Halo 3 beta goes live today

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After months of small-talk, Microsoft will finally open the Halo 3 multiplayer beta to the public today.

The proposed switch-on was scheduled for 13:00 GMT, and will last until 07:59 on 7th June. Word has it that those downloading via Crackdown aren't having any luck as yet, though, so Microsoft appears to be having a few teething troubles.

The 951MB download will give you the chance to try out three maps from the game and shoot your mates in the chops, relaying valuable information to developer Bungie about your experience. That is if you've secured a key, of course. And have a Gold Live account. And an Internet connection. And a hard disk. And space on your hard disk. A working Xbox 360 generally helps, too.

The keys were given out in special promotions that have long since expired, leaving Crackdown as the only current option for getting in on the fun.

If you've managed to bag yourself copy containing a key then you can redeem it in the in-game menu. We've also teamed up with Microsoft to giveaway 10 copies of Crackdown complete with Halo 3 beta key as a last-chance to join in. Good luck.

On top of all that we spent the weekend giving the beta a thoroughly good seeing to, and gave you not only our impressions of the action, but our own captured screenshots and a map guide to help you out.

There's also bundles of news and trailers in the Halo 3 gamepage for you to get stuck into.

All you have to do now is go and enjoy yourself. When it goes live, of course.

Halo 3 will be released for Xbox 360 on 26th September in Europe, and the day before in the U.S.

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