8 things to watch out for this week

1. Resident Evil 2 Remake brings a horror classic back from the dead

It’s hard to overstate the importance of the Resident Evil series. It’s not the only horror game around but it was one of the first to see a breakthrough success, coining the term ‘survival horror’, as well as many of the tropes and ideas that shaped the genre. And Resident Evil 2 Remake brings all that horror flooding back in a beautifully crafted recreation of the original. It’s a completely updated game bringing back the classic zombies, puzzles and locations but all in a modern game. What’s amazing is how well it all stands up. While the visuals and controls have been brought up to today’s standards, the basic set up is the same - escape a zombie filled Raccoon City, balancing scant resources and solving preposterous puzzles. It’s brilliantly gruesome, entertaining and proof that the classics never go out of style. Leon Hurley

What: Resident Evil 2 Remake
Where: PS4, Xbox One, PC
When: January 25

2. After 13 years, was Kingdom Hearts 3 worth the wait? 

There's nothing quite like the sugary, colorful cocktail of Square Enix and Disney that is Kingdom Hearts, and it's been a long time since the last big release for fans. There have been remixes, remasters and spin-offs since Kingdom Hearts 2 in 2005, but fans have been calling for the big blockbuster follow up regardless. Kingdom Hearts 3 is finally here. Luckily creator Tetsuya Nomura isn't messing around, summoning Disney's most recent megastars - Elsa of Frozen, Buzz and Woody of Toy Story, Mike, Sully and Boo of Monsters Inc - to add to the beautiful and baffling story of Heartless and the shady Organization and a boy with a Keyblade. And after playing through the entire story, I can say that there's nothing quite like Kingdom Hearts 3: it's a wild, wonderful ride that's unlike any other. After all, where else can you hammer monsters to death with a giant key while Elsa belts out Let it Go. Rachel Weber

What: Kingdom Hearts 3
Where: PS4, Xbox One
When: January 29

3.  Watch out for the next big indie offerings at Sundance Film Festival 

Chances are Sundance Film Festival isn’t high up on your event calendar this year, but it should be because it’s the movie festival for indie films. Of all the film festivals (Cannes, TIFF, SXSW), Sundance is perhaps one of the lesser-known, but it plays host to various unique movies every year while it runs from January 24 to February 3 in Utah. “It's a real champion for independent film,” say Matt Maytum, Deputy Editor of our sister publication Total Film magazine. “So you get a lot of offbeat stuff there rather than blockbusters”. That doesn’t mean that there’s nothing for casual moviegoers at Sundance though as a lot of its movies go on to break into the mainstream, such as Reservoir Dogs, Napoleon Dynamite, and Whiplash. 

This year’s offerings include Netflix Original Velvet Buzzsaw - a thriller starring Jake Gyllenhaal about killer paintings - The Report, which is packed to the brim with stars (Adam Driver, Annette Bening, Jon Hamm, Tim Blake Nelson, and Michael C. Hall to name a few), which deals with a real life investigation into the CIA’s interrogation techniques post-9/11, and Relive, which stars Selma’s David Oyelowo as a LAPD detective who receives a phone call from his supposedly dead niece after she, and her whole family, are murdered. That enough to get your excited? Lauren O’Callaghan

What: Sundance Film Festival 2019
When: January 24, 2019 - February 3, 2019
Where: Utah, US

4. Get involved with the Anthem VIP demo this weekend, and see what Bioware's been up to

Starting from right now, anyone who's pre-ordered Anthem, or subscribes to EA Access on Xbox One or Origin Access on PC, can get access to the brand VIP Anthem demo that'll give you early hands-on time with Bioware's upcoming multiplayer, exosuit-wielding, shooter. You'll get a good 'vertical slice' of gameplay to mess around with, with your character booting up at level 10 (about midway through the game). You'll get to experience a story mission, a Stronghold activity, which is basically a Destiny Strike, and you'll be able to roam around your home base, Fort Tarsis. Part of the game's open world will be available through the Freeplay mode too, and the levelling curve has been adjusted so that you'll rank up faster and earn in-game currency faster, which means you'll get to understand more of what the game has to offer. From what I've played of Bioware's new title so far, Anthem has echoes of Mass Effect and Destiny, but seems to lack its own identity, so it'll be interesting to see what you all make of it. Let's chat on Twitter, yeah? Sam Loveridge

5. A movie with knights, magic, school bullies and Mario Kart jokes should be on your must see list

Attack of the Block won over audiences in 2011 with its mix of science fiction, horror and London tower blocks, turning a bunch teenage gangsters into heroes and making a star of John Boyega. The Kid Who Would Be King - director Joe Cornish's latest project - has a similar sort of vibe, centering on an average kid who ends up yanking the sword Excalibur from the infamous stone. This summons Merlin, mega bitch Morgan le Fay, for a fantasy battle. All the signs point to the same smart sense of humor and fearless flaunting of genre conventions, including jokes about Mario Kart, round tables and Patrick bloody Stewart. Rachel Weber

What: The Kid Who Would Be King
Where: Movie theaters
When: January 25

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6. 20 Years ago Silent Hill unleashed a very personal hell on a small town

Both a rival and counterpoint to Resident Evil, Silent Hill was a very different horror game when it first arrived 20 years ago. Building on a far more psychological horror, it tiptoed around reality and sanity as it tortured its unfortunate protagonists. Its story is well known now but unravelling the threads to reveal the fever dream of a tortured child burned alive to birth a god was quite the trip back in 1999. It may have fallen by the wayside in recent years (Hideo Kojima and Guillermo del Toro’s failed reboot is a particularly sour sticking point) but its legacy lives on through its macabre reality perverting ideas and instantly recognisable monsters - nurses anyone? Leon Hurley

What: Silent Hill’s 20th anniversary
Where: Everywhere
When: January 31

7. Overwatch celebrates its third Lunar New Year event, and this time, it’s pig themed

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Roadhog mains, unite. Blizzard’s next seasonal event for Overwatch is all about that porker life, as the Year of the Pig kicks off 2019 on the Chinese calendar. For its third in-game Lunar New Year event, the multiplayer hero shooter will be rolling out fresh batches of new Epic and Legendary cosmetics across its roster of 29 characters, and quite possibly a new Capture the Flag map to round out the celebration. Not only that, but all the cosmetics from previous Lunar New Year events will be unlocked and available to purchase or earn through loot boxes again while the event lasts, which gives you another chance to grab that amazing Wukong skin for Wintston before it gets locked up for another 12 months. So forget dry January, pick up that controller, and party like it’s New Year’s Eve all over again in the best multiplayer shooter around. Alex Avard

What: Overwatch Lunar New Year event
When: January 24 - February 18
Where: PC, PS4, Xbox One

8. Is Mads Mikkelsen doing a John Wick in Polar going to be a success?

As soon as I saw the trailer for Polar, I was so in. Mads Mikkelsen with a dodgy 'moustasche killing a load of people who are trying to kill him? Yes please. Mads plays a character called Duncan, aka the Black Kaiser, who just happens to be the world's greatest hitman who's trying to go into retirement. But of course, no-one actually wants to lose him or pay the retirement settlement fee, so the world and his dog turn up to try and take him out. Cue the kind of gore and action that may well do to your eyeballs what Marie Kondo is trying to do to your home, and Mads generally being a bit of a badass. I'm not entirely sure reading some reviews that the film is a great hit, but if you're a Mads fan (and why wouldn't you be) I think it's worth a popcorn session. Sam Loveridge

What: Polar
When: Right now
Where: Netflix

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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