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8 things to watch out for this week

Metal Gear Solid 5, Solo: A Star Wars Story, Forgotten Anne and Deadpool 2

1. Solo: A Star Wars story reviews are incoming as the Star Wars spin-off tries to charm Cannes Film Festival 

(Image credit: Disney)

Solo: A Star Wars Story is out in a couple of weeks, but we’ve seen surprisingly little of the spin-off movie from a galaxy far, far away - and what we have seen has been received with trepidation by fans. It’s understandable given the love for the roguish Han Solo character, but we'll soon be put out of our misery as Solo makes it Cannes Film Festival debut. As soon as the credits roll, reviewers (including our own) will be letting us know if we have another exhaust port-style direct hit on our hands, or if we should avoid it like an angry Rathtar. Even as we type, early word of mouth on Solo is positive. Previous spin-off Star Wars: Rogue One was also greeted with trepidation after its ending was significantly re-shot, but the finished movie defied scepticism. Here's hoping veteran director Ron Howard has had a similar impact on the reportedly troubled Solo movie, after original directors Tim Lord and Chris Miller were moved off the project. Solo is a left-field movie for Cannes, but will be one of the most anticipated screenings of the festival. Make sure you check back on GR+ come Tuesday to find out what we think of Solo: A Star Wars Story. We've got a… well, mixed feeling about this, but hope to be pleasantly surprised. Lauren O’Callaghan

What: Solo: A Star Wars Story screening at Cannes Film Festival
When: May 15
Where: Cannes, France

2. Will Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 really ditch single player in favour of Battle Royale? 

The fact that a new Call of Duty is on the way isn’t a huge surprise. Each year the announcement is more or less a seasonal event. BUT. This year could actually see one of the biggest changes ever in the series with multiple sources suggesting this could be the first game in the series without a single player element. While only rumour at this stage, several websites have independently confirmed the lack of a solo campaign, with an emphasis instead on expanded co-op and zombie modes. There was apparently a very co-op focused story early in development but it was allegedly dropped to focus on expanding multiplayer and online elements exclusively. That will apparently also include some sort of battle royale mode because Activision isn’t going to miss out on that Fortnite-related cash cow. All will become clear on May 17 when the game is officially revealed and we get more than just a logo. Leon Hurley

What: Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 reveal
Where: A live stream near you: YouTube, Twitch, Facebook, Twitter, Official Site
When: May 17

3. Did we really need another season of 13 Reasons Why? Apparently so… and it’s going big

13 Reasons Why season 2 starts today (Friday, May 13) on Netflix. The Emmy Award winning show about a teenager who commits suicide and leaves her ‘best friend’ a series of tapes, highlighting the reasons why she took her own life, was a controversial one when it aired last year. Popular among younger viewers, it divided opinion on what was tasteful around the subject of teen issues, and for some it was a little too artificial to have much impact. However, the key point is that most people had an opinion, so a second season - while narratively tricky - was always on the cards. This second outing deals with the fallout of the events in season 1, as the whole school (and community) deals with the shockwaves of the revelations. No spoilers here, in case you’re not quite up to date. There is loads of talk of some big, controversial events happening in season 2, and a bunch of very overt references to modern-day American life. Punches are unlikely to be pulled. Regardless of whether you see 13 Reasons Why as melodramatic guff, or a serious and relevant comment on the failings of the US school system, one thing is certain: you’ll have a reaction to season 2 when you’ve watched an episode or two on Netflix. Andy Hartup

What: 13 Reasons Why season 2
When: Airing now
Where: Netflix

4. Forgotton Anne is the kind of game that happens if you cross Studio Ghibli with old school point-and-clicks from the likes of Double Fine

Ever lost a sock in the wash and wondered where it went? Well, maybe it went to the place where all the forgotten things go, from suitcases to scarves, and come to life. Unfortunately, two humans have also found themselves in the forgotten place, and you play as one of them, the titular Anne. Forgotton Anne is one of those indie games that's been generating a lot of buzz because of its Studio Ghibli inspired visuals and character designs. Although that might draw you in, it'll be the gameplay that keeps you until the very end to face the rebels. Although it lacks the regular obliqueness of a Double Fine point-and-click where you have no idea how a item fits into a puzzle, it has the same kind of beautiful satisfaction when you do figure out what you're supposed to do and when. It helps that Anne has wings too, making you feel like some kind of puzzle solving angel (which is totally a TV show I would watch). If you have any kind of interest in puzzlers, point-and-clicks and zany Studio Ghibli inspired stories involving talking lampshades, socks and suitcases then you'd be doing yourself a disservice by not checking out Forgotton Anne. Sam Loveridge

What: Forgotton Anne
Where: PS4, Xbox One, PC
When: May 15

5. Humans Season 3 hits TV and is the perfect companion to Detroit: Become Human

If you’ve been following Quantic Dream’s Detroit: Become Human game about androids then Channel 4’s TV show Humans is a must watch. Both deal with the ethical and moral quandaries that surround artificial life, and focus on what it means to be human, even if you’re synthetic. Humans is starting it’s third season in a similar place the David Cage’s game as well, with conscious synths appearing around the world creating a near breakdown as newly aware robots fight for their rights and life. The show’s built up it’s plot over time with season 1 dealing with a small group of ‘alive’ robots, and season 2 covering the discovery of what made them that way, but season 3 feels accessible - the code that brings synths to life has spread like a virus and now humanity needs to work out what to do with the new species it’s created. Leon Hurley

What: Humans Season 3
Where: Channel 4/AMC
When: UK: May 17/ 9pm, CH4. US: June 5, AMC.

6. Metal Gear Solid 5 goes free on Xbox Games with Gold – and the phantom pain of playing this ‘unfinished’ game deserves more credit

Angry memes aside, the unfortunate legacy of acclaimed director Hideo Kojima’s split with publisher Konami in 2015 is that his final Metal Gear game – MGS5: The Phantom Pain – is considered by many fans to be ‘unfinished’. It’s a compelling argument: MGS5’s final act is a series of random repeated missions, key cut-scenes lack dialogue (like the weird Skull Face / Venom Snake jeep ride) and MGS5’s Collector’s Edition bonus disc contains unfinished storyboards for a proposed ‘Act 3’. Kojima even noted that his upcoming Death Stranding would be a ‘finished’ game, which many fans read as vindication of their beliefs. That said, is it so preposterous that a game about the phantom pain of revenge would deliberately be engineered to leave you wanting more, in much the same way that seeking revenge leaves you hollow? That a director who has famously used fourth-wall commentary to advise his fans to let go of their obsession with the game’s endlessly complex lore might be making a comment about the derivative nature of sequels and futile quest for endless detail, plot and resolution? The ‘phantom pain’ of un-winnable debate still splits the hardcore MGS community… but for everyone else, this is a chance to enjoy one of the densest, most tactical, open world games in existence. A world where you can pilot your detachable bionic fist through buildings into a foe’s face, or prompt your horse to poop on the road and cause enemy jeeps to skid into your tactically-placed land mines. By any metric, this is game design at its most dazzling and deliberate, where the player has all the tools they need to become author of their own legend. Dan Dawkins

What: Metal Gear Solid 5: The Phantom Pain
Where: Xbox Games with Gold
When: May 16 - June 15

7. Deadpool 2 is out soon. But can it retain the first film’s unique, small-scale charm as it steps up into the superhero sequel arms race?

When it appeared in 2016, after years of painful birthing throes, Deadpool was exactly what superhero movies - and action cinema in general - very badly needed. In an era in which the dominant Marvel movies were only getting bigger, heavier, and more involved, and in which DC’s early new wave of films were already showing signs of relentless and unnecessary darkness, Deadpool’s decidedly small, personal story and knowingly absurdist take on the genre were the refreshing, invigorating takedown we needed. There were very good reasons that Deadpool exceeded all expectations and broke a stack of records on its way to becoming the highest-grossing R-rated film of all time. But that was when Deadpool came with very few expectations. How will it fare now that the weight of sequel escalation is upon it? There’s no doubt that its self-aware, nothing-is-sacred sense of humour is still running at full-tilt, and the action side of things should remain deliciously brutal, thanks to John Wick co-director David Leitch. But can Deadpool 2 hope to retain the first film’s intimate, knockabout charm, in a world that tends to demand sequels get bigger, brasher, and frequently more bloated? We’ll find out on May 18. Cross everything for a decidedly slight return. David Houghton

What: Deadpool 2
Where: UK cinemas
May 18

8. Get ready to lay down the law in old school brawler Raging Justice, which is brilliantly retro

If you find yourself yearning for the days of side-scrolling beat 'em ups such as Streets of Rage and Final Fight, then Raging Justice could be just the homage you're looking for. With a plot ripped straight from the '90s - the mayor has been kidnapped and it's up to you to rescue them - you hit the streets to dish out some of that titular justice, either by stunning enemies and arresting them or pummelling them into submission with the many weapons that litter the city. The twist is that each level has warrants - named enemies that flash red when they appear on screen - who you can either arrest for a Good Cop rating or KO with a weapon to increase your Bad Cop status. Arrest every warrant on a level to gain an extra life, or knock them all out to unlock a shotgun and go fully rogue, the choice is yours. With a roster of quirky criminals to battle, sets of challenges to beat in every area, plus a difficulty level on just the right side of 'old school hard', there's plenty to keep you coming back for one more brawl. Iain Wilson

What: Raging Justice
Where: PC, PS4, Xbox One, Switch
When: Out Now