While Halo 3
will feature a two-player co-op mode, it will not be online. Instead, it looks like it will have to be played via split screen or a LAN connection.
US magazine EGM
quotes Bungie's head writer, Frank O'Connor, as stating:
"We're not dumb. We know that people want it and we're trying to make it happen. I think the biggest problem for us for online co-op is that we have a situation where you can be in a Warthog with five troops, almost a mile away from the other player. That's a significant challenge. And there's lots of design things you could do to prevent that from happening, but they would make it not feel like Halo anymore. If we can make it happen in a way that works well, we will - and if it works badly, we won't."
The possibility that an update may be issued to allow online co-op after the game's release hasn't been ruled out. For now, however, it looks like we'll have to settle for playing Halo 3
It must be said that SPOnG has niggling doubts about Bungie's reasoning. If the lag across the Internet is acceptable for a deathmatch then why is it unacceptable for team-based cooperative games? We shall find out.
Granted, it's easier to communicate what you're doing from the same room, but Microsoft didn't release headsets purely for us to natter about what's going on in Hollyoaks. We have to wonder whether there's an underlying technical reason Bungie hasn't told us about...
For more on Halo 3
's multiplayer functionality, have a look at SPOnG's impressions of the multiplayer beta.