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Microsoft plans insane Halo 5 launch with helicopters, celebs, real-life combat

Master Chief and Spartan Locke face off in less than two weeks with the release of Halo 5: Guardians, and Microsoft is looking to make its launch an enormous event, complete with a six-hour livestream that includes celebrity appearances and the first episode of the Halo: Fall of Reach animated series.

Beginning on October 26 at 6:00 EST, Microsoft will begin streaming Halo 5 content exclusively on YouTube. In addition to the aforementioned first episode of The Fall of Reach, the event will also include “the first Xbox roundtable,” featuring┬áthe game’s writers, as well as actor Nathan Fillion.

Around the world, the planned activities showcase the most hardcore members of the “Halo Nation.” In Australia, a “lucky fan” will play the game while flying in a helicopter (the screen will be in a second helicopter), and in Hong Kong, a replica of the multiplayer map “Breakout” will allow fans to try out “real” Halo combat. Microsoft is even planning to send figurines of Master Chief and Spartan Locke to space … to take a selfie.

Related: Microsoft shows off the Halo 5 limited editions

Microsoft stores will also be hosting their own launch parties, offering fans a Halo poster with purchases over $25 and a chance to tour 343 Studios in Seattle. Naturally, attendees will be able to try out Halo 5 before its midnight launch.

Microsoft is undoubtedly trying to match the fanfare that it created when Halo 2 launched in 2004, an event that drew its own news reports from the mainstream press.

“Whether they tune into the live broadcast on YouTube or come out and celebrate with us in person at one of our global fan events, we hope Halo Nation will help make Halo 5: Guardians the biggest game launch in Xbox history,” says 343’s Bonnie Ross in the official announcement.

We’ll see if that’s the case when Halo 5: Guardians launches on October 27, exclusively for Xbox One.