Halo 5 is coming to Xbox One, kicking off with a multiplayer beta that'll launch at the end of the year, and TechRadar was among the lucky few to recently their hands on it.
Safe to say, if you like Halo, we're pretty confident you're going to like Halo 5 - although there are a few gameplay changes in-bound, which includes plenty of graphical enhancements.
"Coming to Xbox One we wanted to go and re-architect the engine," said Josh Holmes, 343 Industries' Head of Internal Development. "We also made the decision to go to 60FPS which meant going back and re-engineering all our gameplay systems from the ground up to focus on that. So we've got new material system, new lighting system, new physics, new AI, dedicated servers…"
New year's resolution
Pause. Rewind. When it launches on December 29th, Halo 5 multiplayer beta will run at 720p resolution and 60 frames per second. According to Josh, 720p is not going to be the final resolution for the game, but in a new console world where 1080p and 60FPS seems to be the gold standard, should we be concerned?
Probably not. Halo 5 still looks like a next generation game. We'll wait to see the final resolution, but 1080p doesn't seem as impossible as it did six months ago. Microsoft said back in 2013 that the finished version of Halo 5 will run at 1080p, but it was 60FPS that was key for 343.
"It was easy from my perspective," says Josh on the decision to build Halo 5 at 60FPS. "I was like 'we're definitely going 60FPS' but there was debate from people across the team because there are always tradeoffs.
"When you're going 60FPS you're drawing twice as many frames, so that also means a real dedication and discipline throughout the team."
In terms of gameplay changes, Halo 5 gives you far more options for getting around the map now. Spartans get a jet-pack that acts almost like a double jump, as well as for dodging on the ground, and can clamber up onto ledges.
And FPS fans will be happy with a 'Smart Scope' mode too, where the left trigger lets you aim down sights.
The beta, which kicks off on December 29, will focus on 4 vs 4 competitive multiplayer, but players will have a chance to vote on what they want to see during the three weeks, as well as picking up special cosmetic armour pieces that will transfer over to Halo 5: Guardians when it arrives in late 2015.