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8 things to watch out for this week

1. Red Dead Online brings multiplayer to Rockstar’s Wild West, and players are already debating if they'll be chasing Gold Bars until the end of history

GTA Online has been, without a doubt, Rockstar and Take-Two Interactive’s most lucrative venture following the release of GTA 5, financed by an active community of players more than happy to spend real money on its economy of Shark Cards and microtransactions. So it’s no surprise that the recently released multiplayer component to Red Dead Redemption 2, Red Dead Online, is equally ambitious in size and scale. Already, players are concerned about the experience’s heavy focus on grinding and accumulating Gold Bars (likely a foundation for Red Dead Redemption 2 microtransactions in the near future), but don’t write off this multiplayer sandbox just yet. The launch has been much smoother than GTA Online’s, for one thing, and there’s plenty to get up to in Rockstar’s PvP/PvE focused ecosystem, from trying out battle royale to partaking in co-op based story missions. It’s a free MMO bundled in with an already superb single player game, so who are we to really complain? Alex Avard

What: Red Dead Online
Where: PS4 and Xbox One
When: Now

2. Can George R. R. Martin strike gold again with his next TV adaption?

You might be surprised to learn that George R. R. Martin, the creator of Game of Thrones and therefore the person we all need to thank (along with showrunners David Benioff and D.B. Weiss) for one of the best TV shows ever, has written other books. He’s been working on a sixth Thrones book, The Winds of Winter, for years and it still isn't complete. Thankfully, he wrote a sci-fi novella called Nightflyers in 1980, which makes its TV debut on SyFy this week. Will it be just as big as Game of Thrones? Almost certainly not, but early reactions are cautiously positive and the trailers make it seem like a sci-fi/horror cross in the same vein as Alien, or SyFy's (and now Amazon's) acclaimed sci-fi drama The Expanse. Lauren O’Callaghan

What: Nightflyers
Where: SyFy in the US and Netflix everywhere else
When: December 2, 2018

3. The PlayStation Classic boots up your 90s nostalgia, but the reality might not be what you were hoping for

The 90s return on December 3 with the release of the PlayStation Classic, a mini PS1 preloaded with 20 games from Sony’s original console. For anyone who grew up playing on that little grey box this is a nostalgia bomb waiting to go off, from the moment you fire it up and that booming synth noise fires up. It’s also adorably cute, shrinking the machine down to about the size of a pack of cards, and including two old school DualShocks for some old fashioned sofa co-op. In terms of games you’ll find bonafide classics like Metal Gear Solid, Resident Evil, and PS1 defining games like Jumping Flash, Cool Boarder 2 and Syphon Filter. It’s as much a time capsule as it is playable console, and brings back a period in time full of memory cards, stern save points and the birth of 3D gaming. However, not everyone will find the reality of 90s gaming so appealing in 2018, and our recent PlayStation Classic review billed the console a 'strange mix of joy and disappointment'. Leon Hurley

What: PlayStation Classic released
Where: Retailers
When: December 3

4. RollerCoaster Tycoon Adventures is the Nintendo Switch's gateway drug to embracing 2018's resurgence in management sims that will steal your life

I have a problem with management sims. At one point, I was playing Jurassic World Evolution on PC with one hand, and tapping away at Rollercoaster Tycoon Touch on my iPad with the other. I balance both those habits with a touch of Two Point Hospital, Graveyard Keeper and Stardew Valley. It dates back to a childhood love of Theme Park World, so the news of RollerCoaster Tycoon Adventures coming to Switch this week filled me with elation… and my boyfriend with fear that he'd have to rip the Switch from my hands in order to play anything else. RollerCoaster Tycoon is a fully-fledged theme park management sim with a specialism in giant rollercoasters. There's a story, challenges and plenty more to build on beyond the freebuild mode. If you're vaguely interested in management sims, or have a nostalgic hankering for Theme Park World, this is the game for you. Sam Loveridge

What: RollerCoaster Tycoon Adventures
Where: Nintendo Switch
When: Out now

5. Can Thronebreaker: The Witcher Tales inspire a legion of console-based card gamers?

Whether you loved Gwent in The Witcher 3 or your experience with CCGs is limited to a few rounds of Hearthstone, Thronebreaker: The Witcher Tales is essential for anyone who enjoys card games. This full-length RPG follows the heroic saga of Meve, a deposed queen who must retake her kingdom even as it's being ravaged by the militaristic Nilfgaardian forces. Thronebreaker's storytelling is immaculate, with exceptional writing narrated by a gifted storyteller, and the cast of fully voiced characters is fantastic. The atypical, multi-lane structure of the Gwent card game also makes for deep strategy and interesting deckbuilding choices, while still being accessible for anyone who's acclimating to the genre. Sadly, Thronebreaker seemed to debut with a bit of a whimper on PC thanks to GOG exclusivity backfiring (before it was eventually brought to Steam). But its console port could help this amazing game find a new audience, especially considering how few card games dare to tread onto console grounds. If you adore collecting cards, casting swingy spells, and amassing an army of unique minions, Thronebreaker: The Witcher Tales is a must-buy. Lucas Sullivan

What: Thronebreaker: The Witcher Tales
Where: PS4 and Xbox One (out now on PC)
When: December 4, 2018

6. Fortnite Season 6 is coming to an end, but where will it go next?

Previous Fortnite seasons have ended in bombastic fashion - Season 3 saw a meteor destroy Dusty Depot, Season 4 had a huge rocket launch, and Season 5 concluded with the giant cube transporting the Loot Lake mansion into the sky. For Season 6, it feels like we've already had some pretty significant happenings, with Cube Monsters invading Battle Royale during the Fortnitemares LTMs and Kevin the Cube exploding in Fortnite's strangest live event yet, so it's difficult to see what else could happen in the next week or so. What we can predict, however, is where Season 7 will be going. After the clear Halloween stylings of Season 6, and with Season 7 beginning in December, there's no doubt that there will be a festive wintery theme running through it. A snow storm cloud has already been spotted forming in the distance south of Lucky Landing, and files discovered by Fortnite dataminers further back up that this is an ice fog that is currently distant but could soon surround the battle area. The very least we can expect is a snowy reskin of the island, but it's likely that the cold conditions will also transform one or more named locations as well when we move into Fortnite Season 7. Iain Wilson

What: Fortnite Season 6 ends
Where: PS4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, PC, mobile
When: December 6

7. Just Cause 4 is out and it’s a sandbox that’ll make adrenaline junkies sing with joy

This week Just Cause 4 is being let loose on the world, and if you’re the kind of person who immediately went for the TNT when playing Minecraft or elected to nuke Megaton in Fallout 3, oh boy is this the game for you. Rico Rodriguez’s world is crammed full of Chaos objects which can be exploded, catapulted, destroyed, set on fire - you get the idea - all to deal as much havoc as possible to the Black Hand army. But you’re not the only one causing colossal amounts of damage in the sandbox: the extreme weather events are there to keep you on your toes but can be used to your advantage if you’re brave enough. Basically almost everything on the map is destructible, so if you’ve always longed for the freedom to mould a gaming world in your own image and have long since grown tired of Minecraft’s cubes, Just Cause 4 is for you. Zoe Delahunty-Light

What: Just Cause 4
Where: PS4, Xbox, and PC
When: December 4

8. How will Destiny 2's latest update, Black Armory, change the game?

Black Armory - the first of Destiny 2's smaller expansions accessible only with the $35 annual pass - is something new for the never-ending shooter. Moving away from the traditional story campaign structure and instead focusing on activities more like, Escalation Protocol and the Blind Well, and hunting down the lost Golden Age weapons. Destiny 2 players love loot - who knew? The potential is there for these smaller expansions - Joker's Wild and Penumbra - to help fill the gaps in content for the dedicated Destiny 2 players, the ones that are there grinding every reset day. "We have a lot of old perceptions to smash," Bungie community manager David 'Deej' Dague told us. "This isn't Warmind. This is something new." Rachel Weber

What: Destiny 2: The Black Armory
Where: PS4, Xbox One and PC
When: December 4

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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