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8 things to watch out for this week

1. The Anthem public demo goes live today, but is it doomed to repeat last weekend's server meltdown? 

There's a lot of pressure riding on BioWare this weekend. After Anthem game's VIP demo was beset by a stinky smorgasboard of technical problems last week, all eyes are on the studio to regain players' trust with the launch of the public Anthem demo starting today, which will open up the floodgates to even more people to test out its ambitious open world shooter. BioWare promises that Anthem's public demo includes a range of balance fixes, content updates, and patches to make sure its the best experience it can be, but this is the last chance for the game to win prospective customers over before it finally launches later this month. Can the creative hive mind behind Mass Effect and Dragon Age deliver when it comes to the online space? You only have to check out the demo this weekend to find out. Alex Avard

What: Anthem demo
Where: PC, Xbox One and PS4
When: From now until Sunday Feb 3

2.  WarGroove is a faithful (and entirely unofficial) entry into the Advance Wars series. Plus DOGS!

If Intelligent Systems isn’t going to give us a new Advance Wars, at least we can trust in Chucklefish to deliver the next best thing. WarGroove is a pretty delightful turn-based tactics game, charging you with taking command of a variety of cute-but-deadly armies while trying to strategically dominate, defend and liberate a series of map screens. The basics are easy to wrap your head around but, much like the Game Boy Advance classic that this draws so much inspiration from, it has no qualms in quickly ramping up the difficulty – Wargroove may look warm and inviting, but it has no problem kicking you when you’re down once the battles start raging. Some difficulty curve frustrations aside, WarGroove captures the spirit of Advance Wars pretty spectacularly, even if that impression will brush fairly aggressively against your nostalgia for the old times from time to time. Ultimately, if you’re looking for a deep and lovingly-crafted strategy game (and you’re already done with Into The Breach) then you should get your hands on Wargroove immediately. Josh West

What: Wargroove
Where: Switch, PC, Xbox One
When: Now

3. Could Alita: Battle Angel mark the beginning of a whole host CGI-heavy stars? 

After decades in development hell we’re finally getting a silver screen adaptation of cyberpunk manga Battle Angel Alita as Robert Rodriguez’s Alita: Battle Angel hits cinemas this week. The reviews are out and while admittedly the critics haven’t showered the movie with praise, there’s something much more interesting about Alita: Battle Angel. If you’ve seen any of the trailers, you can’t have failed to notice that it’s a very CGI-heavy movie. Much like James Cameron’s other film Avatar (he produced Alita: Battle Angel after trying to get it made for years and passing the directing reins to Rodriguez), pretty much the entire world - and most its characters - have been created, or at least heavily manipulated, using special effects. While the final effect certainly, isn’t for everyone, I’m desperate to watch Rosa Salazar’s performance as Alita and see if a CGI-heavy character can really lead a major blockbuster. If so, this could mark the beginning of more CGI-heavy stars in cinema. Lauren O’Callaghan

What: Alita: Battle Angel
Where: Cinemas
When: February 6, 2019 (UK) / February 14, 2019 (US) 

4. Velvet Buzzsaw is a dark, twisted, deliciously depraved satire of art critics

To be fair, I usually like anything Jake Gyllenhaal is in, but there's something a bit different about Velvet Buzzsaw. This satire of the Los Angeles art scene might seem straightforward to begin with, but things take a rather dark and twisted turn quite quickly after a recluse's death leads to a goldmine of hidden artwork. Artwork that may well have been created by a serial killer who used the blood of his victims to paint with. Cool cool cool cool cool cool cool. But of course, if there's art, there's money, so prepare yourself for some bodies, some blood and yet more art in this dark thriller. I am so in. Sam Loveridge

What: Velvet Buzzsaw
Where: Netflix
When: Out now

5. What trailers will premiere at Super Bowl 53? 

The Super Bowl is one of the highlights of the sporting calendar, and with millions of viewers tuning in it's traditionally become the place for studios to premiere trailers for their biggest upcoming releases - as 30 second slots attract a premium upwards of $5 million, you can expect to see some spectacular showpieces. So far, the only two confirmed trailers are for Hobbs and Shaw, the Fast and Furious spin-off starring Dwayne Johnson and Jason Statham, and Wonder Park, an animated movie from Paramount featuring the voices of Jennifer Garner, Matthew Broderick, Mila Kunis, and more. We also know that Disney have booked a number of slots, and although it would be great to see a Star Wars 9 trailer, it seems much more likely that we'll get a second look at Avengers 4: Endgame, or promotion for their other upcoming releases Captain Marvel and Spider-Man: Far From Home. On the TV front, we could get a sneak peek at Game of Thrones season 8, and maybe even Stranger Things season 3, both of which rank highly on our anticipation meter. Whatever trailers end up being shown, you can be sure that they will only build the hype for a strong year of upcoming movies and TV shows ahead in 2019. Iain Wilson

What: Super Bowl 53
Where: CBS
When: February 6, 6:30pm ET

  • Super Bowl trailers - Hobbs and Shaw, Avengers: Endgame, and all the other teasers we can expect 

6. How To Train Your Dragon 3 out is on February 1 and god damn, I’m going to cry aren’t I? 

The last movie in the How To Train Your Dragon series is out this Friday and you had better get those tissues ready. Not only because this is the last time we’re going to see Toothless’ goofy face on the big screen, but because it marks the end of one of the best, feel-good franchises of the last decade. Entertaining for both kids and adults - I may or may not have two (yes, two) Toothless plushies in my possession - it follows inventor/dragon tamer/general bae Hiccup as he grows up from awkward teen to the leader of his Viking Tribe. Dragons and Vikings are now living in relative harmony, but unsurprisingly there’s a big bad who’s just looking to snatch the dragons’ new-found freedom away. How To Train Your Dragon 3 is sure to have some heavy emotional beats as it is the finale, so if you’ve followed the series from its beginning way back in 2010, prepare yourself for an emotional ride. Zoe Delahunty-Light 

What: How To Train Your Dragon 3
Where: Cinemas near you
When: Now

7. Dig out your night light, because HBO is bringing brand new horror all the way from Asia 

Folklore is a brand new horror anthology series headed to HBO, and it has fans of the freaky intrigued. Instead of relying on the worn out American horror trope, Folklore brings tales of terror from Indonesia, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, Singapore, and Thailand. Each episode has a different director, and a story based on a myth or superstition from that region. There's ghosts, psychopathics, dark magic and secret rooms, all with that healthy glow that comes from having HBO's budget department on your side. It looks like A-grade nightmare fuel and, as a bonus, you can legitimately tell people you spent the weekend watching foreign drama  films. Rachel Weber

What: Folklore
Where: HBO
When: Right now 

8. Russian Doll is basically Groundhog Day x Happy Death Day with questions of men

The idea of a day resetting and one character having to live through it again, and again, and again, isn't exactly new. It's Groundhog Day, it's Happy Death Day (and soon Happy Death Day 2U too), but it's also Russian Doll, a brand new TV Series that you're about to absolutely binge on Netflix. It drops Feb 1, aka right now, and it'll only take you four hours to blast through all eight episodes. Orange is the New Black's Natasha Lyonne plays Nadia, who keeps dying on the night of her own birthday party and reliving the same day over and over again. At first she thinks her cocaine-laced joint is just making her hallucinate the entire thing, but then she starts questioning her mental health, and pondering existential questions. Then she meets Alan (played by Charlie Barnett) who's also facing the same death cycle dilemma as she is. The entire thing is co-created and co-written by Amy Poehler and Lyonne, and it's dark, funny and nihilistic, and bound to be a brand new obsession. Sam Loveridge

What: Russian Doll
Where: Netflix
When: Right now

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.