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8 things to watch out for this week

Solo: A Star Wars Story, Arrested Development Season 5, PixelJunk Monsters 2, Detroit: Become Human

1. Is Solo: A Star Wars Story really as good as everyone says it is?

Are you desperate for another Star Wars movie? Of course you are. It’s been a mere five months since Star Wars: The Last Jedi came out and that’s far too long to go without a dose of the Force-inspired franchise. Luckily, Disney and Lucasfilm have foreseen your need and Solo: A Star Wars Story is now in cinemas on both sides of the Atlantic. The reviews are already out and things are looking promising for the spin-off movie as most critics agree that it’s a solid instalment in the Star Wars series, and much better than we had any right to expect. (Admit it, we were all a bit worried...) Why not get your fellow Star Wars fans together this weekend and catch the latest Force film in cinemas before it gets spoiled for you? You’ll be real mad if someone tells you just how Han Solo completed that Kessel Run in record time before you see it for yourself, won’t you? Lauren O’Callaghan

What: Solo: A Star Wars Story
Where: Cinemas
When: Out now

2. Detroit: Become Human is out now… and it’s definitely going to divide opinion

The new game from Heavy Rain / Beyond: Two Souls studio - Quantic Dream - is out today. Detroit: Become Human follows the stories of three Androids in the year 2038, as they struggle to come to terms with their identity, and their place in a society fiercely divided by those who fear and love them. Essentially an interactive story, the game lives or dies by the strength of its narratives… and they do deal with some big issues. Equality, racism, domestic abuse, organised religion - these are some of the topics that Quantic want you to chew on while playing the game. We reckon Detroit - which looks utterly stunning, by the way - get’s the tone absolutely spot on, most of the time, handing it a 4.5 out of 5 for review. But opinion is split on the game, as you’d expect for a title that dares to tackle such weighty issues AND removes a large chunk of control from the player. It’s easily one of PlayStation’s most unique, fascinating games, but one you’ll likely love or hate. Andy Hartup

What: Detroit: Become Human
Where: PS4 exclusive
When: Out now

3. FIFA 18 is getting a World Cup 2018 expansion, and for the first time it's completely free AND includes Ultimate Team

EA has been covering the tournament since World Cup 98 graced the original PlayStation some 20 years ago, but in the past these have always been standalone releases, an extra purchase for international football fans in addition to the yearly FIFA iteration. Now, for the first time the World Cup is being added to the existing FIFA 18 game as an expansion - and the best news is that it's completely free. This includes 12 new stadia, updated kits and players for all 32 qualified teams, and the ability to rejig World Cup groups before launching your own version of the tournament. The expansion does fall a little short of its predecessors here - for comparison, 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil included all 203 international teams that took part in qualifying - but unless you have a burning desire to throw Liechtenstein or Papua New Guinea into the mix then the existing roster of 50 international teams should be more than enough. Also included is a World Cup twist on fan favourite Ultimate Team mode, letting you build your international dream team of players from the 32 qualified nations, and excitingly for every World Cup Ultimate Team pack you purchase you'll also get a free pack of matching value for your regular Ultimate Team. With new chants, themed stadium banners, and even authentic sun positioning for the games (yes, really), you can fully immerse yourself in World Cup fever when this free expansion arrives. Iain Wilson

What: FIFA 18 World Cup 2018 free expansion
Where: PC, PS4, Xbox One, Switch
When: May 29

4. Arrested Development season 5 is finally hitting Netflix, but can it do enough to win back fan faith?

When Arrested Development got canned after just three seasons, fans were aghast. Its quirky brand of almost-British humour and its casts of disasters masquerading as a family unit had brought so much joy over the years, and even now that theme tune still gets stuck in my head. Where’s my ukelele? So when Netflix announced season 4, the fans absolutely went wild. Heck, my friends and I watched the whole thing in a day whilst eating homemade frozen bananas, complete with sprinkles. But, it wasn’t great, was it? Even now with the new remix that deviates from the original Rashomon-style storytelling where each episode was dedicated to a single member of the Bluth family, it still doesn’t have the same charm as the original trilogy of Arrested Development series. Season 5 therefore has to almost blue itself with effort to claw back its original audience - including me. And that's without the huge questions currently surrounding Jeffrey Tambor and the cast's defence of his behavior toward Jessica Walter (for which Jason Bateman offered a public apology).
Season 5's story sounds Bluth-enough to work, with the crazy crew running for Family of the Year, riffing on the presidential campaign and Trump himself. Whether it’ll be up to the challenge of being on par with the old-guard episodes though, we’ll have to wait and see come May 29. I’m prepping the frozen bananas as we speak. Sam Loveridge

What: Arrested Development season 5
Where: Netflix
When: May 29

5. Dark Souls Remastered rekindles the fire once again. But who is it really aimed at?

Dark Souls is a tricky prospect when it comes to replay value. On the one hand, with its notoriously large number of increasingly difficult, New Game+ remixes – not to mention its scope for transforming as an experience by way of near-endless character builds – it has loads of it. On the other hand, if you’re not the type to take the hobbyist route and commit to multiple additional playthroughs and months of specialist load-out tinkering, Dark Souls is kind of done once you finish it. It’s a game that thrives on mystery, exploration, confusion, and the conquering of the unknown, in both its explicit, in-game action and the long, hard path of coming to understand its obtuse systems in the first place. With all of that resolved, much of what makes Dark Souls special is over. That’s why sequels, as well made as they are, just couldn’t hope to recreate the first game’s specialness. So it will be interesting to see who picks up Dark Souls Remastered this week, and who gets the most out of it. Will series old-hands want to start the NG+ descent all over again on a new format, with so little changed beyond the cosmetic? And will it be worthwhile to do so, seven years after it all started? Or will Remastered mainly be of value to series newcomers, perhaps previously put off by overblown talk of the game’s difficulty, now able to make the most of this most accessibly polished re-release? The latter group should jump onboard without question. The former though, might need to ask a few questions. David Houghton

What: Dark Souls Remastered
Where: PS4, Xbox One, PC (Switch version coming in summer)
When: Out now

6. PixelJunk Monsters 2 is bringing cute genocide to the masses

Forget Black Ops 4 or Battlefield 5, tower defense games are the true face of war: impersonally mowing down wave after wave of dutiful soldiers from a distance with the best weapons money can buy. Obviously to accurately represent that in a video game would be almost as traumatic as doing it in real life, which is why PixelJunk Monsters 2 is all cute and stuff - machine guns shooting little wobbly gnome things, while cannons bombard spiders with pipe cleaner legs. This is toy war but still challenging as you tear around what looks like a hand-animated world to manage your weapons, collect resources and hold back an army of Children’s book rejects on the warpath. As well as the near-photorealistic modelling clay finish to everything, this sequel adds up to four player co-op so you and three friends can wipe little cute things off the face of the planet with extreme prejudice. Burn them all. Leon Hurley

What: PixelJunk Monsters 2
Where: PS4, Switch, PC
When: Out now on PS4 and PC, Switch coming May 30

7. Moonlighter channels the right aesthetics and gameplay loop to be the next Stardew Valley

As someone who’s already ploughed hundreds of hours into Stardew Valley, and bought it not once, not twice, but thrice on different platforms (PC, PS4 and Switch if you must ask), I’m always looking for my next sim fix. And I think I’ve found it with Moonlighter. This adorable little game should tick all your Stardew Valley boxes, albeit without actually doing any farming. By day, it’s a management game where you work as a shopkeeper, setting prices for your goods, expanding your wares and restocking shelves, which is that kind of wonderful, brain-soothing mediocrity that Stardew Valley has in droves what with all that watering and crop gathering. But then, at night, you’re diving into roguelike dungeons that channel not only Stardew’s mines, but also games like the Legend of Zelda or even the Binding of Isaac. It’s here that you’ll gather the stuff you’ll be selling in your shop the next day, discovering what makes you all the money so you can make your shop even bigger and more profitable. It’s that kind of “just one more day” gameplay loop that Stardew excels at, and Moonlighter does too. Download it come May 29 and you’ll see exactly what I mean. Plus, it’s only $19.99 / £16.99. Sam Loveridge

What: Moonlighter
Where: PS4, Xbox One, PC (Switch release coming at a later date)
When: May 29

8. Get ready for a survival game that's about more than sticks and starvation

It turns out what the best survival games genre really needed was a touch of child sacrifice - though all is not as it sounds. Smoke and Sacrifice takes all the things you love about hoarding resources and crafting crazy hats and adds an ever so slightly harrowing tale of strange rituals, sinister priests and electric rats to the mix. Since I downloaded on my Switch I've been hooked on leading the heroine through it's twisted ecosystems - one made of ice, another buzzing with fatal electricity, another patrolled by fiery nightmares - in search of her son, crafting armor to help me survive the dangers, lanterns to fend off the deadly smoke of the title, and a milker to, um, extract delicious ghost juice. (I don't even know if ghosts have nipples, but it seems to work). The story works so well here because it gives you a reason to keep exploring new areas, but never stops you wandering off to bash an unsuspecting beast or go digging for resources. Check it out on May 31 and take this tip from me - don't eat the cheese. Rachel Weber

What: Smoke and Sacrifice
Where: Nintendo Switch and PC
When: May 31

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.