Unlike the Destiny beta, what you do in the Halo 5 beta is going to carry forward into the main game when it's out

“Oh have you played any of Halo 5 yet?” “No.” “Didn’t think so…” is how I’ve been starting most of my conversations lately. Though getting around an hour on the multiplayer might not be much to harp on about, Halo still has the name and fame that you can boast to friends uninterested in video games and they’ll probably have a vague idea that that’s a big deal. (Or you’ll lose a bunch of friends.)

Either way, Halo 5 multiplayer is great, it’s exactly what you want – and the beta is coming out in December, surprisingly early for a game not slated until late 2015. Though you might have already seen a few leaked clips making the controversial rounds. For those who don’t trawl gaming sites, a leaked video showing six seconds of gameplay showed a player using ‘aim down sight’ to shoot and a bunch of people suddenly got scared Halo 5 was going to turn into Call of Duty: Space Marines. For those worried, it didn’t seem like CoD, but this is coming from someone who doesn’t play a lot of CoD…

Aside from that, there’s a fair amount of new Halo gameplay to get going with, from sliding into crouches and double jumping to climb up ledges to thrust evasions and unlimited sprint. All in 60 beautiful frames per second.

But mainly, it was a lot of fun. There was eight of us each on a machine, laughing and wooping and groaning – Halo really do know what they’re doing with multiplayer.

And, unlike the Destiny beta, what you do in the Halo 5 beta is going to carry forward into the main game, once it’s out.

The downside is that it looks more and more like Microsoft is going to use the game as much as it can to push the cross-platform media it’s been developing. You’ve surely heard about upcoming Halo TV series, Nightfall, I can’t say I’ve seen it but video game forays into TV and film are rarely anything to talk about – saying that, with Ridley Scott on board, maybe it’ll surprise. If you’re so inclined you’ll also be able to get exclusive game items from watching the show in Xbox One’s Halo Channel.

Or you could always leave it running while you made dinner, does Kinect still track your movements? Either way, when the Halo 5 multiplayer beta is released on December 29 you know what you’ll be doing with those post-Christmas pre-new years limbo days.