Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Enjoying That Halo 3 Beta Yet? Yeah, I Didn't Think So

This week has been quite the Halo 3 week. Not only has Microsoft confirmed the launch of H3 for Sep. 25, but today is also the day that the open beta program goes live. That's right, all those folks that forked out $60 for the "special" Crackdown disk that came with H3 beta access can now play...wait for it...Crackdown. Nice.

There appears to be a problem with Live, in that it's not letting Crackdown owners download the H3 beta. Bungie and Microsoft are reportedly working on the issue, but it could be "up to 24 hours" before the problem is resolved. So all you Master Chief wannabes out there are just going to have to keep on waiting.

With that in mind, is the beta worth the wait? Yes and no. This new game is definitely Halo, and everything that you love about the franchise is still present. So if you're still playing H2, you'll love this. That being said, this game is definitely Halo, meaning there's very little innovation. If you've had your fill of Halo 2, you won't find a lot of new things here. The one disappointment has been the graphics, however - the game looks like an upsampled H2. Luckily, there's still a few months until the release, and I'm sure the devs are going to spend all of that time shinin' things up real nice.

Honestly, Bungie can't be blamed for playing it safe. So long as they don't piss off the fans, they're guaranteed to sell a few million copies in a matter of days (the preorder is already hovering around the 3 million mark, which is amazing). Still, something beyond a Halo 2.5 would have been nice.

There's a lot riding on this beta for MS, so I'm sure the Crackdown issues will be resolved soon. Then it's every noob for himself. So find some cover, bring plenty of ammo, and snipe like there's no tomorrow. Eventually...

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