So, How Are You Finding The Halo: Reach Beta?S

While some us got our jetpacks dirty last week, for most, the Halo: Reach beta began in earnest on Monday. Meaning many of you are probably knee-deep in teabags by now. Which begs the question: what do you think?

I know it's a beta, and it's still early days, but first impressions are also the most important, so we'd love to hear them.

Me, I'm loving it. I wasted years of my life playing Blood Gulch on the original Halo, but never really got into the online battles of the later games, partly due to the fact they'd grown a little too complex (relative to Halo 1's perfect simplicity), and partly because I cannot stand Halo players on Xbox Live.

But Reach has so far been a blast. The matchmaking system is a delight, especially how my friends are displayed on the game's opening screen, and I'm also really digging the new class-based system, which appeals to my inner Team Fortress 2 sensibilities (that and the jetpacks are great fun).

On the downside, even with a wealth of filtering options I still find myself surrounded by loud-mouthed assholes, and for some reason 95% of the games I join are on the one map, even though more are available (I've played one game on Sword Base, the rest on Powerhouse).

Once the beta rolls on, though, and more maps are released, I'm hoping this is alleviated. As for the assholes, though, I fear I may be stuck with them.