No local co-op left such a bad taste in my mouth, I did something that is most likely futile. I sent a letter to Microsoft. Here it is for 343 Industries and the world to see...
Ever since the first XBOX was released, I was a fan. Even after having to send my console in for repairs in the first month. I felt that with the backing and customer service of Microsoft, I had made a good purchase that would be supported throughout the console cycle. I had a great time with it! Lots of great memories alone and with friends. When I finally made the jump to the XBOX360, I was happy to hear that at least some of my XBOX games would play on the new system. Halo was one of the only games I have played more times than any other game in my life. It has been one of the reasons for my loyalty to the brand of both console and game. I enjoyed the campaign more than the online multiplayer. I'm just not into being competitive with the vast majority of "people" out in the world. After realizing I was mostly using XBOX Live to watch Netflix, I canceled my Live account. Instead, my family would bond over playing local co-op Halo games in our living room.
With that said...
I finally made the jump to the XBOX ONE. An early birthday present from my wife and kids. I was excited for Halo 5! I paid a pretty penny for the special edition XBOX ONE. When it came, I was disappointed to find out that no versions of any Halo game I owned would play on the new system. (Although, as I type this, they are slowly being added.) I accepted that fact, and decided I would just end up buying the XBOX ONE collection at a later date. It took me some time to figure out the menu system on the XBOX ONE. I really do not like it at all. I have given it a chance, but still cannot easily navigate it. It feels like I am being force fed something I did not pay for. Again though, I realize the largest consumer group for this generation of consoles probably doesn't care, and this does not include me anymore. I thought, if this is how the experience is going to be, then I might as well accept it and move on. And, at least Halo 5 installed and I would get to play it on day 1 without leaving my house!
Halo 5 was pretty. But that is where it ends. I played through the campaign over 3 days (day job permitting!). Between the horrible AI of your team members and the distracting voice acting, I had a hard time swallowing this one. (I'll leave out what I thought of the story, as I realize I do not own the story. On a side note, does anyone call the FBI FeeBee? Who decided how the ONI should be pronounced?) After I finished the campaign, I wanted to play it co-op with my oldest daughter, only to find out the game does not allow it.
If there was any way to return the game I would. If I had a physical copy, I would have tried to return it to the store I purchased it from. Barring that, I would have sold it to Game Stop for store credit. Playing co-op with my family was that important to to my household. I have turned off friends from buying the game that feel the same about this issue. I know 343 Industries is responsible for this, but did Microsoft have any say at all about it? Was it even an afterthought that not all Halo players do not play online? Because of this, I may be done with the series. Not a big deal for 343 Industries and Microsoft, but a pretty big deal in my house.
So that leaves me with a special edition XBOX ONE that I regret buying. I thought that with the amount of time the system has been out, the majority of the bugs would have been worked out, and it would be similar to the XBOX360 experience. I half expected it to work like my Windows Phone the first time I saw the menu system. (Yep, I am one of the few supporters of the Windows Phone OS by choice.) I was surprised that the console did not come with with a Connect given the price tag. Not a deal breaker, but I double checked the box just to be sure I didn't miss a Connect when I removed the console from the box it came in.
I have had a better experience playing online games on my phone and PC than I ever have with a console. It's no ones fault. I just do not care to deal with the poor attitudes of the vast majority of console gamers in the world that do not have a healthy view when it comes to competitive online play. I feel that the XBOX brand is heading in an always online direction. Because of that, I think this will be the last XBOX that will sit under my TV.
I toiled over typing this out. Whether this gets me a refund for the game, or just goes into the either of the internet, does not change the fact that I (for the first time) regret buying a game console. And I proudly own a 3DO and a Virtual Boy! I just thought someone in the business should know how important playing together -was- to many of us out there in video game land.
...and there you have it. So, 343 Industries...is there any chance of a refund for the game? Or at least 3/4 of a refund for the rest of the game I did not want/get?