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8 things to watch out for this week

1. Fortnite season 6 brings big changes BUT MOSTLY PUPPIES

Look, I’ll get to the new map, abilities and power ups and all that in a moment but you only want to know about the pets don’t you? This week in ‘pointless cosmetic in-game items I must have’ are Fortnite’s new animals -  a dog, chameleon and dragon you can unlock and take into battle, probably caring more about their life than your own as they growl, celebrate and react to your efforts. Plus, seeing the John Wick skin with a dog feels like some sort of cosmic balance being restored to the universe. In non-animal updates Fortnite season 6 introduces Shadow Stones which enable players to become an almost invisible ghost, a new Fortnite Tier 100 skin to aim for, tons of challenges, and new map changes with Loot lake now a raging vortex that lifts you skywards to glide almost anywhere on the island. Plus it continues the story which, if you’ve not been paying attention is: meteor bring magic rocks, magic rocks power a rocket that tears rifts through space time, summoning a giant angry purple cube that stomps around the map and leaving smaller baby cubes that let you phase into a ghost. One of the great stories of our time. Leon Hurley

What: Fortnite season 6
Where: PS4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, PC, iOS, Android
When: Now

2. Can The Good Place keep its halo as the most heavenly comedy on TV?

If you've dismissed The Good Place as another frothy comedy sitcom, punch yourself in the left kidney and get to Netflix to catch up right now. I'll wait. OK, so now you know that season one of The Good Place was all about heaven, Season 2 was about hell, and Season 3 will see our four misfit afterlife adventurers back on Earth, with Ted Danson popping up to offer divine intervention. The show makes its crazy premise work because the writing is sharp, genuinely funny and every character - from posh girl Tahani to sulky Eleanor - is someone you grow to love even when they're royally forking everything up. Will this new season see the gang actually earn their spot beyond the pearly gates? As a great philosopher once said "No one can ever truly turn over a new leaf. Sure, Ben Affleck told me he'd matured as an artist after he directed Argo, but then, right on schedule, it was, 'Guess what, Tahani, I'm gonna be Batman'." Rachel Weber

What: The Good Place
Where: NBC
When: September 27

3. Will Bradley Cooper’s directorial debut starring Lady Gaga generate awards buzz?

What do you get when you put the voice behind Guardians of the Galaxy’s Rocket and a headline-making popstar together? Well, as it turns out, one of the most talked about movies of the year. Bradley Cooper and Lady Gaga might seem like an unusual mix, but they come together in A Star is Born to create a must-watch movie about the rise to fame of a talented waitress (Gaga) with the help of a boozy rock musician (Cooper). While it’s traditionally the wrong time of the year to be talking about awards buzz, that hasn’t stopped critics suggesting that both the stars, and indeed the movie itself, should be considered once the time comes, but even without any gongs, this will be one of the best movies of the year. Cooper’s directorial debut, it has a lot to live up to having already been remade more than once (the latest iteration starring the iconic Barbra Streisand), but with real life gig performances from the likes of Coachella and Glastonbury, and original songs penned by Willie Nelson’s son, Lukas, A Star is Born has its sights set on gold. Lauren O’Callaghan

What: A Star is Born
Where: Cinemas
When: October 3, 2018 (UK)/October 5, 2018 (US)

4. Which new skin in the latest Heroes of the Storm event are you hoping to score?

Blizzard doesn't mess around when it comes to resplendent limited-time events, and The Fall of King's Crest is shaping up to be one of Heroes of the Storm's best yet. As the latest continuation of the overarching storyline in Blizzard's free-to-play MOBA, this event revolves around a battle between the villainous Raven Lord and Raena, the Lady of Thorns. But it's really all a good excuse to debut a new set of spooky skins in the lead-up to Halloween, with Alexstrasza, Whitemane, Maiev, and Zarya all dressed up like the Raven Lord's wicked generals. With copious quests and plentiful seasonal rewards to chase after (including free loot chests), it's the perfect time to jump back into HotS and see what's new - including revamped maps (the Hanamura rework is a massive improvement) and tuned-up heroes like Kerrigan and Brightwing. Lucas Sullivan

What: Heroes of the Storm - The Fall of King's Crest event
Where: PC
When: Now through October 15

5. CBS’ new Star Trek Discovery shorts will tide fans over until season 2 next year

If you’re suffering from some serious Star Trek Discovery withdrawal symptoms and can’t imagine waiting until next year for the show to return, then I’ve got some very good news for you. CBS has announced that it’s releasing four Short Treks, which will tide you over until season 2 and give us insight into Discovery and its characters like we’ve never seen before. The first Star Trek Discovery short hits CBS All Access on October 4 with the subsequent shorts releasing on the first Thursday of every month until January. Sadly, as of writing, there are no plans for these shorts to come to Netflix UK as with the first season, so if you don’t have access to CBS All Access you might struggle to watch them. If you can manage it though, they sound worth it. The first short is called Runaway and sees Tilly come face-to-face with an ‘unexpected visitor’ on board the Discovery, the second will introduce a never-before-seen character we can only assume will make an appearance in the second season, while the third is a Saru prequel story, with the final short features fan favourite Harry Mudd. Beam us up! Lauren O’Callaghan

What: Short Treks
Where: CBS All Access
When: October 4, 2018 (and then every following first Thursday of the month until January)

6. Does FIFA 19 add enough to justify its yearly iteration?

It's the age-old question for sports games on a yearly release cycle - what's new this time around, and is it worth upgrading? The answer for FIFA 19 depends to an extent on which game mode you tend to focus on. The biggest change is the addition of the Champions League, which can be played as a standalone tournament as well as being integrated into FIFA's other modes, and in terms of presentation it delivers a truly authentic experience. However, if Career mode is your chosen discipline, you'll find that very little else has changed behind the scenes, which is a shame no matter how good it was already. Ultimate Team does better here, introducing cards based on the Champions League and other presentation nods to enhance the experience. Away from the modes, gameplay itself has been slowed down to allow for more measured and physical matches, and a host of new aerial animations have been added to keep the action fresh. Add in the new House Rules option for matches with different rules - or no rules at all - and there's enough of an update to appeal to a majority of FIFA fans, though hardcore Career mode or Pro Clubs players may be disappointed by a lack of innovation in those areas. Iain Wilson

What: FIFA 19
Where: PS4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, PC
When: Now

7. Can a movie about a haunted house attraction ever be as much fun as the real thing?

America's tradition of haunted house experiences at Halloween is the perfect match for anyone looking to make a horror movie on a budget. One, the whole set is supposed to look a bit cardboard and cheap paint, and two, everyone is in masks so you can get away with using a friends to fill in for any casting needs. Hell Fest looks like it takes advantage of both perks, dropping some friends and a serial killer in a horror theme park and then letting bloody chaos ensue. Sure, it looks like we might be talking "there's a moth in the kitchen" levels or fear rather than "my pilates instructor is a werewolf and I skipped class" territory, but tis' the season for laughing at cheesy horror with friends. Rachel Weber

What: Hell Fest
Where: Movie theaters
When: September 28

8. Forza Horizon 4's British setting is great, but might not have been the best choice

If you can say anything about Forza Horizon 4, it will be that it is utterly gorgeous. Developer Playground Games is a master at creating open-world racing games that make you want to go on holiday, hire a car and find one of those amazing winding roads around the side of a mountain - or maybe plough through some corn fields and fences if you play Horizon anything like I do. But this year Horizon Festival came to Blighty and honestly, it all felt a bit wrong. Where is all the traffic and congestion? We don't have the kind of roads that you want to drive 150mph down, because we're not the US or Australia. We're only dinky. With the gameplay template following the same structure as Forza Horizon 3 with its dancefloor tracks, festival and utter craziness, it just feels a little... un-British. However, that all said, this is still a ridiculously stunning and expertly built racer that is a beautiful showcase of everything the Xbox One X - and your super-duper PC rig - can do. Go on treat yourself, and tut with extra British-ness at the lack of traffic. Sam Loveridge

What: Forza Horizon 4
When: October 2
Where: Xbox One and PC

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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