With the Halo Reach multiplayer beta starting today, more and more hype is building in the Xbox 360 fan community. Although the Halo Reach beta will not contain any singleplayer component and will not be a polished version of the game, this is Microsoft’s chance at keeping their fans happy and maybe even draw in some from other camps.
Microsoft markets Halo Reach like crazy, emphasizing on the new content and features that the game will come with. And there is quite a lot of novelty to go around : new weapons and armor abilities, player rewards, social settings and advanced customization options.
Telling people about the new content they will get in the full game is something that’s been done before, but with Halo Reach, players will experience the new weapons and armor abilities the minute they will start the multiplayer beta. This is because you will be given the option to select the load-out and armor abilities you spawn with. This way, you won’t have to run around the map searching that weapon/jet pack/armor that you want. As mentioned by both the producers and specialists from around the web, this lays the ground for a whole new type of gameplay action. And, speaking about the gameplay, here’s a quick glimpse of the Halo Reach gameplay:
Besides adding a twist to the game (the Halo series has been criticized for not really adding anything new and exciting to the game for a while now), this might work as a two-way blade for Microsoft. By giving players the ability to experience a lot more of the new content even since the beta stage, some players might decide that the new weapons or armors are just not good enough for them (although I personally find them cool as shizzle).
Fortunately for Microsoft, these players might be drawn by the single player campaign, a domain where the Halo series really did a great job in the past. All in all, prepare for a massive amount of hype to build up as we get into the Halo Reach multiplayer beta and especially once the beta is over. Also be aware that there are a lot of blogs out there that will have you join newsletters, post a comment, etc for you to enter the competition for a Halo Reach beta key giveaway, even though they don’t actually possess these keys. Note that you can enter the Halo Reach multiplayer beta only if you have a Halo ODST disc.
Now, leaving all this aside, Halo Reach seems like a serious contender for the Xbox 360 game of the year (as far as we can figure out at the moment Alan Wake seems to be the only can take this title away from Reach). Most likely Halo fans will love it (and there are enough of them to keep Microsoft financially happy, at least for the time being) while PS3 fanboys will start trowing rocks at the beta, no matter how good or bad it will actually be.