Set your countdown clocks. The “Halo: Reach” multiplayer beta, which is poised to be one of the biggest test events in entertainment history, kicks off in just four days. Among the millions of “Halo” fans eagerly anticipating the beta is actress Aisha Tyler. Available starting today is a video introduction to the beta starring the actress, viewable exclusively through the “Halo 3: ODST” game disc. Tyler walks through all the new game modes and offers her own tips and insider hints for each of the maps while showing off some life-size “Halo” weaponry.
As this is a beta, Bungie will be turning on different modes at different times to optimize testing. The beta kicks off May 3rd with three playlists featuring the all-new, highly competitive Arena mode (4v4 ranked Team Slayer games) as well as “Free-for-All” and “Grab Bag” playlists, which include a mix of classic and brand new game types. Beginning May 7, the new large-scale Spartan vs. Elite “Invasion” playlist will be added to the beta. Finally, beginning May 14 the “Generator Defense” game type will become available.
Everyone who logs in and plays at least one full game of any type in the “Halo: Reach” beta will receive a free “Halo: Reach” Avatar hoodie via the Halo Waypoint portal on Xbox LIVE. To redeem the hoodie, players must access Halo Waypoint and browse their “Halo” Career statistics after completing a match.
Halo: Reach will be sporting the latest and greatest by way of online matchmaking options and Bungie went ahead and threw down a bunch of new info on their weekend update regarding some of the improvements.
There's a lot of info discussed on Bungie's site so I'll only name a couple things I noticed here. One item discussed was how a new map can be voted on if the randomly generated map doesn't meet your fancy. If you've played Halo 3 for a signifigant amount of time, you'll know that all to often veto'ing one less than prefered map and gametype would usually leave you stuck with an even more undesirable alternative. To remedy that Halo: Reach will display a list of three alternative maps that can be voted on to provide a better list of alternatives.
Another addition called Active Roster allows you to view current games your friends are playing in, whether or not you can join your friends matchmaking session, and Xbox Live parties people in your friendslist are in. The short and sweet is that creating parties with your friends no longer requires you to enter the Xbox Live guide menu making it a lot easier to coordinate invites between friends who might already be engaged in a matchmaking session.
Check out the above link for a complete run down. So far this is shaping up to be the definitive standard for all matchmaking games.
Rolling? Assassinations? Jetpacks?! Bungie teased us that their multiplayer reveal would be a 'bomb', but I doubt anyone was expecting this:
Although Bungie has said on numerous occasions that Halo: Reach will likely be its last Halo game, the studio is not making any promises. In fact, it has said it may someday revisit the franchise, saying that it would be "premature" to assume a complete stop on Halo after Reach releases.
"You know, it might be premature to say we'll never ever, ever make a Halo game again," Bungie's Brian Jarrard told CVG. "We sort of have a little special place for Halo in our hearts. But for the foreseeable future, this [Halo Reach] is it."
When asked if there was a lot of pressure due to Reach being "the last Halo game," or at least the last in a very long time, Jarrard answered, "There is a degree of pressure there, but I also think that inspires our team. If we don't ever come back to Halo again, we better damn well make sure that our last game is the best one ever. Let's set that bar really high and at least leave our fans something really special."
The Halo: Reach beta is launching this spring, and Bungie is expecting massive participation. The studio predicts an upwards of three million gamers will be playing the beta. To put that into perspective, the Halo 3 beta, which came with every copy of Crackdown, had about 800,000 downloads.
The Halo: Reach beta releases in May and will be available to those who purchased Halo 3: ODST.
“Halo: Reach,” developed exclusively for Xbox 360 by acclaimed developer Bungie, is the blockbuster prequel to the best-selling Xbox franchise of all time. It represents the culmination of Bungie’s 10 years of experience crafting groundbreaking “Halo” games that have raised expectations for what can be achieved in a video game.
In “Halo: Reach,” players experience the fateful moments that forged the “Halo” legend. It’s the story of Noble Team, a squad of heroic Spartan soldiers, and their final stand on planet Reach, humanity’s last line of defense between the terrifying Covenant and Earth. This darker story is echoed by grittier visuals amid a backdrop of massive, awe-inspiring environments. Characters, enemies and environments are rendered in amazing detail by an all-new engine designed to deliver epic-scale encounters against the cunning and ruthless Covenant.
Once the campaign is over, the battle continues online with an unparalleled multiplayer experience that expands on the award-winning suite of features that helped define the Xbox LIVE experience. (more...)
Microsoft has announced the release date for the multiplayer beta for Halo: Reach at X10 today. It will be hitting May 3, 2010. It will be limited to those who have a Halo 3: ODST disc.
Despite all of the rumors, Halo: Reach will not be supporting Microsoft's motion-control peripheral, Natal. In the studio's latest weekly update, Bungie finally but the kibosh on all the rampant speculation.
After mentioning the huge number of media assets released last week for Reach, they added, "Of course, with great assets comes great responsibility and since there are now a good number of understandable assumptions and gross misconceptions floating about, we figured we'd take a stab at dispatching a few of them with extreme prejudice.
"Halo: Reach is NOT a Natal title and is being developed expressly with the traditional Xbox 360 controller in mind."
For more info and more mythbusting, check out the update.
As I'm sure most of you will know, unless you've spent the last year living under a rock, Bungie is set to release its last ever Halo game sometime in September, and as promised, it looks like it'll be their best yet. The graphics, overall, will be sharper, cleaner and presented with a more realistic and gritty overtone. The AI will be twice as capable as Halo 3 and above all else, it'll feature a team of Spartans, armed to the teeth with a host of newly designed weapons.
But with all of this in mind, there is one burning question, a question that every avid Halo fan will be asking when the dust settles after Reach: "what now?" It's a valid point, and one worthy of close attention and intense scrutiny.