Halo demo locked 'n' loaded

Trial version lets PC gamers fire up a single level's worth of war games, and fight multiplayer battles.

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PC gamers who haven't yet enlisted with the space marines of Halo: Combat Evolved now have a new incentive to join up. Microsoft released a "trial version" of the game this morning which will allow the mouse-and-keyboard crowd to test-fire Bungie and Gearbox's acclaimed sci-fi shooter.

The demo, available for download from the link below, will permit players to sample the single-player campaign level, The Silent Cartographer, which is packed with plasma-rifle-toting extraterrestrial baddies.

If you prefer riddling your friends with bullets, the demo offers a single multiplayer map, Blood Gulch, where up to 16 players can join in combat via a LAN or online. The multiplayer level also lets players drive the game's assortment of vehicles, from the Warthog all-terrain assault vehicle to the alien-manufactured Banshee fighter craft.

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