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Release Radar: Our pick of the week's best TV, movies, and games (November 4-10)

(Image credit: Kojima Productions/Rockstar/Frontier)

1. Star power and a second chance for His Dark Materials

Here we go again. Another attempt to adapt His Dark Materials, the epic fantasy novels by Philip Pullman in which two teenagers must traverse multiple universes while being accompanied by their personalized dæmons. So, what’s different about HBO and the BBC’s collaboration? Well, where the Golden Compass film, starring Nicole Kidman and Daniel Craig, was critically bemoaned, this new version has already received positive early reviews, with Dafne Keen, James McAvoy, and Ruth Wilson all winning acclaim. A second series has already been commissioned, showing that both broadcasters have obvious faith that this is going to be a hit.

What: His Dark Materials
When: 3/4 November
Where: BBC One (UK) and HBO (US) 

2. Planet Zoo is basically Squee: The Game

If you're even vaguely into world-building sims or 4X games and have a penchant for anything cute and fuzzy, there's a game that's about to blow your mind. Meet Planet Zoo, a brand new zoo crafting game that takes the strategy and building elements from Planet Coaster (they're made by the same folks, don't you know), and add a plethora of critters to look after. Think Jurassic World Evolution but swapping dinos with pandas, lions, alligators and spiders – yes, Planet Zoo can even make spiders semi-adorable – with habitats to build, parks to create, and enrichment items to introduce. It's going to be massive - and glorious - time sink, but the way the game works you're going to learn as much about these animals as your guests will. Bring on the critters. 

What: Planet Zoo
When: November 5
Where: PC 

3. Red Dead Redemption 2 is finally coming for your keyboards

We always knew it had to happen, but Red Dead Redemption 2 finally gets a PC release this week, a year after its console cousin. Rockstar hasn't just been napping by the campfire in the last 12 months though, there's all sort of technical tweaking that's been happening under the hood to make the game look ridiculously beautiful on your massive monitor. There's a handful of new content too, but if you're playing it for the first time it's not as if it was lacking action or activities, and if you're thinking about playing it again on PC, do it for the insane visuals. 

What: Red Dead Redemption 2
When: November 5
Where: PC

4. Hideo Kojima's Death Stranding is finally here

In case the wide and varied review discussion surrounding Death Stranding didn’t give it away, Kojima’s first big non-MGS effort is a game. While critics and fans argue over who’s played it right (or indeed at all), and who really gets the metaphors behind carrying boxes, you’ll be able to find out for yourself on November 8 when the finished product is finally delivered. Whatever you might think of it, the story of Sam Porter Bridges reuniting a post-apocalyptic America destroyed by exploding ghosts is going to be a talking point for months. Names like Hideo Kojima don’t get much bigger, and after years of hype and conjecture, the chance to finally see what it’s all about is going to be a big deal.  

What: Death Stranding
When: November 8
Where: PS4 

5. Rick and Morty are finally back – and they’re bringing Mr. Poopy Butthole with them 

It’s been quite some time since we last got schwifty and watched some fresh Rick and Morty episodes, hasn’t it? In fact, it’s been over two years since the likes of Pickle Rick and McDonald’s Mulan Szechuan sauce blew up the internet and took over meme culture. Has the dimension-hopping duo mellowed in the interim? Don’t bet on it. The first round of trailers include dragons, gunfights, and even the return of Mr. Poopy Butthole. Ooh-wee!

It’s worth noting, though, that Rick and Morty season 4 has been split into two, with only five episodes coming in 2019 and the rest to follow at an undisclosed date in 2020. As Rick would say: that’s the way the news goes. Still, the future is looking bright for Rick and Morty as Adult Swim has ordered 70 more episodes of Dan Harmon and Justin Roiland’s animated comedy.

What: Rick and Morty season 4
When: November 10
Where: Adult Swim 

Release Radar picks the best games, movies, and shows of the next seven days every Monday at 11am GMT.