Without a doubt, the most controversial decision regarding the development of Halo 5: Guardians has been the full scale removal of splitscreen. After Josh Holmes dropped a vague bombshell on Twitter, a Microsoft spokesperson gave fully fatal details on the matter (details that reeked of utter bullshit, but were details nonetheless):
The decision [to be complete morons despite the huge potential of our product] was an extremely difficult one for the team, but one that was necessary to deliver the biggest Halo game to date. 343’s focus is to ensure that fans get the best Halo experience yet, and the team felt a split-screen experience would compromise the gameplay design and the visual bar they’ve set.”
Now, even though Microsoft’s statement may be rather clear cut, there could be more at hand. It could be that above all else—whether that’s graphical fidelity, laziness, or yolo—that splitscreen was removed as part of the Precursor’s twisted plan for controlling all their creation under an eternity of misery. Take an excerpt from this moving speech by the Gravemind in Halo: Selenium Chloride…
All that is created will suffer. All will be born in suffering, endless grayness shall be their lot. All will tailor to failure and pain, that never again shall the offspring of the eternal Fount rise up against their creators.
As revealed in Selenium Chloride, the final purpose of the Flood is to make sure that the crimes of the Forerunners (rising up against and nearly wiping out the Precursors) are never repeated by any form of life ever again. To do so, they assimilate all life into a hivemind by hijacking their physical form, and then subjugate all assimilated minds into constant torment. Now, compare this to the situation with splitscreen. Our bodies are our freedom, which gets taken away by a Flood Infection Form…Splitscreen is our physical form and our freedom, which has been taken away by the 343cursors. With our minds stolen from our forms, we are forced into the hivemind…with splitscreen taken away from us, we are now forced into the eternal fount of laggy, DDoS target practice misery that is Xbox Live.
The only way to stop the Flood was to fire the Halo array. And the only way to stop the 343cursors seems to be firing the cancel preorder array. But alas, we’re doomed.
“Memories…emotions. All is now ours.”
—Gravemind, Halo: Anniversary