Halo: The Master Chief Collection has been available for only a few hours, and we’re already looking ahead to December 29, when Microsoft and 343 Industries switch on the Halo 5: Guardians Beta. Running through January 18, this exclusive look at next year’s epic sequel lets players kill each other across two modes, Slayer and Breakout; the latter is a brand-new team-based game where each Spartan has one life per round. 

For now, there are two new maps that we know of. Slayer features Empire, while Breakout has Crossfire. Each one features a unique appearance and terrain, forcing gamers to use the new Spartan abilities in different ways. Although the Beta is still over a month a way, here’s a first look at each location. 

Empire (Slayer) 

Verticality is a common theme in Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare and same is true for Halo 5: Guardians. Empire is comprised of skyscrapers with plenty of ledges to grab onto using the new Clamber ability to pull yourself up. 

While in the air, use the Thruster Pack to burst in any direction or pull off a Ground Pound that’ll instantly kill whoever’s on the receiving end of the attack. 

Taking the high ground also grants access to the Sniper Rifle. 

Under heavy fire? You can take cover inside interiors, where you’re bound to encounter one, two or several players. 

Outside, you’ll discover ramps and ledges of different sizes. Make sure you check those corners! 

Crossfire (Breakout)

It won’t take long to run from one side of Crossfire to the other, and that’s the idea. Breakout matches last but a few minutes at best, and you’ll be under attack within seconds. 

The map was divided into three sections: the tower (high ground), the house (interior, middle ground) and the pit. 

The pit leaves you exposed to anyone hanging out in the tower, but providing you utilize cover, you may be able to weave in and out of the pit and attack enemies from behind. 

Since every player has one life and weakened shields, don’t be afraid to take a risk with a well-timed Ground Pound. There’s a chance you’ll score more than one kill and perhaps end the round.  Remember, doing this and failing will leave you exposed, so think twice about jumping above heavily armed opponents.  

Keeping with the theme of one life, we suggest sticking together with teammates. You have to be a skilled Halo player to succeed as a lone wolf in Breakout. Constant communication is a must in order to be successful in Breakout. Always call out enemy locations and let friends know when they're walking into an ambush.

Buy a copy of Halo: The Master Chief Collection to guarantee a spot in the Halo 5: Guardians Beta.