8 things to watch out for this week

Destiny 2: Forsaken, Ozark season 2, Bodyguard, and Two Point Hospital

1.  Sign up for Dying Light: Bad Blood's global playtest this weekend, which channels the spirit of battle royale for a unique PvP/PvE hybrid   

Dying Light 2, Techland’s sequel to its near perfect open world zombie game of 2015, isn’t out till sometime next year, but luckily the Polish studio has a platter of undead flavoured hors d'oeuvres to keep you busy in the meantime. Originally envisioned as a multiplayer spin-off mode to Dying Light, Bad Blood is now a full game in its own right, set to release on PC and Xbox One later this year. Savvily describing itself as Brutal Royale, 12 players are chucked into zombie-infested Harran to gather blood samples and *ahem* [adopts Arnie voice] get to the chopper, before being murdered by either one of the infected or another human contestant fighting for that same one-way ticket out of zombieville. It’s intimate, scary, and seriously savage, expertly breathing new life into Dying Light’s memorable combat and parkour systems. You can sign up to Dying Light: Bad Blood’s Global Playtest on PC via the game’s website here - it only takes a few seconds, and requires an email / password - which gives you early access to two days of its Brutal Royale bedlam if your email address is selected. Alex Avard

What: Dying Light: Bad Blood Global Playtest
Where: PC
When: September 1 - 2

2.  It’s time to give Netflix Original crime drama Ozark a second chance as it returns for its new season - think Breaking Bad but for money laundering

You’d be forgiven for not being too excited about the return of Netflix Original Ozark. Hell, I wouldn’t be surprised if the fact that its second season is dropping on the streaming service this week hadn’t registered with you at all. Thanks to a lack of/misleading promotion by Netflix when the series debuted last year, the crime drama didn’t get the attention or the recognition it deserved, but with the second season hitting today, I’m here to tell you it’s time to give it another chance. Do you love Breaking Bad? Of course you do. Well, Ozark is basically Breaking Bad, but with money laundering instead of drugs and it stars the exceptional Jason Bateman in the main role. He plays financial advisor and family man Marty Byrde who unfortunately gets involved in a money laundering scheme, which goes wrong, and has to move his entire family to a summer resort community in the Missouri Ozarks in order to pay off a debt to a Mexican drug cartel. Paying the money back isn’t his only problem though as he quickly gets involved with some local criminals too… Like I said, very Breaking Bad. If you loved that TV show, Ozark could be your next obsession and the good news is, you have two seasons to binge right now. Lauren O’Callaghan

What: Ozark season 2
Where: Netflix
When: August 31, 2018 

3.  Metal Gear Solid’s 20th Anniversary is a sobering reminder that video-games could - and should - challenge players, not just pander to them

Where to begin? Hideo Kojima’s legendary Metal Gear Solid launched on PS One in Japan on September 3rd 1998, marking 20 years since the invention of modern stealth gaming, Solid Snake’s emergence as a gaming icon (if you ignore his 2D appearance in the MSX2 game Metal Gear in 1987) and fond recollections of resisting electrocution by tapping circle so fast on your PlayStation Controller that you feared your arm might melt from lactic acid overload – and, yes, the game even knew if you plugged in an auto-fire pad to stop you cheating. Everyone harps on about *that* Psycho Mantis boss battle and the concept of breaking the ‘fourth wall’, but these were baby steps for the series, leading to MGS2’s ‘inverted sequel’ which subjected unwitting players to a systemic control experiment, or MGS5’s rejection of series’ tropes, returning agency to the player. Yeah, we know. There’s no better time to revisit where it all began, especially since the upcoming Metal Gear Solid movie - helmed by Skull Island’s Jordan Vogt Roberts - will draw from the original MGS. “Even if I wasn’t involved in this movie I would read that script and say, ‘Holy shit', Roberts recently told Collider. Modern games might be more comfortable taking the L, but MGS took from Ernest Hemingway, Richard Dawkins and Jean Baudrillard to challenge its players with concepts of genetics, artificial intelligence and the military-industrial complex. Dan Dawkins

What: Metal Gear Solid 20th Anniversary
Where: PS Vita, PS3, PC Emulation
When: Sep 3, 2018

4. It’s Spyro’s 20th birthday, but will his remaster go the way of Crash Bandicoot? 

Please join me in wishing a very happy birthday to everyone’s favourite purple dragon (granted, he doesn’t have much competition for the title, but still). The scaled reptile is nearing his 20th birthday already, and in this era of remasters we have to ask: is he ready to return to consoles? So far the glimpses we’ve had of Spyro Reignited Trilogy look stunning, but before we get excited about his reappearance it’s worth remembering what it was like to play Crash Bandicoot after he was released back into the wild. The difficulty spike was widely reported on, with even the developers confirming that it was harder than the original as you fall quicker when you let go of the jump button, making it harder to calculate Crash’s trajectory. There were also differences in the collision boxes which made characters slide off the edge of surfaces. So just bear in mind that Spyro might look pretty as heck, but he might feel different when you step into his scaly shoes. Zoe Delahunty-Light

What: Spyro’s 20th anniversary
When: September 9

5. Bodyguard is a dark new thriller you owe it to yourself not to miss, from the writer of the thrilling Line of Duty series

Bodyguard could be a slice of the next Bond movie, if it wasn't for the fact that David Budd (played excellently by Richard Madden aka Robb Stark from Game of Thrones) is more human, more nervous, more inwardly terrified than any Daniel Craig type would ever be. But that's exactly what makes Bodyguard, the latest dark thriller from Jed Mercurio - of Line of Duty and Bodies fame - so utterly brilliant. It's full of twists and turns, and kept me so firmly on the edge of my seat that I almost forgot the rest of my sofa existed. Budd is a former soldier recently returned from Afghanistan, and he's suffering badly from PTSD. But, as the title suggests, quickly becomes security detail for the British Home Secretary, Julia Montague (Keeley Hawes), and even after the first episode I was utterly hooked.  Montague is deeply unpleasant ,and utterly ruthless as the Home Secretary, and ultimately incredibly watchable. The interplay between her own deep-seated hunger for power, and Budd's resentment for anyone involved in sending troops to Afghanistan is an incredible dance. And, seeing as we're only two episodes in of a six part series, you've got time to catch up and see exactly what I'm talking about. Sam Loveridge

What: Bodyguard TV series
Where: BBC
When: Every Sunday night at 9pm BST in the UK, or on BBC iPlayer

6.  PAX West draws gamers from around the world to Seattle from August 31 to September 3 

PAX West

PAX West has been one of the largest video game conventions open to the public for years, and 2018 looks to be no exception. With hundreds of exhibitors (many showing off fresh features and demos or surprising ticket-holders with entirely new games) and tens of thousands of attendees, it is a weekend full of eclectic talks and community events, with titles as diverse as 'You paid too much!!! How to find the best video game deals' and 'The SSStylish gameplay of Devil May Cry 5'. Tickets sell out almost as fast as they go on sale so we're sorry to say that if you didn't get one already, odds are you won't be going. But hey, there's always PAX East, PAX South, PAX Australia, and PAX Unplugged - plus, you can still enjoy all the PAX West news, cosplay, and even a few livestreams of panels that give you a behind-the-scenes look at your favorite games and creators from the comfort of your own home. Be sure to tune in for this year's keynote speaker, World of Warcraft game director Ion Hazzikostas. Sam Prell

What: PAX West gaming convention
Where: Washington State Convention Center, Seattle
When: August 31 - September 3

7. Can clowns, mimes and tiny Freddie Mercury lookalikes recapture the Theme Hospital magic? 

Two Point Hospital

Two Point Hospital isn't a reboot of 1997 classic, it's bigger, better, and packed with even more puns. It's a medical management sim where you build a run a hospital, but one dealing with comedy illness like Jest Infection (hence the clowns), 8-bitten, where people are pixelated, and Saturday Night Fever. It seems simple at first, but soon you're dealing with visiting celebrities, mad weather and pandemics that turn people into shuffling zombies. It's as addictive as medical grade morphine and will probably wreak a similar amount of destruction on your social life. We gave it a five star review, no less, diagnosing the game with a 'terminal case of total brilliance' - you can book yourself an appointment right now, with no waiting times. Rachel Weber

What: Two Point Hospital
Where: PC
When: Out now

8. Destiny 2: Forsaken is finally launching, but will it do enough to satisfy the long-serving community?

It's been almost a year since Destiny 2 launched, and we're sitting on the precipice of the game's second year, the year that's supposed to fix the gripes and groans the community has had with the game since launch. Despite the fact we're already two expansions down - Curse of Osiris and Warmind - nothing Bungie has done to date has managed to satiate the hunger of the community for moar Destiny 2, or at least, slightly different Destiny 2. But, Forsaken is coming, Cayde-6's about to be on death's door, and the big fix is coming. I can feel it. From everything I've played so far of Forsaken at Gamescom and E3, there's plenty of great stuff en route, including new multiplayer mode Gambit, and a cracking storyline - even if we do have to lose good old Cayde. In a move sure to swell the potential user base, you can get the original Destiny 2 for free right now via PlayStation Plus, and you can play a whole day of Gambit for free on Saturday, September 1, to get a taste of what's to come with Forsaken. After all, Forsaken is a premium piece of content, fetching $40/£40 for an access fee, so why not get a taster before launch if you don't believe the hype yet? Sam Loveridge

What: Destiny 2: Forsaken
Where: PS4, Xbox One and PC
When: September 4

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. 

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