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Halo: Recruit

Microsoft seems to be branching out from the typical norms when it comes to producing content for the Halo franchise. The game has traditionally been a linear first-person shooter experience, but with 343 at the development helm, Microsoft wants to take Halo beyond the norm and into the realm of mixed reality starting October 17th.

Over on the Halo Waypoint website there's a post explaining that 343 Industries is working with Endeavor One, a small studio which has "deep ties" with the Halo brand. The studios -- under Microsoft's watch, of course -- developed a tiny little app based around the Halo universe called Halo Recruit. It's a mixed-reality first-person project that combines the elements of augmented reality with virtual reality, allowing gamers to see and play around in the sci-fi universe for the first time through a mixed reality experience.

The app will be freely available for those with compatible headsets that can utilize mixed reality runtime environments starting October 17th. This will arrive ahead of the fall roll out of mixed reality HMDs that will be made available from Acer, Dell, HP, Lenovo and Samsung, all of which are currently available for pre-order over on the Microsoft Store.

Acer and Lenovo's Windows 10 mixed reality headset will launch first on October 17th for $399. The headset comes with spatial-sensor motion controllers. In fact, all of the mixed reality headsets come with the same Microsoft-approved spatial-positioning motion controllers. If you don't have a VR headset you'll be able to use the mixed reality headsets to play VR games and apps, and also take a dive into the miniature Halo: Recruit mixed-reality experience, which is only five minutes long.

The app will see players utilizing disembodied hands to mess around with some of the weapons made famous by Bungie in the early years of the franchise, as well as face off against a Covenant Elite in real-time. It's mostly just a tech demo so don't expect anything expansive.

If you have a higher budget to expend on the mixed reality headsets, you can go with the Dell or HP sets for $449.00, both of which will also be available on October 17th with the launch of the free Halo app.

The mixed reality sets are designed to take advantage of the augmented reality capabilities that Microsoft has been researching and developing with the HoloLens technology, but the sets also have the ability to make use of traditional virtual reality runtime environments as well. So if you already have an Oculus Rift or the HTC Vive bundle, you can also dive into the Halo: Recruit app as well.

Additionally, you should be able to make use of the app if you have the HoloLens kit, which is not cheap by any stretch of the imagination. If you have $3,000 to put down on the device, you can get your hands on the development kit.

If you don't have a VR headset or aren't planning on purchasing a mixed-reality headset, you can still get your hands on Halo: Recruit, which will be demonstrated at mixed reality kiosks at select Windows Stores.