Why are they “test flights” and not just “betas”?

The first test flight for Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary on PC has begun, letting the lucky chosen few test out a hefty chunk of the game for a limited time.

Bit by bit, the Master Chief Collection is making its way to PC. First, it was Halo Reach on December 3, 2019, and now it’s the turn of Combat Evolved Anniversary. The HD remake of the first game originally launched on Xbox 360 back in 2011, before being included in the Master Chief Collection.

Assuming you’ve already signed up for the Halo Insider Program, you might have an email in your inbox telling you you’ve been granted access to the test flight. While it isn’t the whole game, it is a decent amount of it: four campaign missions, multiplayer matchmaking including custom game modes, as well as an early look at some of the customisation options that will be included in the full release.

If you’ve not yet signed up for the Insider program, there isn’t much hope of you getting into this phase of testing. But considering there will be more tests later on, and still four more games in the Master Chief Collection to come after this (2 Anniversary, 3, ODST and 4), there’s a good chance you’ll be able to play some early Halo goodness eventually.

Notably, Halo: Combat Evolved already has PC and Mac versions. They were released in 2003, long before the Anniversary remake, and they aren’t available on any digital distribution platforms. But if you can track down a copy second-hand, though, it still holds up as an excellent FPS that you won’t have to wait for. Halo’s good no matter how HD it is.

Much like Halo Reach, it’s almost guaranteed that Combat Evolved will be included in the Xbox Games Pass for PC, or as a standalone purchase on Steam. Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary doesn’t have a confirmed release date as of yet, although 343 Industries has said it would like to get the entire Master Chief Collection onto PC by the end of 2020.