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Release Radar: Our pick of the week's best TV, movies, and games (September 9-15)

(Image credit: Microsoft Xbox)

Gears 5 is coming to shake things up a bit

The hype around Gears 5 is real, and for good reason. The fifth installment in the original series (which is reportedly inspired by Bioshock:Infinite, to intrigue you further) picks up where Gears 4 left off. Delta squad is preparing for an all-out war against the new Locust called the Swarm and Kait Diaz is dealing with her mother's death and some potential relatives. 

The game seeks to revamp aspects of  the Gears games while remaining true to the series' classic formula - cover-based shooting and violent executions. Gears 5 boasts beautiful visuals, an upgraded collectible system, and giant, open-world sections that can be traversed with a new vehicle called the Skiff (oh, and there will be sidequests). The multiplayer beta also revealed new modes in which to enjoy chainsawing Locusts, or CoGs, if that's your victim of choice.

A new Gears game that's willing to take some chances while still giving us satisfying executions and the occasional frantic campaign battle? Who wouldn't be interested? 

What: Gears 5
Where: Xbox One, PS4, PC
When: September 10

The I-Land is Netflix’s answer to Lost – with a dash of Black Mirror thrown in for good measure

Been yearning for a replacement for the Lost-shaped hole in your life? Netflix’s latest Original, The I-Land, might just be what you’re looking for. It’s got the idyllic beaches, the shadowy spectre of something untoward lurking in the background, and lots of beautiful people mistrusting each other endlessly across its run. Perfect binge TV, if you ask me.

Plus, it’s got the added bonus of what seems to be a bunch of Black Mirror-esque experiments going on, all while the subjects on the island are completely unaware of the secrets behind their surroundings. That, as the trailer shows, leads to plenty in-fighting and, crucially, some melodramatic thousand-yard stares. This isn’t prestige TV but then, not everything has to be. Revel in some gloriously OTT sci-fi drama – you might just have found Lost 2.0.

What: The I-Land
Where: Netflix
When: September 12

NHL 20 returns to the ice with a new look and… a Battle Royale mode?!

It may not have quite the same star power as football, basketball, and baseball here in the US, but hockey fans know it's the one true sport - and NHL 20 is literally the one true NHL video game. When the latest edition of the long running hockey sim series arrives on September 13, you'll get to savor a new selection of shots and shooting styles that better represent the real-life styles of star players, and everyone on the ice will look a little more fluid with improved animation blending between making passes, grabbing the puck, taking shots, and beyond. There's even a new Battle Royale inspired Eliminator mode that sets up to 81 players against each other in an ever-narrowing survival tournament bracket. Be the last one skating on your own or in squads of three. 

What: NHL 20
Where: PS4 and Xbox One
When: September 13

Freaks is a sci-fi gem just waiting to be let out

Fresh off plenty of critical buzz at last year’s Toronto Film Festival, Freaks is sneaking into cinemas this week – and it looks like a cult classic in the making.

Centred around seven-year-old Chloe, who’s been locked inside her own home by her deranged dad since her mother went missing, Freaks eventually unravels into a sci-fi mystery filled with creepy characters and more than its fair share of twists. The whole experience amounts to one that you won’t be able to stop thinking about after you’ve left the theater. If that doesn’t entice you, here’s the elevator pitch: horror X-Men, but it’ll actually come out. (Sorry, New Mutants).

Also, while there’s a slight dearth of new releases, it’s always nice to give slightly overlooked, under-appreciated movies their due. So, go on: give Freaks a shot this week – you won’t regret it.

What: Freaks
Where: Cinemas
When: September 13

Borderlands 3

(Image credit: Gearbox)

We haven't had a new Borderlands game in seven years, but based on what we've seen and played, Borderlands 3 was worth the wait. The sequel doubles down on what made the series great: a bazillion bonkers guns, highly customizable characters, and co-op shenanigans. Players will be able to group up more easily thanks to independent level scaling and instanced loot, which should prevent any more arguments about who gets to open the next chest. And with multiple planets and Vaults to explore, the post-game grind looks better than ever, so we're expecting to invest some serious hours. Borderlands 3 also updates its FPS base with modern features like mantling, sliding, and destructible cover. It isn't going to reinvent the wheel, but it doesn't really need to. It's more Borderlands, and that's all it really needs to be.  

What: Borderlands 3
Where: PS4, Xbox One, PC
When: September 13 

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