SAN FRANCISCO--If Master Chief means something to you, then get ready. The Halo: Reach multiplayer beta will open up on May 3.
"Reach," as it's being called, is the latest iteration of the hugely popular Halo franchise for Microsoft's Xbox 360. The game is expected to ship sometime this fall, but before that, "millions" of Halo fans will get a chance to play the game and help its developer, Bungie, get the title ready for the masses.
Just this week, Halo: Reach entered private alpha, and on May 3, fans who already have Halo: ODST will be able to access the Reach multiplayer beta using their ODST discs.
For Microsoft and Bungie, Halo: Reach is a crucial title this year. The Xbox has been performing strongly over the last year, but Sony's PlayStation 3 has finally begun to make up some ground on it over the last few months. For Bungie, the game is an opportunity to take on the success of Activision's Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2, which has set records as the best-selling console game of all time.
According to Bungie creative director Marcus Lehto, Reach is a standalone prequel to the existing Halo series, offering fans of the hit franchise an entirely new story and new characters on a scale unlike what Bungie has done with the game before.
Lehto explained that Reach will have a much darker story line and will focus on a "key turning point in the Human-Covenant War." Halo: Reach takes place in 2552.
In the new game, the planet Reach is humankind's last line of defense against the Covenant. But the planet is also home to the Spartan program, the heart of the human military. The game focuses on one group of Spartans known as Noble Team, led by Carter 259. … Read more