During Microsoft's Gamescom press conference, 343 Industries has announced that the Halo 5: Guardians beta will run for three weeks, from December 29th 2014 to January 18th, 2015. Players can secure their pass into the beta by purchasing the upcoming Halo: The Master Chief Collection that releases this November.

The beta will focus on 4-vs-4 competitive player modes. 343 has confirmed that seven maps and three modes will be available to play. Players will have access to 11 weapons and seven customizable armor sets. The beta will include some unlocks that will carry to the formal release of the game. 343 has also noted that the beta will feature on a 'fair start' system, which puts all players in a match with the same starting loadout. This is a departure from the ability to customize starting loadouts in Halo 4.

The game will run at 60 frames per second, which 343 has confirmed will carry over into the beta. 343 has also stated that the ranking system in Halo 5 will be reminiscent of the ranking system in Halo 2.

Along with Halo 5 beta news, 343 has also announced the "Halo Channel", a digital entertainment channel for Xbox One and Windows. The channel series has an interactive hub for all Halo-related media, including the live action video series Halo: Nightfall.

Are you excited to play the upcoming beta? What are you looking forward to most in the new game? Let us know in the comments!

Halo 5 Guardians - Beta First Look02:46

Halo 5 Guardians - Beta First Look

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