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Hands-on with the new, drastically faster Halo 5: Guardians beta

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Halo 5: Guardians is going to be the biggest change-up in the series' history, if the game's recently launched early access beta is at all representative of the final product.

Earlier today, a bare-bones version of the beta went live, offering select members of the press and Halo die-hards a glimpse of the game's "Week One" content. That means just two maps and a handful of weapons are available to players, presenting a surprisingly early look at next year's installment in this mammoth franchise. The other big surprise? Halo 5: Guardians feels wildly different from the previous games in the series.

It is, across the board, a faster game. Players have more mobility between their sprinting, climbing and dashing maneuvers. Weapons feel tuned to dish out kills just a bit faster; weapons that relied on spraying and praying before are a bit more reliable. The pace of the game has changed drastically, but each new focus has traces of classic Halo in them: For example, you can aim down a weapon's sights, but getting shot bumps you out of your scoped-in view, and hip-firing a weapon has no penalty to accuracy whatsoever.

Check out the Overview above to see some of Halo 5: Guardians' early beta content in action. The beta will be available to Halo: The Master Chief Collection owners Dec. 29.