8 things to watch out for this week

1. Red Dead Redemption 2 is finally here, and it might just be redefining what we expect from an open-world game

We basically get treated to one Rockstar game per generation, (sorry, the PS4 / Xbox One release of GTA 5 doesn't count), so when one does arrive, it's a Big DealTM. Such is the case with a little game called Red Dead Redemption 2 (opens in new tab). You probably haven't heard about it. It's the prequel to the rather successful Red Dead Redemption 2 from back in 2010, and stars an outlaw by the name of Arthur Morgan, along with some other rather familiar Red Dead faces. The critical reviews so far have been outstanding, with folks praising the game for its twisting storyline, huge and rather beautiful world, and loveable rogues of characters, but for me it's the way it deals with emergent storytelling that will see Red Dead Redemption 2 mark a shift in the way we expect open-world games to behave. Everything you do has a consequence. Accidentally punch your horse rather than pet him and you'll get charged with animal abuse. Kill a guy to steal his money rather than help him and you may miss out on a really cool story arc later on. You have to think before you do anything in RDR2, more so than in any other game to date. Events have ripples that touch the entirety of the story and the Red Dead Redemption 2 map (opens in new tab), whether that's in a guy giving you a free gun because you sucked snake venom out of his leg six hours earlier, or a homeless veteran finding a friend in an outlaw because you gave him a hug. There's a beauty in the simple storytelling here, and that's worth applauding. Sam Loveridge

What: Red Dead Redemption 2
When: Out now
Where: PS4, Xbox One

2. Fallout 76 BETA is on Xbox One (again) from October 27 - 28, so here’s how you can play it for free

This weekend marks the next batch of Fallout 76 Beta tests on Xbox One, and if you have Microsoft’s console you can explore the West Virginia Wasteland for free. Well, kind of. One of the most-asked Fallout 76 FAQ is how to access the Beta, but there is a way to play it without shelling out the full pre-order price. First, go to Amazon and pre-order any edition of Fallout 76. Shortly after you complete your order you’ll be sent an email with the code in it, which you then have to redeem on the Bethesda website to unlock the Beta code. Amazon only takes your hard-earned cash once the item you’ve pre-ordered has been dispatched, and since that won’t happen until November you’ll got plenty of time to cancel your pre-order if you decide Fallout 76 isn’t for you. Simple! And who knows, you might even fall in love with the lush post-apocalyptic world... Zoe Delahunty-Light

What: Fallout 76 Xbox One B.E.T.A.
When: October 27 ( 5PM ET to 7PM ET) - October 28 (12PM ET to 2PM ET)
Where: Xbox One

3. The BBC's Bodyguard is now on Netflix so you now have no excuse not to check it out

There are some moments where the BBC can pull an absolute belter of a series out of its magic bag of TV commissioning tricks. Happy Valley, Kiri, Killing Eve, are just some that you need to check out, but most of all it's all about Bodyguard. Starring Game of Thrones' Rob Stark, aka Richard Madden, who plays a ex-soldier with a touch of PTSD, who's been assigned to be the bodyguard to the Home Secretary, played by the glorious Keeley Hawes. Actually saying much more would put me directly in spoilertown territory, but it's filled with twists, turns, political intrigue, drama and so much more that I wore a groove right on the edge of my sofa just watching it. And although it was previously confined to the BBC iPlayer in the UK, and BBC America over in the US, it's now available on Netflix for all, and dear lord do you need to watch it. Sam Loveridge

What: Bodyguard
When: Now
Where: Netflix

4. Everyone’s favourite teenage witch is getting a horror makeover in Netflix’s Chilling Adventures of Sabrina

Sabrina the Teenage Witch fans rejoice! She’s back… but not as you know her. Netflix Original Chilling Adventures of Sabrina (opens in new tab) hits the streaming service this week and promises a very different interpretation of the young witch. In fact, Chilling Adventures has more in common with some of the best horror movies (opens in new tab) than the American sitcom, so perhaps it’s not for Teenage Witch fans after all. Based on the comic book series of the same name, which reinvented the witch’s original wholesome ‘60s comic book origins, Chilling Adventures sees the young activist and feminist Sabrina deal with issues of bullying at her school and the pressure of joining the Church of Night at home. Forget accidentally turning people into pineapples, this Sabrina has the Devil to contend with and he’s determined to make her his… Lauren O’Callaghan

What: Chilling Adventures of Sabrina
Where: Netflix
When: Out now

5. Call of Cthulhu is mix of madness, multidimensional space gods, alcoholism and detective work. All the good stuff basically

The Elder gods, the many angled ones, the Great old gods… you know, the squid guy? There’s a fascinating world of creepy, weird multidimensional entities in the Cthulhu mythos that just thinking about could induce madness, so how this horror heavy detective mystery tackles that will be interesting. This focuses on a burned out alcoholic investigator called Edward Pierce sent to Darkwater Island to investigate the death of a family in a house fire. You’re able to find clues to recreate crimes scenes, make decisions on how to deal with the creepy locals, and level up various abilities - all of which then affect how you progress and what you can do as you uncover an attempt to bring Cthulhu back into the world (not good, to be clear here). The real skill there involves a fine balance between staring into the mouth of madness enough to solve the mystery, without losing your mind. Leon Hurley

What: Call of Cthulhu
Where: PS4, Xbox One, PC
When: October 30

6. The Quiet Man isn’t making much noise this November, but it could turn out to surprise us all 

Spare a thought for The Quiet Man this week; Square Enix’s strange, small, esoteric experiment of a game that mixes real life cutscenes with digital action, and is releasing right between the titans of Red Dead Redemption 2 (opens in new tab) and Fallout 76 (opens in new tab) on November 1. While pre-released footage of The Quiet Man hasn’t exactly been reassuring, you have to admire Square Enix’s examination of deafness not as a disability, but as a superpower, with every aspect of the game catered around the absence of noise experienced by its protagonist. It’s debatable whether The Quiet Man will land with any impact amid such a crowded season but, with its small scale and niche approach, cult classic status surely beckons. You’ll be able to determine for ourselves soon enough, as you can apparently beat it in one sitting. Alex Avard

What: The Quiet Man
Where: PC, PS4
When: November 1

7. Haunting of Hill House is on Netflix, and seriously, why the hell aren’t you watching it

I’m not a huge fan of horror. So boy oh boy, if you’re anything like me, believe me when I say that Haunting of Hill House is worth watching even if you have a tendency to run screaming (metaphorically or literally) from scary movies. Haunting of Hill House is much more about the emotional trauma that was caused by a central catastrophic event than it is about ghosts, meaning its tension and pace doesn’t come from jump scares. Instead you see how living in Hill House before and after this horrendous event shaped the lives of the Crain children and how it continues to affect them in adulthood. As well as some impeccable acting the frankly outstanding camera work nails the uneasy atmosphere that permeates every episode, with camera angles exploiting how the nooks and crannies of our surroundings can make us think we see things...and in the Haunting of Hill House some of them are really there. But once you’ve watched the series in its entirety, it’s not over. There are a few twists that beg you to rewatch it all again to fully understand them, plus in the Haunting of Hill House ghosts (opens in new tab) are hidden in each episode for you to try and find, and I can guarantee you most of them almost definitely went unseen on your first watch. Trust me. It’s worth it. Zoe Delahunty-Light 

What: The Haunting of Hill House
Available now
Netflix (US and UK)

8. Bohemian Rhapsody promises the ultimate Freddie Mercury tribute for Queen fans - but can it overcome its behind-the-scenes troubles?

It’s no easy task creating a worthy movie biopic of one of the most famous rock bands and singers in the world, but that’s what Bohemian Rhapsody (opens in new tab) will attempt to do for Freddie Mercury and Queen when it hits cinemas this week. While the trailers (opens in new tab) seem to promise the ultimate tribute for fans, its road to the big screen has been anything but smooth. In development for years, original star Sacha Baron Cohen quit after working on pre-production for six years, apparently due to disagreements with the surviving members of Queen about the story. And then, although filming had begun, director Bryan Singer departed reportedly due to clashes with new star Rami Malek and Dexter Fletcher was bought on to help finish the project. Unbelievably, despite everything, Bohemian Rhapsody finally hits cinemas this week (in the UK - the US will have to wait a little longer), but will it provide the perfect tribute to one of the greatest singers and performers of our time? Or will its rocky road to the screen cloud the finished product? Go to the cinema this weekend and find out. Lauren O’Callaghan

What: Bohemian Rhapsody
Where: Cinemas
When: Out now (UK)/November 2, 2018

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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