. All you need is 2 360 or other compatible controllers or, if you have time, 1 controller, a few downloads and a keyboard and mouse.

I love split-screen and hate that a great game with SS is hard to find. The one large exception (which I can't believe was omitted from the article) is Gears of War. More games need to have both split screen and online multiplayer.

Split screen/ Local co-op is an absolute joy to me...When I was younger sleepovers were amazing just because of this...You get everyone to bring a controller if need be and stay up all night having a blast...

What really makes me sad is that the focus has gone from split screen/ Local co-op to online...That whole argument of now you can play with your friends who are gone is NO JUSTIFICATION for dropping split screen support...Sure include that option for playing with friends who are gone, but do not assume that I won't want to play in the same room if I still can...

Sadly, as this article and many people here have pointed out, no one is noticing this...I walk into Blockbuster with my friends and we browse the shelves looking for good local split screen/ Local co-op like we used to enjoy...It's depressing to constantly tell them that it's online only multiplayer or just to of us dueling...And then some people I know not realizing that Starcraft 2 was not going to have LAN support...

I own a copy of New Super Mario Bros. Wii...Say what you want about the wonky physics and bumping into each other, but one thing is for certain, online in that game would have been hell...However local co-op is an absolute blast...I played the game with a friend...The two of us had some great laughs with picking up and throwing and the like...Then for the first time in a LONG time, I played the game with my mom, dad, and brother...My mom and dad hadn't played a game with me since Super Mario World (We would take turns on lives), and this brought us straight back to those times with all of the laughs that had been long forgotten (Including throwing my brother into a pit of lava)...Then I played through it with 3 friends at college...Same thing, we all enjoyed something we had forgotten, how much fun it is to play with, tease, and laugh at, and kill a person in the same room as you...

If you want your N64's split screen back, you better be willing to bring the N64 graphics back with it. Doing everything twice (or 3 or 4 times, depending on players) for the different people on the same console isn't exactly easy for the console. Plus, most people would prefer to stay at their house, have a full screen to play on, and no be uncomfortably hogging the same screen and having their game ruined by screen lookers. And the developers are taking away from the entire game for the small minority of players who want this.

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