Microsoft has announced two new methods for getting yourself into the multiplayer beta for Bungie Studios' Halo 3
in Spring this year. If you want the opportunity to get in on the pre-release version of the killer-app you'll need to either buy yourself a copy of Crackdown
or take part in what Microsoft is calling, ‘Rule of Three’.
Getting your mitts on a specially marked copy of Realtime Worlds' Crackdown
when it hits European stores on February 23rd means you have a golden ticket in your hands. The Crackdown
disc will then act as a ‘key’ to the Halo 3
Beta. You will also need to have a hard drive in or attached to your console and an Xbox Live Gold subscription. With these three components: Crackdown
disc, hard disk and XLG sub in place, you can enter the multiplayer demo.
The Rule of Three, unfortunately, is only open to 'Mercans. Gamers must participate in at least three hours of Halo 2
online multi-playing between February 1st, 12:01am EST and February 3rd, 11:59pm EST. Next, they must mosey on over to the Halo 3
website and be amongst the first 13,333 to register.
That's right, 13,333. The ‘Rule of Three’ title might be a bit more satisfying if it weren't for the pesky "1" at the start of the figure. Of course, SPOnG doesn't blame Microsoft for not wanting to add 10,000 'Mercans to the ‘disappointed’ list with us Europeans.
For now then, it looks like if you're reading this from the UK you'll need to shell out £44.99 on Crackdown
if you want to get in on the action.
There are two ways you might want to look at this: the first is to assume Microsoft recognises that the audience for Crackdown
overlaps with that of Halo 3
and will give them high-quality feedback. The second is that this is a cynical way of flogging you a title you might not otherwise bother with just so you can get a buggy version of Halo 3
Either way, Microsoft will succeed in generating good word of mouth and a nice buzz on t'internet. That, of course, is something a Halo
title really needs at this point.