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The best Halo, ODST, begins closed testing this month

From weary old gorillas to graphical japes, we’ve all had our fun with Halo Infinite over the last few weeks. But haud on, we’ve still got the rest of Halo: The Master Chief Collection to get through before finishing that particular fight. This month, 343 will begin closed insider flighting for Halo 3: ODST, Master Chief’s moody, jazz-noir cousin that’s secretly the best of the bunch.

343 broke the news in their July development update, outlining plans to begin limited flighting (testing) for Halo 3’s late-night special. Like its blockbuster predecessor, this’ll be ODST’s first drop on PC. Never thought I’d see the day, honestly.

Released two years after Halo 3, ODST was surprisingly experimental. Traditional, linear Halo missions were accessed via labyrinthine semi-open-world of New Mombasa, itself littered with enemy patrols, lore dumps, and hidden caches of vehicles and weapons. Rather than commanding walking tank John Motocross, you’re put in the ratty boots of one of Halo’s hapless marines. Granted, you’re part of an elite squad under the command of Nathan Fillon – but combined with the more grounded stakes, ODST is remarkably vulnerable for a bombastic space opera.

The MCC flighting will include a handful of campaign missions including the Mombassa Streets hub. Playlists are also being tested – a feature Nate lauded as proof that all Halos are the same Halo – along with a selection of Firefight maps. ODST’s Firefight, which differed significantly from its Halo: Reach counterpart, gets a bit of a deeper dive in this week’s update. Extra customisation options for starting loadouts are being added, along with proper matchmaking in line with the rest of the game.

There are also plans to buff out Halo 3’s multiplayer with ODST weapons like the silenced SMG, alongside weapon and vehicle cosmetics similar to those recently added to Halo: Combat Evolved. The Halo 3: ODST flight should kick off within the next week or so. As per, you’ll need to be a Halo Insider for a shot at getting an invite. Going by the pace of previous releases, I’d expect ODST proper to arrive by early- to mid-September.

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Natalie Clayton

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