The day many Halo fans have been waiting for is finally upon them, as the Halo 5: Guardians multiplayer beta kicks off today. Sure, some have been playing the beta for a little longer, but now, everyone that bought Halo: The Master Chief Collection can join in on the 4 vs. 4 competitive fun for a few weeks.
Unfortunately, for the equally numerous amount of people that didn't buy into the MCC, 343 Industries and Microsoft are seemingly leaving them out. Neither company has offered ways for non-MCC owners to play the beta (aside from finding a friend that has it), but did attempt to reassure them by saying that "Xbox Wire has you covered." No, there isn't a separate beta with less content, but Xbox Wire will have things like recaps of the latest happenings in the beta, as well as details on new updates, player vs. player combat, and the various maps and game types. So, really, nothing that measures up to playing Halo 5 almost a full year early.
For those who bought Halo: The Master Chief Collection and continue to support the game despite its issues, they'll be able to enjoy the mutiplayer beta until January 18, 2015. During this time, players will most likely unlock content related to Halo: Nightfall and the The Master Chief Collection, which can be transferred over to Halo 5: Guardians when it releases next year.
While the beta can only be accessed by owners of The Master Chief Collection, both owners and non-owners can get in on pre-ordering the full game. Microsoft today revealed the three different editions that fans can buy, and since this is the next big Halo title, expect the pricier editions to come packed full of goodies (to be shown at a later time). That said, even the standard edition comes with an "exclusive poster."
- Standard Edition for $59.99 – Halo 5: Guardians plus an exclusive poster, only available to those who pre-order.
- Limited Edition for $99.99 – Everything in the Standard Edition plus new digital content to enhance Spartan combat and exclusive items wrapped in a uniquely designed steel book.
- Limited Collector’s Edition for $249.99 – Everything in the Limited Edition as well as additional content such as a commemorative numbered statue designed by 343 Industries. More details on the design to be shared at a later date.
The Halo 5: Guardians beta is 343's chance to redeem themselves and put the failings of The Master Chief Collection behind them but asking fans to buy into expensive pre-order options without even informing them of what they include is sketchy at best. In a way, the multiplayer beta is part of an apology for the aforementioned collection. Asking for this much money for unknowns isn't a great move at this stage in the game. Our recommendation: wait.
If you're currently playing the Halo 5 beta, how are you liking it (or disliking it)? Anything in particular that stands out? Maybe check out our own impressions to see if you agree.
Halo 5: Guardians comes to the Xbox One in Fall 2015.
Source: Xbox Wire