It sounds like an odd thing to say, but so often it feels like betas run these days as a showcase of things to come. A glorified demo, if you will.

With Halo 5: Guardians, though, it’s going to have a “real” beta. It’s set to run from December 27 through to January 15—almost a full year ahead of the game’s release—with 343 Industries closely monitoring everything players do.

Speaking to Eurogamer, 343 Industries’ Bonnie Ross said the test is not just a showcase, but an important part of the development process.

“Very deliberately we’re doing it a year out to give us the development time to make sure we can take the feedback,” she said.

“It will be an interactive three week beta, meaning we will have multiple different ways for people playing to give us feedback so we can hone the multiplayer experience.”

Entry to the Guardians beta is an included feature of The Master Chief Collection, which releases November 11.