Halo 5: Guardians Multiplayer Beta

As I write this, I’m still eagerly awaiting the launch of this year’s Consumer Electronics Show. Because of this, announcements in the tech world have been fairly quiet, as everyone is waiting for the big show.

Despite this lull, the big news last week was Microsoft’s release of Halo 5: Guardians multiplayer beta. Those who purchased Halo: The Master Chief Collection (as I wrote about in early December) will be able to access the beta from now through Jan. 18, then it will carry over to the official launch in fall 2015.


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Halo 5: Guardians multiplayer beta: troops dropping PHOTOS COURTESY MICROSOFT

Halo 5 is focused on 4v4 arena multiplayer and is built upon Halo’s legacy as the definitive arena shooter. This beta represents only a small portion of the epic plans 343 Industries/Microsoft has for the game. I expect this multi-week testing period to change and grow, but most likely there will be additional maps, modes and gear unlocked over time.

The title is exclusively for Xbox One and continues the story of the Master Chief we all know and love. It also introduces a brand-new central character to the Halo universe: Spartan Locke. According to Microsoft’s blog, “Peace is shattered when the colony worlds are unexpectedly attacked, and when humanity’s greatest hero goes missing, Spartan Locke is tasked with hunting the Master Chief and solving the mystery that threatens the entire galaxy.”

You now can pre-order the standard edition for $59.99, and it comes with a special poster (only for those who pre-order), or the limited edition for $99.99 (includes new digital content to enhance Spartan combat). But if you want to go all-out, the limited collector’s edition costs $249.99 and includes everything in the limited edition and a commemorative numbered statue designed by 343 Industries. Visit the Microsoft Store, your nearest GameStop or Amazon.com to pre-order.

Click Chick’s Apps For The New Year

As we go into 2015, I’m sure you’ve set some New Year’s resolutions. Here are a couple apps that can help you keep your goals, especially with fitness in mind.

If one of your resolutions is eating better, Fooducate helps you do just that by letting you quickly reference and compare foods by scanning barcodes in the store, or using the search field. It then will give you recommendations for alternatives that might have a healthier composition, such as lower sugar or fewer GMO ingredients.

It comes with a tracking feature that allows you to keep tabs on your nutrition and exercise. The difference between this app and the usual fitness app is that it actually educates you on what you’re consuming so you can make smart choices.

With health in mind, why not get paid for working out and eating healthy? Pact (formerly GymPact) lets you do just that: Earn cash for healthy living, and the money comes from other Pact members who don’t hold up their end of the deal.

You begin by connecting your Facebook account, a credit card (for payment and payout purposes), and setting a pact (e.g., three days per week to go to the gym or eating more fruits and veggies). If you keep your pact, you get paid (ranges from 50 to 75 cents per workout). If you fail, you’ll pay out and others receive your money. How’s that for motivation?