Made possible through Microsoft Corp."s Xbox LIVE gaming and entertainment network, which provides a robust online service for more than 6 million gamers worldwide, the multiplayer beta for "Halo 3" will give anxious Xbox 360 gamers their first opportunity to get their hands on the new levels, weapons, vehicles and game types, as well as a chance to provide valuable data that Bungie will use in continued development. Starting May 16, gamers who secured their admission to the multiplayer beta either through the "Rule of Three" promotion or by purchasing a specially marked copy of "Crackdown"" for Xbox 360 will be able to don their Spartan armor, download the beta on Xbox LIVE, and jump online using their Xbox LIVE Gold account* to battle other gamers from around the world.
When gamers gather online to play the multiplayer beta via Xbox LIVE in May, they will be treated to three richly detailed, action-oriented maps: Snowbound, High Ground and Valhalla, which represent a mixture of large- and medium-scale combat environments and are brand-new to "Halo 3." Each map will test gamers" mettle as they are placed behind the controls of new "Halo 3" vehicles such as the agile Mongoose all-terrain vehicle, and armed with deadly weapons such as the new and improved Assault Rifle, the ferocious Brute Spiker, the devastating Spartan Laser and the treacherous new Spike Grenades. This is just a taste of what gamers will experience later this fall when "Halo 3" goes on sale.
""Halo: Combat Evolved" and "Halo 2" changed the face of console gaming forever," said Shane Kim, corporate vice president of Microsoft Game Studios. "Gamers from around the world have logged more than 800 million hours on Xbox LIVE playing "Halo 2," and years after its launch it remains the No. 1 title on our Xbox LIVE network. Bringing an early look at the multiplayer elements of "Halo 3" to our passionate fan base is tremendously exciting for us."
Gamers worldwide who did not participate in the "Rule of Three" promotion but are interested in joining the multiplayer beta of "Halo 3" can still participate through the purchase of the critically acclaimed Xbox 360 title "Crackdown," which was launched in February. "Crackdown" sets players loose in a free-form, persistent city for action-packed crime fighting that requires a bigger, faster and stronger hero that evolves as a more efficient weapon through continued gameplay. Each copy of "Crackdown" has been specially marked with a "Halo 3" beta sticker prior to the beta period, and starting May 16 the game will act as a key for gamers to download and participate in the "Halo 3" multiplayer beta.
Next-generation high-definition visuals; enhanced artificial intelligence; an advanced real-time lighting engine; and new weapons, characters and challenges are just a few examples of the evolution of design and technology in “Halo 3.” Expanding on everything that has made the “Halo” franchise so widely recognized, the final version of “Halo 3” will provide a wealth of technical and gameplay advancements, available only through Xbox 360.
These improvements are designed to give gamers an unparalleled experience and tell an even more compelling and engrossing story. Working in concert with Xbox Live on Xbox 360, “Halo 3” builds on the unique social multiplayer experience of “Halo 2” and promises to expand the innovative and evolving online gameplay and community of “Halo 2” on Xbox Live. In this third chapter of the “Halo” trilogy, Master Chief returns to finish the fight, bringing the epic conflict between the Covenant, the Flood and the entire human race to a dramatic, pulse-pounding climax.
- Next-gen advantage: Taking full advantage of the power of Xbox 360, Halo 3 expands on everything that has made the Halo franchise great, adding a wealth of technical and gameplay advancements.
- Evolution of design: Next-generation high-definition visuals, enhanced A.I., an advanced real-time lighting engine, and new weapons, characters, and challenges are just a few examples of Halo 3's evolution of design and technology.
- Unparalleled experience: Ultimately, these improvements provide gamers with an unparalleled experience and, in the end, tell an even more compelling and engrossing story.
- Online multiplayer: Working in concert with Xbox Live on Xbox 360, Halo 3 builds upon the unique social multiplayer experience and innovative, evolving online gameplay of Halo 2.
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