343 Industries / Microsoft
By Matt Peckham
December 29, 2014

The Halo 5: Guardians multiplayer beta is on. It’s a trifle later than expected (by two days), but Microsoft has made good by extending the beta an extra day, thus you can now plasma-filet fellow players through January 18.

The beta should be downloadable by 12 p.m. ET Monday afternoon — but you need to own Halo: The Master Chief Collection to qualify for access.

Microsoft released a trailer a little over a week ago that walks through some of the beta’s features. It’ll focus on 4v4 Arena play across seven maps and three game types, and represents “only a small portion” of the final product, according to Redmond.

The final version of the game — which will let you play as a brand new character, Spartan Locke, sleuthing for an M.I.A. Master Chief — launches this fall (somewhere between September 23 and December 21) on Xbox One.

In related news, Microsoft is opening up preorders for the full Halo 5 game early. It’s happy to part you from a significant wad of your holiday cash if you’re feeling particularly Halo-hardcore: Microsoft is selling a Limited Collector’s Edition of the game, which includes a poster, digital miscellany, items (not specified) wrapped in a steel book, and a numbered statue (of what, also not specified) for $250.

A $100 Limited Edition includes the digital content, items and steel book, while the $60 standard version includes the poster only if you preorder.

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