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Ben Joy
Ben JoyBen keeps the Play Team ticking, helps clients define their digital offering and manages the unruly team. You’ll often find him hitting the golf course too.

In this week's edition of the Etch Play roundup we'll be discussing Ooblets, Gotham Knights, Rocket League, Halo Infinite, Assassin's Creed, and seeing if you'd be tempted to make a $1 million purchase!

Infinite problems on Halo

When Halo Infinite finally launched, a year behind schedule, it also arrived lacking many features that Halo fans had grown to expect from the franchise. The idea was for the game to evolve rapidly over time, much like Bungie's Destiny 2, with new content delivered in short seasons, and then bigger expansions also arriving on a regular basis.

Two of the most desirable things missing from the game were co-operative campaign play, and the Forge mode, which allows players to create their own multiplayer maps and modes. Other players were keen for classic game modes like Infection to be added, or just simply wanted more maps to keep the game fresh.

Since then it's fair to say the game has had a difficult time living up to the promises of live service. The live service seasons have been increasingly extended and delayed, offering little in the way of new content other than more purchasable cosmetics. Desync issues have plagued the online games and have yet to be resolved 9 months later. And after several delays, both Forge and Co-op were delayed again this week.

Both modes are now aiming for a November launch - which is still this year at least. Sadly, they've also cancelled the split-screen co-op, somewhat reneging on promises made to players after the feature was left out of Halo 5, drawing significant criticism.

Other content has been pushed even further back. After a 10-month long Season 2, Season 3 will now reportedly arrive on March 2023, and will include the ability to browse and join custom games, the ability to report people for breaking the rules, and two new map variants.

With dwindling player numbers and a strong, negative reaction to these latest announcements online, it's getting increasingly hard to be optimistic about this game ever reaching its full potential. And as a fan of the original trilogy, I can only hope that eventually they manage to do right by its legacy.

Adam

halo infinite keyart showing master chief stood with a gun in front of mountain scenery

$1 Million Console Collection

Hi friend. Do you have $1 million lying around that you’d like to use to jump-start your console collection? If so, French-based collector Kaori30 is selling 2,400 different consoles - from standard-issue to special editions to variations never officially for sale.

It is a sight to behold. Here is just the Sega collection:

You’re obviously going to need a lot of storage, but if you’ve got $1 million to spend on 50 years’ worth of consoles then you’ve probably got more space to put them than the average person anyway.

Be sure to check out all the pictures and the insanely long full list of included consoles on the eBay listing. It’s well worth a look.

Ben G

Assassin's Creed Mirage

After an image was leaked, Ubisoft has announced the next title in their long-running Assassin's Creed franchise, Mirage. Full details are being revealed at Ubisoft Forward on 10th September.

Whether or not their hand was forced by the leak is unknown but the timing might indicate such. As usual with leaks, speculation that this was a planned PR stunt has surfaced, but it would be an odd move in this context. In fact, compared to the impact a well-executed campaign can have, anything other than a slight tease would rarely make sense to intentionally leak in this way.

Details of this title have been previously shared by Bloombergs Jason Shrier back in February indicating the title was originally going to be an expansion to the latest full release, Valhalla, but had evolved into it's own full title. The game is said to be a smaller, more focused iteration with more focus on stealth than the current expansive open world RPG style of the recent games.

Whatever it turns out to be, I'm about ready for a new AC adventure so will be tuning in on the 10th to find out more.

Dan

assassins creed mirage artwork showing a person mid jump

Rocket League Season 8

This week Psyonix have announced season 8 of Rocket League which is starting on the 7th September. Season 8 has an underground scene vibe, bringing the classic Honda Civic Type R with original white & red wheels. As with most new seasons there is a new arena, this time named Sovereign Heights which is set in city suburbs and has a turf vibe.

The trailer teases a new hoops arena set in the suburbs too, which Psyonix have confirmed will be coming later on in the season. Rocket Pass users will be able to collect all sorts of customisations including a Honda Civic Type RE, graffiti themed items and most excitingly neon lights for underneath the car!

Pete

 

Ooblets

September is turning out to be a month of non-stop hits for me and it's only day 2! The next few weeks are jam-packed with wonderful indie releases that I can't wait to play, starting yesterday with the 1.0 launch of Ooblets!

Ooblets is described as "a pretty weird game about farming, creature collection, and dancing", but it's so much more. Imagine a cross between Stardew Valley, Pokémon, Saturday morning cartoons and the kookiness of Phoebe from Friends. That's Ooblets to me.

I spent yesterday evening on my Switch, absolutely enthralled by this bright, gentle and quirky world. I love that the Ooblets have dance battles to resolve their problems instead of fighting, and that you can pet your opponent Ooblet when they lose and tell them that they did a great job. (They then poop out a seed for you to grow your own Ooblet of their type... Which is more adorable than it sounds).

I love all sorts of games, but sometimes it's just so nice to sit down with a game that has no violence, or combat, or really any feeling of conflict in it. I grow sweetiebeeties and pompadoots on my farm, harvest planklets and nurnies to improve my house and go out to dance with the cute wild Shrumbos and Fleebles. Life is good.

Check out the release trailer below!

P.S. You can put hats on them! GOTY

Taya

Followers of the Etch Play roundup will likely know that I am very much looking forward to the release of Gotham Knights, which as previously reported has been delayed, but then moved back up from the delay (but not all the way to the original release date)... Confusing, I know. 

However,  as we draw nearer to the release, this week we have gotten more of a look at the game as 10 minutes of gameplay has been released. This shows us a bit of how the open world works, the districts on the map and changes to the old day/night cycle which we had become accustomed to in the Arkham games. Check out the full 10 minute preview below.

Ben J

 

More Etch Play

You can find Etch Play on all the usual social networks you might imagine. In particular, we hang out on Twitter, LinkedIn, and YouTube

We also have a live show every Thursday, where we recap the latest games industry news in video podcast form. It's a lot of fun. If you'd like to check it out, why not follow us on Twitch? Watch yesterday's show right here 👇

 

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