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Halo: Fireteam Raven hits my old-school arcade sweet spot

It's a new Halo game, but not for the Xbox. Wait, what?

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Halo: Fireteam Raven is where you'll go for your Halo fix until Halo Infinite is released. 

Aloysius Low/CNET

I watch as my grenade explodes, killing the Grunts in front of me. But my problems are far from over: New Elites and Jackals are already advancing.

Thanks to my terrible aim, I barely miss the Elite before he fires his last shot at me. A "Continue" sign flashes. Thankfully I have unlimited lives for this demo session. I hit the Start button and swing back into action, barely saving my teammate. Swinging my gun over to the other screen, I work with the rest of my four man squad as we take out an alien Covenant Dropship.

Welcome to the world of Halo: Fireteam Raven. It's a new Halo game not for the Xbox console, but for the arcade.

Yes, the arcade. For reasons unbeknownst to me (though I suspect it's something to do with the long wait for Halo Infinite to launch), the new Halo game is an arcade shooter. It takes place in a giant four-player cabinet loaded with a 130-inch 4K display. The story casts you as Orbital Drop Shock Troopers playing through six chapters set in the Halo ring world. I made it through three before I had to give up and let the other journalists at the event try it out.

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Here's what it looks like inside as you're playing.

Aloysius Low/CNET

Controls are simple: You're seated at a gun turret, where you fire and reload or toss your limited supply of grenades to wipe out the enemies. There's vibrational feedback as well, which ties in well when the action on screen gets intense. The graphics are fantastically sharp. The frame rate's smooth as butter for four-player fun and the action is non-stop as you'll rarely get a breather. At the end of my three-chapter run, my hands were already aching from griping the gun turret too tightly.

I'm an old-school Time Crisis junkie, so I would have loved more interaction, such as the ability to duck out of the way of laser bolts. But Fireteam Raven still offers plenty of shoot-em-up fun. And it's even better if you're a fan of the Halo franchise.

Halo: Fireteam Raven is already available in the US at Dave & Busters, and just made its way to Sydney yesterday. I got to try this out in Singapore at Timezone Vivocity, which is the only place you can play it here for now.

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