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XBox (Games)

No Online/LAN Co-op for Halo 2 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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No Online/LAN Co-op for Halo 2

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  • by numbski (515011) * < minus bsd> on Tuesday October 26, 2004 @11:02AM (#10630921) Homepage Journal's good to play together....
    • And you can with offline co-op or online team play.
      • 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? (Score:1, Interesting)

    by tod_miller (792541)
    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 0.0
    • by SilentChris (452960) on Tuesday October 26, 2004 @11:12AM (#10631022) Homepage
      "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? (Score:3, Interesting)

        by 2Flower (216318)
        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 al
      • 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.
      • by Ondo (187980)
        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.
        • 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.
          • 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.
            • 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?
      • 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
    • Re:Game complexity? (Score:3, Interesting)

      by over_exposed (623791)
      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
    • 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 signi
    • 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
      • 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
  • Hey, They Tried... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by VGMSupreme (228396) on Tuesday October 26, 2004 @11:09AM (#10630980) Homepage
    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.
  • Never promised (Score:2, Insightful)

    by KirkH (148427)
    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?

    • 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.
      • 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!
        • 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 ou
  • 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
  • by Goyuix (698012) on Tuesday October 26, 2004 @11:25AM (#10631156) Homepage
    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.
    • 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
    • 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 u
      • 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 thi
    • 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 compan

  • 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
    • Re:Rooster Teeth (Score:2, Informative)

      by scrypt (565580)
      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.
    • 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?!?! (Score:2, Interesting)

    by gregulator (756993)
    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 !?!?!?!
  • by Anonymous Coward
    "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
    • by hollismb (817357) on Tuesday October 26, 2004 @04:27PM (#10634701) Homepage
      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).
      • 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.
        • 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.

    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
    • 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 differ

  • 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! []

    • 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.
      • woops "are" should have been "aren't"
      • 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 becaus
        • 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

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