At a preview event last week, developer The Coalition revealed that the game’s campaign would have local split-screen co-op on PC. Technical director Mike Rayner told me adding the feature was a “labor of love,” and that they decided to do it after hearing feedback that people wanted it in this March.
“From a development standpoint, it is quite difficult to support,” Rayner said, “we have to deal with multiple inputs, we have to deal with focus, we have to deal with UI placement.” That extra work—especially when having to also consider all the resolutions and aspect ratios a PC can have—may be why most big games nowadays don’t typically support split-screen co-op. Rayner continued by saying that “developers have got to put some effort into it to do it right, it’s not just something you can tack on.”
Additionally, the game can be played cross-play online between Windows 10 and Xbox One for the campaign co-op, Horde mode, multiplayer versus mode against AI, and multiplayer versus mode in private and LAN games. So while you won’t be able to jump into the same matchmaking queue as those poor souls who aren’t using a mouse to aim, you will be able to play with friends who don’t have the game on PC.
The addition of split-screen co-op on PC is pretty surprising, and that The Coalition is taking the PC version of Gears of War 4 seriously, which is encouraging after the Ultimate Edition’s rough launch. We got to play a whole lot of Gears of War 4 on a 3440x1440 ultrawide monitor, and it’s shaping up great.