8 things to watch out for this week

With Black Panther (opens in new tab) finally out globally, it's already a great week for new movies, TV shows, and games. But of course, that's not our only recommendation for your watching and gaming activities over the next seven days. Not only are Metal Gear Survive, Overwatch and Rainbow Six Siege free to play this weekend, but Netflix is getting a new binge-worthy show called Everything Sucks. And when you're a teenager in the '90s, that's very true indeed. Here's our pick of the eight things to watch out for this week.

1. Grab your battery pack in time for Alto’s Odyssey

If you have a weakness for endless runners on mobile, prepare to watch your battery life plummet. The sequel to the beautifully snowy Alto’s Adventure, Alto's Odyssey moves the chilly action to a sun hazed desert where Alto must now surf down sand dunes and bounce on hot air balloons to cross chasms. The eye-wateringly pretty art style of the original is back for this new atmospheric adventure across the wilderness and every procedurally generated run is unique and accompanied by a new exhilarating score. Sure, you only press one button but this is an endless runner with a relentless charm as you spin and flip through new biomes. Weather, a day/night cycle and even walls to ride your way across all add to the ‘just one more go-osity.’ There’s sadly no news of an Android version just yet (Alto’s Adventure is already on there) but iOS users, you’re about to find a new reason to miss your bus stop. Just one more goal… Louise Blain

What: Alto’s Odyssey
Where: iPhone/iPad
When: Feb 22

2. Prepare for the release of Metal Gear Survive with another open beta weekend - and actually decide whether it's should be a Metal Gear game

After the first open beta, there's still a lot of chatter about whether Survive is really worth the Metal Gear title. But Konami is really making sure that players have enough time to make up their own mind, by running another free to play open beta that runs all weekend. Just download the beta on Xbox Live or PlayStation Network and you can start playing it. Like the previous open beta, you'll get access to the co-op horde mode multiplayer for the duration, where you have to build a base, fend off waves of attacking Wanderers (aka crystal zombies) and work together to stay alive. You do get some exclusive goodies to unlock in the full game - if you decide Metal Gear Survive is for you. And seeing as the game is out on February 22, if you do decide in favour of MGS, there won't be long to wait until the game is playable in full. And yes, that includes the single-player campaign that's very much not like anything else in the Metal Gear canon. Sam Loveridge

What: Metal Gear Survive open beta
Where: PS4 and Xbox One
When: February 16 - 18

3. Settle down to a new horrific era of Saw with Jigsaw

Do you want to play a game? Yes, a whole 14 years might have gone by since the original Saw shocked its way onto screens but it looks like we’re all still playing by the Jigsaw killer’s twisted set of rules. Set long after the end of the seventh and apparently final movie, Jigsaw brings back the creepy doll on a trike and delivers a whole new set of twisted games for a new unlucky few. While previous movies have been overly grisly and erred on the ghoulish side of horror, Jigsaw strips away the nastiness that made you feel like you shouldn’t be watching for fun. There’s still wince-inducing ouch here but this entertaining new addition to the franchise goes back to the original’s roots and adds a fascinating game of cat and mouse as a new police team try and get to the bottom of the bodies that keep cropping up with a jigsaw shape cut out of their skin. How can this be when Jigsaw is meant to be dead? Watch and enjoy in the safety of your own home. At least there are cushions there. Louise Blain

What: Jigsaw
Where: VoD/DVD/Blu-ray
When: Feb 19

4. Will Blade Runner 2049 win big at the BAFTAs?

Awards season is well and truly underway with the Oscars (opens in new tab) just around the corner, but before that we have the BAFTAs. While the British Academy Film Awards might not be quite as big as its US counterpart, Hollywood still turns out in its star-studded best to find out which films, actors, and filmmakers have been recognised with a shiny gold face. Traditionally genre films like Blade Runner 2049 (opens in new tab) don’t win big at awards ceremonies, but Denis Villeneuve’s long-awaited sequel bagged a whopping eight nominations this year so fingers crossed the sci-fi film will win big. Other ones to watch out for are The Shape of Water, which has 12 nominations, Darkest Hour and Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri which are both up for nine awards, and Paddington 2 that has three nods in total. Tune in this Sunday and find out which films will walk home with the gold. Lauren O’Callaghan

What: The British Academy Film Awards
Where: Watch it exclusively on BBC One and BBC One HD (opens in new tab)
When: February 18 at 9pm GMT

5. Could Rainbow 6 Siege be your newest FPS obsession? Find out for free this weekend

Rainbow Six Siege is still going strong as it enters its third year, proving that this FPS has staying power thanks to its methodical, purposefully slower pace and team-based firefights with unique characters. If you're at all partial to CS:GO's no-respawn rounds, satisfying weapon feedback, and emphasis on communication, you owe it to yourself to try Rainbow Six Siege. And lucky you - it's free all weekend and then some, along with all the available Operators (which would normally take you hours to unlock with the in-game currency). If you take a liking to the tense Attack and Defense rounds, you can buy the full game for 30% off - just be sure to snag the Standard Edition, as researched by our friends at PC Gamer in their Rainbow Six Siege version buying guide. Lucas Sullivan

What: Rainbow Six Siege free weekend
Where: PS4, Xbox One, PC
When: February 15 - 20

6. The PC Gamer Weekender basically caters to every gaming taste imaginable

If you haven’t yet heard about the PC Gamer Weekender event that’s happening this weekend, hold onto your mice. Along with over 80 games to check out (psst - yours truly will also be hosting the livestream on Twitch (opens in new tab) where you can see some of them in action), you can also learn how to build a monster of a PC with the ASUS/Republic of Gamers in a special workshop designed to make your rig into a gaming beast. Or you could attend the Omen by HP Bootcamp (no marine-style physical exercise hellmouth is involved, don’t worry) and delve into their masterclasses on how to dominate in Overwatch (opens in new tab). The world needs heroes, after all. Oh, and did I mention that you can get 20% off ticket prices with our super special code GR20? No? Well, I’m mentioning it now. Zoe Delahunty-Light

What: PC Gamer Weekender
Where: The Olympia, London
When: February 17 - 18

7. Can Everything Sucks do for the ‘90s what Stranger Things did for the ‘80s? Or is nostalgia already played out? 

An interesting prospect, is Everything Sucks. A ‘90s-set, coming-of-age high school comedy-drama in the model of actual high school dramas of the actual ‘90s, there’s an obvious parallel to be drawn with Stranger Things. But can locker-side angst and snap bracelets really compete with Spielbergian small-town horror, pounding synth, and Winona goddamn Ryder? Stranger Things’ recreation of early ‘80s genre tropes and conceits works beyond pure nostalgia, its fantastical ideas and powerfully human treatments entirely affecting in their own right (and delivered with very careful avoidance of irony), whether you were there the first time around or not. Can the decidedly more grounded, decidedly more recent world of ‘90s teen awkwardness hope to deliver anything equally interesting? And indeed, what level of self-awareness does such a show require in order to be more than just a do-over? Early word is that Everything Sucks has some issues in deciding how much knowing revisionism to layer on at any given time, but we can all find out for ourselves when the show hits Netflix this weekend. David Houghton 

What: Everything Sucks season one
Where: Netflix
When: February 16, 2018 

8. Play Overwatch for free this week and celebrate the Year of the Dog

There’s another one of those free weekends heading to Overwatch, and you really need to take advantage of it to check out Blizzard’s excellent competitive shooter. This isn’t isn’t a demo, it’s more or less the full game with access to all 26 heroes and 17 maps, across a bunch of modes, like Quick Play, Custom Games, and Arcade. All free for three days (although you will need a PlayStation Plus Account, Xbox Live Gold or Battle.net account depending on your platform). Best of all, if the free access does win you over then you get to keep any progress you’ve made from leveling up and earning loot boxes. And, finally, it’s the Lunar New Year right now so there are over 50 new outfits, emotes and intros to claim, all themed around the Year of the Dog. Xīn Nián Kuài Lè! Leon Hurley

What: Overwatch
Where: PS4, PC, Xbox One
When: February 16 to February 19

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