Our Top 5 Xbox 360 Betas
We can’t lie to you dear reader. Some of us are slowly getting excited about the prospect of the Gears of War 3 Beta on April 25th. Love them or hate them, there’s little doubt that multiplayer betas are here to say on 360. While you might consider them little more than part of the marketing hype machine it’s hard to deny that for the majority of gamers out there betas are a positive thing. It means they get a taste of the game that they’ve been waiting for early and all the fun that goes with it. So without further ado, we present our top 5 Xbox 360 betas
5. Medal of Honor
It only made sense that EA would run a multiplayer beta for the game they hoped would be a COD killer. Despite the fact that we had wait a while longer on 360 than PS3 and PC owners to play it, the wait was worth it. As DICE fans we loved getting an early sample of the revered shooter developers’ efforts, although we all groused about the fact that both beta maps, Helmand Valley and Kabul City Ruins were a little small. Still, it’s multiplayer turned out to be the best thing about Medal of Honor
What could be better than getting to jump into the your own high powered Nano- suit a few months earlier than expected? Very little, we thought, when we took part in the Crysis 2 360 beta – and this time out we were first, with PC and PS3 only following later. While the beta was only originally scheduled to feature one map ‘Skyline’, we were rather chuffed when ‘Pier 17’ also slipped briefly into the rotation.
It was a great taster for Crysis 2’s Nano-suit driven action that has left us ravenous for its release next month.
Halo betas have a tradition of excellence and the beta for Halo: Reach was no exception. Its opening was plagued by technical issues but once they settled it was golden. This first chance to play with the new Armour abilities on Swordbase, Powerhouse and Overlook in a surprising number of cool modes was just epic. As ever Bungie went the extra mile, with stat tracking and Community features. If we’d any doubts about the direction Halo was going in with Reach, the beta blew them away. We were ever so glad we’d held onto our copy of ODST so we could join in the fun.
2. Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare
You might not remember it now, but we actually had advance warning of the shooter juggernaut that was Call of Duty 4, and it came in the form of an excellent multiplayer beta. Comprised of three multiplayer maps, Overgrown, Vacant, and Crash, the beta introduced us to the amazing gunplay, player progression systems, weapons and abilities that would catapult what we still consider the greatest COD game of all into the history books. Knowing we got the chance there at the beginning is one of the reasons we feel such affection for betas.
For some of us on 360 magazine, the Halo 3 beta isn’t just the greatest 360 beta of all time, it’s also one of our fondest gaming memories. That beta debuted the first Halo game on next gen, and did it with mind-blowing style. Microsoft knew that every 360 owner would want to play it, so cunningly included it on the Crackdown game disk. It’s easily arguable that Crackdown only sold as well as it did as a result – we know scores of people who never touched that disk after the beta ended. There weren’t many maps, but the mix of new vehicles and weapons made up for it. Playing on the High Ground, Snowbound and Valhalla maps made us feel like Halo 3 was going the best Halo game ever – turns out we were right. What was really great was how the established Halo community went wild, creating videos, songs and even guides to the stages and weapons. The Halo 3 beta was like an Xbox 360 Woodstock, and if you were there you were one of the lucky ones.