Print 16 comment(s) - last by Tmansport.. on May 18 at 3:51 PM

Halo 3 beta extended to June 10 because of Crackdown flaw

Finally, after months of anticipation, the Halo 3 multiplayer beta is here. Everyone that is participating in the beta seems to be happy, but all was not beer and skittles the morning of May 16, as those who had paid good money for Crackdown (which is a great game by itself) found themselves unable to download the Halo 3 beta.

There were three ways to get into the Halo 3 beta. Those who were lucky enough to be selected by Bungie and Microsoft for the beta received a code, which would be used to enable the download for Halo 3 beta. Those people were first into the beta, as the codes started working during the early morning hours of Wednesday.

Those without a special invite could buy their way into the beta by picking up a specially marked copy of Crackdown. Supposedly, Crackdown owners would be able to start downloading the Halo 3 beta starting 5 a.m. PDT/7 a.m. EDT – but that never happened.

When it was time, countless numbers of Crackdown owners – me being one of them – sat at their downloadable content screens constantly refreshing, waiting for that “Download Halo 3 beta” link to come to life. Hours pass and far too many refreshes later, still no sign of Halo 3.

Understandably, all owners of Crackdown were pissed. A forum thread on NeoGAF practically exploded, accumulating over 3600 posts, with users expressing their grief over the delay. Some had even called in sick to take the day off just for the beta. D'oh.

Finally, almost 14 hours later, an update appeared for Crackdown which would fix all issues with the downloader – and 911.18 MB later, the Halo 3 beta is finally here. For the pain and suffering caused by the delay, the beta will be extended by four more days.

“We realize this has been a pain for many and an inconvenience at the very least. Given the circumstances, we've decided to extend the duration of the Halo 3 Beta from June 6th to June 10th at 11:59 PM PDT.  So, you lost almost a full day of play today but to make up for it we're tacking on four more days (and a weekend at that),” Bungie wrote on its website. “We apologize for the delay and hardships this issue has caused and hope that it quickly becomes a distant memory clouded by good times playing Halo 3 with your friends. Thank you all for your patience and understanding. We'll see you online!”

So, for those of you who have spent some time with the multiplayer beta, what do you think?

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Gold accounts only??
By Milliamp on 5/17/2007 9:11:49 AM , Rating: 1
I just went to download the beta and it said "You must modify you membership to download this"

In the description of the Halo demo is says "Only for use with Xbox live Gold accounts"

So I am looking at $60+tax for crackdown + ~$50 to upgrade Xbox live to gold so that I can get access to a demo for 15 days?

Why do I feel like someone just beat me up and took my lunch money?

RE: Gold accounts only??
By BornStar on 5/17/2007 9:24:41 AM , Rating: 2
It's an online multiplayer beta. What would make you think that you didn't need a Gold account?

Why don't you just pick up a 3 month card or see if you can find a free month trial card?

RE: Gold accounts only??
By Vertigo101 on 5/18/2007 12:31:19 AM , Rating: 2
You can purcase Live Gold a month at a time for about 8 bucks or so.

(Why would you sign up for an online multiplayer beta if you don't have an account that lets you play online? Did you expect to beta test it with yourself? It's for testing their back-end, they could give a rats' ass how well it runs offline right now.)

RE: Gold accounts only??
By Milliamp on 5/18/2007 1:05:41 AM , Rating: 1
When Crackdown was released I didn't know the beta was going to be online only, I figured it would be more like a demo.

The 360 is my kids, he is 6, and I don't typicially follow gaming news very closely.

My fucking bad.

RE: Gold accounts only??
By Alias1431 on 5/18/2007 1:24:58 AM , Rating: 2
What is the difference between silver and gold? If you can't play multiplayer with silver, what is the point?

RE: Gold accounts only??
By Vertigo101 on 5/18/2007 9:42:19 AM , Rating: 2
Access to Video Marketplace, regular demos, pay-as-you-play MMO's, you can still chat with your friends list, and Microsoft gets valuable marketing data based on every move you make while online.

RE: Gold accounts only??
By RGC on 5/18/2007 2:16:57 PM , Rating: 2
Wow there are multiple accounts for Xbox live? Five years ago a few of my friends with consoles made jokes about how I had to pay monthly for MMO's even though I "already paid for the game." Its sad to see that one come around and bite them in the ass.

A Minor Inconvenience
By novacthall on 5/17/2007 8:34:49 AM , Rating: 2
I was one of the legions of 360 owners who purchased Crackdown for the added benefit of being able to play the Halo 3 beta preview (though as Marcus accurately points out, Crackdown is a fun game in and of itself). Being a fan of Halo, I of course had my internal calendar marked for May 16 for the download.

While I was frustrated that the beta did not go live when I expected it to, it's by no means the end of the world, as many of the reactions I saw on forums seemed to indicate. Most of that reaction is likely attributable to immaturity and hormones, in equal quantities.

After all: it's just a game. (A game I'll probably love, but a little waiting never hurt anyone.)

PS - Marcus, be careful! Given your Xbox's fragile temperament, take added precaution to ensure this download doesn't brick your 360. Just to be sure, you are doing the "Microsoft Jiggle" WHQL-approved dance before you insert a game disc, right?

RE: A Minor Inconvenience
By Aikouka on 5/17/2007 8:43:31 AM , Rating: 2
Same here pretty much. It didn't bother me that it wasn't available... and as much as people were nay saying, the download was quite fast. Seemed to take as much of my bandwidth as I had available (I'd assume around 350kb/s after other downloads took their share).

Talking about bricking... I was pretty worried last night. After I tried to leave the "Download Halo" screen/blade-thing, my XBOX 360 just froze up for a good 30 seconds. I almost thought it was going to busticate before my very eyes, but it ended up coming back.

Oh and I wish they'd change the way Crackdown users have to download Halo 3. You can't even leave the download page or else the download will cancel. What, did I downgrade to an older PS3 or something? ;)

RE: A Minor Inconvenience
By peritusONE on 5/17/2007 9:52:25 AM , Rating: 2
I didn't purchase Crackdown for the sole purpose of the Halo 3 beta, but it was a nice bonus. After playing the Crackdown demo, I was buying Crackdown no matter what.

I also had no problems downloading within the few minutes of the patch/fix being up. It downloaded in around 2 hours, about the time it would have normally taken.

Hopped into a couple of matches this morning, and it's fantastic. The best compliment you can give it is that it's definitely more Halo to love.

RE: A Minor Inconvenience
By novacthall on 5/18/2007 8:37:18 AM , Rating: 2
I agree with you, blurredvision. I downloaded the Crackdown demo first, to see if the Beta key perk was really something worth buying a whole game over. My brother and I spent hours jumping around the city and kicking each other off of buildings (and consequently into traffic, whereupon the aggressor would inevitably laugh maniacally at the situation), at which point we decided the demo had sold us the game.

I played one game last night when I got home from work. I must say that I thoroughly enjoyed myself. Quite despite the fact that I got my butt handed to me, the multiplayer portion of the game seems solid. I should criticize, though, that the Spartan Laser almost seems to be too powerful a weapon. I was in dead last place the entire game but by luck I managed to kill someone who was pointing a blinky-flashy red light angry looking weapon at me. After picking that up and holding it until the ammo ran out, I was in first place. It's a game changer, even in the hands of amateurs.

Completely unrelated (I think) and unbelievably frustrating: my 360 froze towards the end of that match. I'm afraid I may have a RRoD in my near future, which does not make me happy. My games have been freezing and locking up for a while now, at least since Saints Row, but now that the problem seems less contained to a single game on my console, I'm honestly worried.

RE: A Minor Inconvenience
By Tmansport on 5/18/2007 3:51:58 PM , Rating: 2
I think the laser is powerful, if you know how to use it. I takes like 5-6 seconds before the actual laser is fired, and can be really hard to hit individuals in the larger map. Vehicles, on the other hand, are much easier to hit. However, since only 5 shots are allowed before it must be respawned, I don't think it will be a game defining weapon.

wow ...
By theteamaqua on 5/17/2007 5:33:21 AM , Rating: 2
disappointment ... but cant say i didnt expect this to happen.

RE: wow ...
By wrathiron on 5/17/2007 9:03:09 AM , Rating: 2
Has anyone actually played it?

RE: wow ...
By KristopherKubicki on 5/17/2007 10:19:22 AM , Rating: 3
I got to tinker around with it a little for press access. It's abundantly clear that I'm much better at Civ 4 than any FPS title.

RE: wow ...
By Vertigo101 on 5/18/2007 12:25:59 AM , Rating: 2
It's also abundantly clear that Civ 4 is a much better game than any Halo title.

"So if you want to save the planet, feel free to drive your Hummer. Just avoid the drive thru line at McDonalds." -- Michael Asher
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