Microsoft has announced a new free-to-play instalment of the Halo franchise will be launching this spring, but will only be available to gamers in Russia.
The Halo Online game is a multiplayer-only online title will launch as a closed beta initially and is powered by a “highly modified version of the Halo 3 engine,” according to the announcement (via GameSpot)
The game, which has no campaign mode, has been optimised for lower-end PCs and is set on a “a secret UNSC space installation called Anvil, where Spartan-IV soldiers train together in war exercises to sharpen their battle skills and test experimental technology.”
Microsoft says it’ll use the beta period to continually adjust and modify gameplay features and the in-game economy.
The company is focusing on the beta period for now and wouldn’t say for sure whether Halo Online will launch in other territories like the United States and the rest of Europe. However, it doesn't look too promising.
In a Q&A posted on the official Halo blog, the company said: “Right now our focus is on learning as much as we can from the closed beta period in Russia. Theoretically, any expansion outside of Russia would have to go through region-specific changes to address player expectations.”
The firm added Halo Online experience has been specifically “tailored for Russian gamers." What that actually involves remains to be seen. Perhaps Vladimir Putin makes a cameo as a humble, down-to-earth, peace-campaigning good guy?
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However, the firm did confirm the game will not be coming to the Xbox One console as it was “built from the ground up specifically for PC.”
There’s also no word on when the title will officially launch following the closed beta.
Of course, Xbox One owners have Halo 5 Guardians to look forward to later this year. A multi-player beta for the game went live in December last year.