Totally Rated: Halo Infinite multiplayer beta and OnePlus Nord 2 verdict

Halo Infinite
(Image credit: 343 Industries)

Totally Rated is the show that features reviews and opinions of what's hot in tech and gaming. It brings together journalists from around the net to talk about the happenings and releases of the past week. 

In this week’s episode, the show gets down with the Halo Infinite multiplayer beta, OnePlus Nord 2 impressions and the amazing graphics Xbox Series X has planned thanks to Unreal Engine 5

Previews for Halo Infinite start this weekend and invites have started popping up in lucky Halo Insider’s inboxes. The beta will run from July 29 - August 1, 2021, and those who are able to join in this weekend will get to test a small portion of the next Halo game early.

343 Industries has confirmed that the testing “will focus on Bots and a slice of the new Academy experience” as these are new elements implemented in the upcoming game.

However, the post also promises that future technical previews will also focus on traditional PVP Arena and Big Team Battle. Halo infinite still doesn't have a firm release date but is slated for "Holiday 2021." That means most gamers won't have to wait very long to dive in.

In Tech, the latest OnPlus Nord 2 was released. And while the OnePlus didn't launch the handset globally, there was still quite a bit of chatter around it on the internet. Check out our full OnePlus Nord 2 review for our verdict.

TechRadar’s James Peckham wrote: “Historically, OnePlus has been about making high-end phones for a lower price than the competition. The same can’t be said for the latest OnePlus 9 series, but the OnePlus Nord 2 is taking on that mantle." Peckham went on to say, “In fact, the OnePlus Nord 2 is one of the very best phones in this segment of the market. It features some impressive specs including a 50MP main rear camera, 65W fast-charging and a 6.43-inch 1080 x 2400 display with a 90Hz refresh rate."

For Peckham, while the OnePlus Nord 2 didn't offer the 120Hz refresh rate that's found on many Android flagships, like the Samsung Galaxy S21, the screen quality and camera more than made up for it. 

“The other highlight of the OnePlus Nord 2 is strong battery life, as we found it would always last a full day of usage even when we were pushing the phone to its limits. If you find it doesn’t, there’s also 65W fast charging that sees your phone go from 0% to full in just 30 minutes."

Overall, it's an incredibly impressive phone for the price. 

And finally, Unreal Engine 5 footage came out from The Coalition, the team behind the latest Gears of Wars games.

In 2019, Gears 5 launched to strong reviews and stellar praise towards its graphics. The game looks even better now running on Xbox Series X. What's surprising was that Gears 5 was running on Unreal Engine 4, a suite of game-making tools first released in 2014.

And now we have a sense of what a future Gears game might look like thanks to The Coalition's work in Unreal Engine 5. 

New episodes of Totally Rated will roll out every week. 

Imad Khan

Imad is currently Senior Google and Internet Culture reporter for CNET, but until recently was News Editor at Tom's Guide. Hailing from Texas, Imad started his journalism career in 2013 and has amassed bylines with the New York Times, the Washington Post, ESPN, Wired and Men's Health Magazine, among others. Outside of work, you can find him sitting blankly in front of a Word document trying desperately to write the first pages of a new book.