Halo 3 Beta Date Announced

They have finally announced the release date for the much anticipated Halo 3 beta program. The beta will debut on Xbox Live on May 16th at 5AM, and if you haven’t gotten in on the beta yet, there is still a chance. Buy yourself, yes, I said buy, a specially marked copy of Crackdown or by the rule of three, meaning you played three hours of Halo 2 online, I believe.

We know you’re crazy for Halo 3 news, and here it is. The multiplayer Halo 3 beta will debut on Xbox Live, May 16th at 5AM. (Can I call in sick 5 weeks in advance?) How do you get on that beta? Either through the “Rule of Three” promotion or buying a copy of Crackdown for Xbox 360.

This is your chance to get to try new levels, weapons, vehicles, and try out some new game types. Maps shipping with the beta include Snowbound, Hugh Ground, and Valhalla – all new to Halo 3. Try your hand at the new Mongoose ATV, and gun-up with the new and improved Assault Rifle, Brute Spiker, Spike Grenades, and the killer Spartan Laser. Source: Halo 3 beta data announced – are you in?

Sounds really good, kotaku has some more info.

The Beta itself consists of three maps – Valhalla, High Ground and Snowbound – graphically improved since our first MP screenshots – and all three will be playable in Matchmaking only (that is after all, what we’re Beta testing here). All three maps are suitable for a wide variety of gameplay types, and you will have the chance to try all manner of game types, familiar and new.

There will also be new guns, vehicles and gameplay features to try – including the mysterious “X-Button” functionality.

There are a number of new features you’ll get to test out – including a new grenade type, a completely different class of weapon and some of the enhanced online functionality we plan to bring to the game – but it should be noted, a lot of secret features are hidden in this Beta.

You will see frame rate skips, unfinished animation and graphical features that will change come Fall. All the footage is clearly marked Alpha. You’re looking at the features here folks, not the final quality bar – which we’ve set pretty high. Your next taste of that will be in May. Source: Halo 3 Multiplayer Beta Dated

Here is a video I downloaded from Bungie.net showing you some of the features. They have a higher quality video on their site and an HD version on Xbox Live you can watch on your console.