There’s still a place for split-screen, says Gavin Eg­gar

Games Master - - Team GM -

When we were all younger the thrill of go­ing to a friend’s house or hav­ing fam­ily round and play­ing a videogame split-screen or couch co-op was amaz­ing. Fast for­ward and now with the boom of so many mul­ti­player-only games why has the op­tion to play with real friends at home dis­ap­peared?

My son loves Roblox and Fort­nite, two games which would be amaz­ing in split-screen or co-op, but in­stead it’s play­ing mostly against face­less play­ers over broad­band. I found my son be­ing bul­lied out of games on Roblox just be­cause he wasn’t play­ing how they wanted him to. That wouldn’t hap­pen as much with lo­cal mul­ti­player. There is def­i­nitely place for sin­gle-player, on­line mul­ti­player, and splitscreen, es­pe­cially with the boom of bat­tle royale style games… it’s a great ex­cuse to con­nect with friends and fam­ily again liv­ing in this dig­i­tal age in­stead of kids shut­ting them­selves away in their rooms with no so­cial in­ter­ac­tion Gavin Eg­gar, email First, we’re sad to hear your son’s be­ing bul­lied, and it would be worth con­tact­ing the com­pa­nies be­hind both games to com­plain, as firms are mak­ing in­creas­ing ef­forts to com­bat toxic be­hav­iour from play­ers.

But we’d guess the trend to­wards on­line mul­ti­player isn’t go­ing to go away, es­pe­cially when some have 99 peo­ple play­ing at once. It sim­ply wouldn’t be prac­ti­cal to have more than four play­ers shar­ing a TV screen, and split-screen would un­der­mine the stealth el­e­ment in those games – you can’t re­ally sneak up on some­one who can see you com­ing.

All that said, couch­play’s not dead – re­cent launches Over­cooked 2 and Catas­tro­nauts show that, and as they sup­port up to four play­ers lots of peo­ple can join in. Also Tre­yarch didn’t re­veal it un­til very close to launch but Call Of Duty: Black Ops 4 also has split-screen co-op for two play­ers (four in Zom­bies mode).

See­ing where all the other play­ers land would ruin the stealth as­pect of Fort­nite, we feel.

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