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After the constant erosion of the campaign mode, and even more so couch co-op, it’s time for some good news: Gears of War 4 local co-op confirmed!

Story campaigns as a whole are losing the battle to remain attractive (read: financially viable) for publishers against the tide of online multiplayer and microtransaction shenanigans, and as that slice of the pie chart reduces some specific subsets of that genre are being squeezed into ever-thinning slivers; one of the casualties of this war is couch co-op.

We’ve already seen Call of Duty: Black Ops III drop the campaign from last gen consoles, and the splitscreen co-op was removed entirely from Halo 5: Guardians despite having been a series staple from the beginning – something the fans weren’t best pleased about – so it’s something of a relief to see Gears of War 4 local co-op confirmed in the April edition of Game Informer.

In addition to the Gears of War 4 local co-op confirmation – and much rejoicing and relief among those of us who have friends/siblings/partners/spouses/children with whom we actually prefer to be in the same room as – there’s also a run-down of the latest entry’s trio of playable characters. This includes Marcus Fenix’s son, JD Fenix, which alludes to something of a serious time slip since the events of the original trilogy, and probably confirms the widely-held suspicion that everyone really just wants to pretend that Gears of War: Judgement ever happened.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to go and buy an extra Xbox One controller so my wife can join me in Gears of War 4 local co-op; up until this point, after the Halo 5: Guardians fiasco, we didn’t really need to own one (thanks, Obama 343 Industries).

Gears of War 4 launches sometime in late 2016; you can pre-order it now from Amazon.

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