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Halo 5's beta has a fun hardcore mode, and a clever take on territory control

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We've already covered the multiplayer beta for Halo 5: Guardians, which opened its gates for Halo: The Master Chief Collection owners late last year. We already knew it was drastically faster than past series installments, with some bold changes to the series' core formula — but the beta kicked off with a limited slate of content. Now that the beta has entered its final week, we thought we'd return to the game's early test to try the new modes that have rolled out: The hardcore, one-life-only Breakout mode, and the territory control mode Strongholds.

Breakout is tough-as-nails, with severely reduced shields, meaning just a few well-placed shots can take you out of the round for good. Despite that toughness, it's actually still a ton of fun — rounds don't last especially long, and coordinating your assault feels awfully rewarding. Strongholds mixes up the territory control formula by only awarding points to the team that's holding two out of three spots, meaning you constantly have to keep on the move, as no team can limp across the finish.

Check out the Overview above for some of our thoughts on these two modes, as well as some gameplay footage of the game's brisk pace in action.