8 things to look out for this week

Yakuza 0, Orange is the New Black, Fortnite Save the World, and Overwatch's Wrecking Ball

1. Destiny 2’s Solstice of Heroes event acts as a soothing conclusion for the online shooter's troubled first year

So here we are with really, actually, finally the final stretch of Destiny 2: Year One. It's a time of mixed emotions, given the rough reception the game has received from it community for its dumbed-down state at launch and slow rate of improvement. As such. while the upcoming Solstice of Heroes event is intended as a celebration of the game's first year, it will likely be greeting with just as much relief that said initial 365 days is nearly over, and big improvements look to be coming with the imminent Forsaken expansion. Still, Solstice of Heroes it going to provide a stack of things to do, with new questlines and new loot all over the place - including fresh, and really rather pretty, high-level upgrades of that trashed starting armour from the very beginning of the campaign. And hell, if you haven’t been back for a while, this is the perfect time to dive back in and replay those Raids with the plethora of bonkers new Exotic weapon and armour upgrades that have been patched in recently. And if you haven't started the amazing Whisper of the Worm quest yet, oh boy is this the time to do it. David Houghton  

What: Destiny 2 Solstice of Heroes event
Where: Inside your Destiny 2 game
When: From July 31

2.  Hammond comes in like a Wrecking Ball, just in time for Overwatch’s free weekend on PC 

At this point, Overwatch has had enough free weekends for someone to rack up a lifetime’s supply of loot boxes without ever paying a dime. So while none will be too surprised at the news of another free trial for Blizzard’s near perfect hero shooter on PC this week, this one’s worth paying attention to. That’s because, as of Tuesday, Hammond the anthropomorphic hamster, or Wrecking Ball as he’s more commonly known, is now live as a playable hero in the game, after spending a good few weeks gestating in the Public Test Realm. The furry rodent is Overwatch’s nimblest tank yet, able to grapple hook off any surface and roll across maps like a mechanised Sonic the Hedgehog, and has quickly established himself as a fan favourite amongst the community. It’s never not a good time to play more Overwatch, but as Blizzard serves up the irresistible equation of “free video game + hamsters” from July 26 onwards, now’s a better time than ever. Alex Avard

What: Overwatch free weekend
Where: PC
When: July 26 - 30 

3. Could Netflix have another Cloverfield Paradox fiasco on its hands?

We should probably worry that the current state of the world means that movie about the apocalypse are basically comfort watching now, but at least Netflix is keeping its virtual shelves well stocked with options. The latest addition is Extinction, a man dreams of aliens, aliens come and slaughter everyone sort of drama, starring Michael Peña from Ant-Man and Lizzy Caplan from Masters of Sex. It might sound like the same old science fiction, but it's got Ben Young directing, a man who made one of the most disturbing horror films of 2016 with Hounds of Love. But, it's also another Netflix pickup similar to that of The Cloverfield Paradox, which the streaming service bought from Paramount and has mostly received rather negative reviews. Well, Extinction is allegedly a movie that Universal recently scratched from its release schedule, but now Netflix is giving it to you. Will it be another Cloverfield Paradox disaster? Let's all watch it and find out together. Rachel Weber

What: Extinction
When: July 27
Where: Netflix 

4. With a sensible price point and critical acclaim, is Yakuza 0's debut on PC the best news for PC players this year?

For years, PC owners have been petitioning Sega to bring Yakuza to PC. The open world crime saga is a beloved Japanese franchise that’s finally beginning to find an audience in the West thanks to PlayStation, and for good reason. It’s beautifully written, expertly juggling divergent tones together in ways that few games can attest to and, now, it’s finally coming to the Steam Store with Yakuza 0. Best of all, Sega aren't gouging fans' wallets by exploiting their loyalty, but offering the beloved game for a very respectable $17.99 / £13.49. That’s a great place for PC players to start, as not only is Yakuza 0 a prequel to the mainline instalments that culminated with Yakuza 6 earlier this year, but it’s also the most entertaining of the lot, a lavish distillation of all that makes the series so endearing. Sega has promised that more Yakuza is on the way to PC, beginning with Yakuza Kiwami (a remake of the original PS2 game) later on in the year. With unlocked frame-rates and 4K resolution for both, it looks as though Kazuma Kiryu’s about to find a whole new lease of life with a brand new crowd. Alex Avard

What: Yakuza 0
Where: PC
When: August 2

5. Orange is the New Black is back and if they push Piper out of the spotlight, I'll actually be pleased

Is it me, or does Orange in the New Black have a bit of a Piper problem? The series main star was been a bit of a pest since she first got introduced as this wide-eyed spoilt princess back in season 1. Remember when she acts all privileged and spoilt in season 3? And then in season 4 when she pulls out probably her most cringeworthy line of all time - “I’m gangsta. Like with an “A” at the end" - before 'accidentally' becoming the leader of the white supremacist racists. Classy. There are far more interesting members of the cast that deserve to get more time in the limelight than Piper, and I'm hoping that season 6 might be the time where she finally gets pushed out of the spotlight. The season 5 finale left us on quite the cliffhanger with 10 of the key characters, including Piper, Alex, Nicky, Red and Tastee, are hunkered down in Frieda's bunker after three days of rioting. An explosion happens and we have no idea what happens. From the trailer we know that everyone's off to Litchfield Max and there's a whole new cast of characters, meaning there's at least a chance that Piper's going to get overshadowed. I, personally, can't wait. Vause is queen. Sam Loveridge

What: Orange is the New Black season 6
Where: Netflix
When: Right now

6. South Park: The Fractured But Whole's new DLC adds fan favorite Bradley Biggle for a spooky summer camp mystery - but why don't we get trophy support?

This latest South Park: The Fractured But Whole instalment sees the return of Bradley Biggle to South Park – who series' fans will know as alien superhero Mint-Berry Crunch. In a whole new story campaign, there are strange goings on at Lake Tardicaca and the summer camp counselors have gone missing, so it's up to you to partner with FastPass, Doctor Timothy, Professor Chaos, and most recent team addition Mint-Berry Crunch to save the day. This may be no biggie, but Ubisoft's latest DLC offers no new trophies / achievements, which is slightly unusual for a premium update. UK PS4 owners will be pleased to hear, however, that you can buy South Park: TFBW for £15.99 in the PS Store summer sale. A bargain when you consider that the last South Park DLC was £9.49 on its own. As well as your new buddy, this update also adds a new 'Final Girl' superhero class, with novel combat tactics and traps. Once you've saved summer camp and liberated Lake Tardicaca, you can use Mint-Berry Crunch as a buddy and the 'Final Girl' class in the rest of the game, opening up new combat options. Handy for keeping things fresh if you're running multiple playthroughs of the main story campaign. Iain Wilson

What: South Park: The Fractured But Whole – Bring The Crunch DLC
Where: PC, PS4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch
When: July 31

7. Fortnite: Save The World is still 50% off, but is it worth buying for the V-bucks alone?

Fortnite Save the World

For months now rumours have been swirling around about Save The World following in the footsteps of the phenomenally successful Fortnite Battle Royale and going free-to-play. So now that the player versus husk (not zombies, you’ll notice) experience is £17.49/$23.99, is it worth picking up? PCGamer gave it a paltry 55%, and IGN threw it 6.5. So it’s a thoroughly average experience, by the sounds of it. However - and this is a big one - turns out it’s surprisingly easy to farm V-bucks in it which you can then spend in Battle Royale. Some of the daily rewards after day 11 of logging in consecutively come in the form of V-bucks, with the number getting exponentially bigger from there on. Daily quests reward you with V-bucks too. Polygon actually did a pretty good analysis of whether it’s worth it just for the V-bucks, but to save you some time their answer was... yeah, kinda. So if you’re heavily into Fortnite and want to dive into a pile of V-bucks like Scrooge McDuck, Save the World might be for you. Zoe Delahunty-Light

What: Fortnite Save the World is half price
Where
: PS4, Xbox One and PC
When: Until July 31

8. Celebrate Fortnite’s first birthday with a free cake backpack everyone can earn

Celebrate Fortnite's first birthday with a special in-game event

It's hard to believe Fortnite is already a year old, and to celebrate Epic Games is doing things a bit differently. Technically the anniversary is for co-op zombie horde game Fortnite: Save the World, rather than the Battle Royale mode that launched last September, but that doesn't mean anyone jumping on the battle bus isn't going to be able to get in on the celebration. For the first time, Epic is running a limited time event, complete with a set of cosmetic rewards, that everyone can take part in, regardless of whether you've bought a Battle Pass. As well as a specially kitted out bus and new music there are special Fortnite Birthday Celebration Challenges running from July 24 to August 7 that unlike the Battle Pass challenges, everyone can do whether you spend money in the game or not. Compete them and you’ll earn a special birthday cake back bling to wear into battle, which is a whole other kind of ‘stay frosty’. Those challenges involve dealing 100 damage to opponents, playing 14 matches, and dancing around 10 birthday cakes that have appeared on the map to mark the celebration. Here’s to another year’s bus jumping fun. Leon Hurley

What: Fornite’s first birthday
Where: PS4, Xbox One, PC, Nintendo Switch, iPhone, iPad
When: From now until August 7

8 Things to Watch This Week picks the best games, movies and shows of the next seven days every Friday at 9am PDT / 5pm BST.