Ubisoft has been gathering a lot of data and feedback from the alpha test of For Honor. In gauging the feedback they've had to make some tough decisions about what stays and what goes and one of the major features that a lot of gamers were looking forward to had to be dropped.
According to For Honor producer, Stephane Cardin, he talked about the alpha test and one of the core features that had to be removed in a recent interview posted up on Ubisoft's YouTube channel, stating that split-screen had to go for compatibility reasons...
It was a feature that we loved, but, when we looked at what needs to be done to support online co-op, for us it was critical to make a decision now so we can polish all the features at the AAA level and make sure that we have the most amazing experience.
There's still a bit of hope for offline split-screen, though; it may still make the cut. If For Honor retains offline split-screen play across multiple modes then that's good enough for me. A lot of people in the comment section were talking about how they really wanted to play the game split-screen with their sibling.
Cardin mentions that the online play really needed their attention and that the online split-screen play was draining resources and made it very difficult when it came time to synching up the game and compensating for lag. Very few developers have the skill to execute local split-screen combined with online play, but it was a staple feature in games like Halo and Timesplitters, and it's still a staple feature in the Call of Duty games.
Nevertheless, Cardin also talks about the refinement they're making to other aspects of the game, including nerfing the Orochi because people were abusing his abilities, tweaking some of the stats on the weapons and loot because people complained that the earnings per match turned For Honor into a grindfest, and adding more tooltips and communicating gameplay elements that a lot of people missed while playing the alpha.
One of Cardin's (and the rest of team's) big concerns was that a lot of people didn't know how to do simple things in the game, like evade, parry and counter-attack. So, they're going to make it a priority to better communicate these moves and features in For Honor for people to utilize during their online battles. This became especially evident when there were two on one or three on one matches and players just didn't know what to do. So giving people more information on how to battle their foes will be one of Ubisoft's priorities.
You can check out the full interview below, where it spans seven minutes talking about what worked and what didn't in the alpha test for For Honor.
Despite losing the online split-screen mode, if the offline split-screen stays intact and the online mode has quality netcode, then I think For Honor should be okay.
You can look for Ubisoft's new game to launch on February 14th, 2017 for the Xbox One, PS4 and PC.