Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Halo 3 Beta Now Available – Act Now And Get A Free Copy Of Crackdown!

Ladies and gentlemen, the moment you've all been waiting for – the Halo 3 beta is finally available to the masses! Starting today, any gamer can pick up an invite to participate in the Halo 3 beta, and all it will cost you is the price of a completely different and unrelated game – Crackdown.

Ordinarily, the only way to get into a beta program is to sign up online, and be "randomly" picked. The upside – this is usually free. The downside – there's no guarantee you’ll be selected. Earlier in the year, Microsoft did offer a number of free options to get into the beta, including a random drawing and a tournament for those playing Halo 1 and 2 on Xbox Live. But for the Master Chief wannabes that missed out, there is another option – buy a copy of Crackdown.

For a limited time, specially marked copies of Crackdown will include an invitation to the Halo 3 beta on Xbox Live. The only rub is that Crackdown will cost you $60. That's definitely not cheap, but for die-hard Halo fans who missed out on the previous options, it's a small price to pay.

This whole matter is not without some controversy. MS has come under fire from gamers for packaging this with a full-price AAA title, making the beta as expensive as it possibly could be. And yes, they probably should take some flack for that. But look at the situation this way – without this, you probably wouldn't have a guaranteed way into the beta. Or, on the flip side, they could have packaged it with a game like Viva Pinata or something, which would have really sat well with all the gamers out there…

Say what you want, but a guaranteed invite to the beta for what will surely be the most popular 360 title is a good thing. And truth be told, Crackdown is a decent game. It's a GTA-style free roam shooter, with a unique twist of allowing your character to upgrade his physical abilities (think Spiderman jumping from rooftop to rooftop). Granted, some of the reviews for the game have stated that it's a little one-dimensional, but those are the breaks (here's a full review from Gamespot). And if the H3 beta is worth $30 to you, then Crackdown is a much more reasonable value.

Long story short – unless you're a hard-core Halo fan, don't buy this just for the beta. Save your money for the full release later this year. But if Crackdown looks good to you, and you're a Halo fan on top of it – now's the time to buy. So fire up your Warthog and head to the store, cause you know these will sell out fast.

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