Halo fans, time for some good news: you’ll be able to play Halo 5: Guardians by the end of this year, according to publisher Microsoft, who laid out details for Guardians‘ December multiplayer beta.
The beta will run from December 29 to January 18, so you’ll get a good couple of weeks in to test Guardians out. According to the first-look video below, your progress in the beta will carry over to the retail release of Halo 5 when it comes out sometime later next year. Developer 343 Industries put together the video with some fly-throughs of the maps included in the beta (7 total) along with the promise that Guardians’ multiplayer will stick to running at 60 frames per second.
For now, it looks like the studio is focusing on smaller matchups, sticking with 4v4 matches on maps catering to tighter combat (and it’s no coincidence that this is the team size found in most e-sports-centric shooters).
Players can gain access to the Halo 5 beta with the purchase of The Master Chief Collection, this November.
There’s also going to be a Halo Channel, which sounds like a beefed-up version of Halo Waypoint, built for the Xbox One and other devices. This platform is where Halo video content will live (it will have Twitch streaming integrated), and will serve as the home for existing shorts like Halo: Legends and Forward Unto Dawn, as well as provide access to information in the Halo Encyclopedia for all of your answers to questions like: just who and what the heck the is Didact (I don’t know. No one knows)?
No word on when the Halo Channel will launch, but we can probably expect it sometime around the release of The Master Chief Collection.