If there’s a better way for your inner Halo fan to start the week than 35 minutes of raw Halo: Reach multiplayer beta footage, I’ve yet to hear it.

Our colleagues over at GiantBomb were given the chance to sit down with the Halo: Reach multiplayer beta slightly in advance of its impending public launch, scheduled for the beginning of May. The result is the video you see above – 35 minutes of pure Halo: Reach beta footage, with commentary from the folks who got their hands on the game.

Simply put, it looks awesome. If you were worried that Reach would be just like ODST – as in, more Halo 3 – then worry no more, because the times, they are a-changing. Seeing as how Reach is actually a prequel to the first Halo game, it’s very interesting to see how Bungie has returned the gameplay sensibilities to that of the original title. For instance, SPARTANs don’t regenerate health as they did in Halo 2 and Halo 3 – they use medkits.

However, that doesn’t mean that there’s nothing new at all: The new armor loadouts are cool, with abilities including a temporary shield lockdown that gives you brief invulnerability, a sprint, a quick dodge roll, and of course the much-hyped jetpacks.

How psyched am I? Psyched enough to consider picking up ODST just to get into this beta – that’s how psyched I am.

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