Release Radar: Our pick of the weeks best TV, movies and games (February 11-17)

1. Apex Legends proves there always room for more battle royale

Surprise! Respawn launched a brand new battle royale game, Apex Legends (opens in new tab), on Monday, after keeping it a secret for years and only letting press and streamers see it last week. If they were nervous about the launch they didn’t need to be, the free-to-play squad focused game made Anthem’s troubled beta look like a dumpster fire, and over a million players jumped into combat within the first eight hours. Can it really take on the champion, Fortnite, to be the top battle royale game? Well it looks great, the gunplay is punchy and fast, and it’s totally free. I’d say it has a shot. Here’s how to find the Apex Legends download (opens in new tab) right now. Rachel Weber

What: Apex Legends
When: Out now
Where: PS4, Xbox One, PC

2. The Walking Dead season 9 returns, and promises to bring “one of the scariest characters on television” with it

Things are about to get ugly in The Walking Dead season 9 (opens in new tab). Quite literally, I mean. The show’s new villains, The Whisperers, are a group of cutthroat cultists who wander about the apocalypse wearing the wrinkled, fleshy faces of their fellow humans turned Walkers. It’s pretty gross, and super unhygienic. Meanwhile, their fearsome leader, Alpha, is set to replace Negan as The Walking Dead’s new big bad, and one cast member has already suggested (opens in new tab) she’s going to be “one of the scariest characters on television” we’ve seen to date. That’s a bold claim for a show that has repeatedly failed to live up to the already low expectations of its long time (and long suffering) viewers, but AMC has already given us a stellar run of season 9 episodes so far, so this Walking Dead fan is keeping his fingers crossed. Alex Avard

What: The Walking Dead season 9
Where: AMC (US)/Fox (UK)
When: February 7, 9PM (US)/February 8, 9PM (UK)

3. Far Cry New Dawn out Friday, and here’s why it’s still for you even if you haven’t played Far Cry 5

Soon you’ll be running around the colourful apocalypse laid at your feet in Far Cry New Dawn, as the sequel to Far Cry 5 (opens in new tab) is finally out on Friday, February 15. Even if you haven’t played Far Cry 5, this mini-sequel is still for you. It’s got a completely new story with new enemies, weapons, and guns for hire (including an adorable Akita named Timber who I will protect with my life) meaning you don’t need to have vanquished Joseph Seed’s cult to understand what the hell is going on. At £39.99/$39.99, it’s an Uncharted: The Lost Legacy (opens in new tab)-sized addition to the franchise, but there’s plenty in there to keep you playing for months after it’s out: now after taking over enemy outposts, you can voluntarily let the Highwaymen – the big bads of the game – take them back, reinforcing their defences and making them more difficult for you to beat the second time around. Then you can give them up again for even more of a challenge. Or if you want to try something completely new, head off on one of Far Cry New Dawn’s Expeditions, which take you to different locations across the USA with your buddies. These co-op endeavours will push you to your limit, but you won’t find such rare loot anywhere else…and once you finish New Dawn, that’s probably going to be exactly the incentive you need to come back to the post-apocalypse again and again and again. Zoe Delahunty-Light

What: Far Cry New Dawn
Where: PS4, Xbox One, PC
When: February 15

4. Are there any teenagers that don’t have latent super abilities these days? 

A series about quirky young folk with special abilities might seem a little tired in the wake of X-Men Apocalypse and Misfits, but the cast list for Umbrella Academy makes this new Netflix series well worth checking out. It stars the impeccable Ellen Page, Game of Thrones’ Tom Hopper, Mortal Engines Robert Sheehan (who has done this all before in Misfits) and Mary J Blige. Oh, and a talking chimpanzee called Dr. Pogo. Fun fact for ex-emo kids too, the comic series that served as source material was written by Gerard Way of My Chemical Romance. Rachel Weber

What: The Umbrella Academy
Where: Netflix
When: February 15

5. Metro Exodus finally takes Artyom’s fight out of the tunnels and into the world… or what’s left of it

The Metro games have always worked a very specific shtick: nuclear war’s left the world a scorched wasteland and Russian survivors live underground in the metro train tunnels. Previous installments have seen short trips to a caustic dusty surface but Metro Exodus turns everything upside taking place almost completely above ground as Artyom and his team take a train across Russia. The above surface setting gives this threequel a more open world feel, spreading its tunnels and enclosed stealthy gameplay around large areas you can explore freely for side missions, supplies and more. Despite that massive change, the patient feel of hunting your enemies is still there as you play through a story that lasts an entire year. 

What: Metro Exodus
Where: PS4, Xbox One, PC
When: February 15

6. Happy Death Day 2U is about to bring horror and twisted comedy to your Valentine’s Day

If you’ve watched the original Happy Death Day, you’ll know that our unlucky heroine   Tree Gelbman (Jessica Rothe), figured out who was trying to kill her, the true identity of the murderer behind the creepy baby mask, and stopped time looping once and for all. However, in the spirit of all things romantic, it turns out it’s not exactly all put to bed after all. The creepy baby mask is back, and poor old Tree is back to repeating the same day as she did in the first movie somehow, and this time the killer is after all of them, suggesting the original killer isn’t actually the same this time around. It’s just the kind of horror with a touch of comedy that twisted couples should enjoy this Valentine’s Day, just remember to hold your loved ones close if you end up snuggling down in the cinema with Happy Death Day 2U on Thursday. Sam Loveridge

7. Will Jump Force have legs in the fighting game community?

In another addition to the super-stacked release day that is February 15, Bandai Namco’s Jump Force (opens in new tab) will be debuting this Friday, featuring a manga and anime crossover battle of staggering proportions. Now, usually when a fighting game hits launch day, there’s all kinds of excitement for tournament play, as high-level players quickly demonstrate what’s possible in the hands of experts. But it feels like there’s less hype for Jump Force in the competitive scene, which is the polar opposite of the great success Dragon Ball FighterZ (opens in new tab) has continued to enjoy. It may just be that Jump Force is destined to please fans of Weekly Shonen Jump and not get much reach beyond that core audience, which wouldn’t be such a bad thing. Our recent hands-on Jump Force preview (opens in new tab) notes that while the controls of the 3v3 fights can feel cumbersome and the roster is way skewed towards male heroes and villains, the authenticity of all the special and Ultimate attacks is sure to please fans. We’ll have to wait and see what Jump Force – and its Day One patch – have in store for players on launch day. Lucas Sullivan

What: Jump Force
Where: PS4, Xbox One, PC
When: February 15

8. Enderal, a total conversion mod for Skyrim, is now out on Steam and is basically a brand new openworld RPG…for free

Skyrim (opens in new tab) is almost eight years old and no, I can’t quite believe that either. You might have absolutely wrung it dry of content by now, but there’s one incredibly good reason to come back: Enderal. This total conversion mod builds an entirely new RPG inside Skyrim, using its assets to bring you what is effectively a brand new game…for free. Now that it’s on Steam (opens in new tab) you don’t have to fuss around with the slightly more complicated mod-download-on-top-of-Skyrim malarky that existed previously, as all you need to do is own Skyrim and then you can download it FOR FREE. Featuring multiple realities, more difficult healing, and some damn beautiful surroundings, you’re an outsider trying to figure out how to stop the mysterious sickness traversing the land. Levelling up is part of the key story, as your ability to master skills quickly marks you out as someone chosen by destiny – but you’ll have to play Enderal: Forgotten Stories to find out your fate. Regardless, this mod is an astounding feat, and if you liked Skyrim you certainly can’t turn your nose up at a free mod of this scale. Zoe Delahunty-Light

What: Enderal: Forgotten Stories
Where: Steam (opens in new tab)
When: February 14

Release Radar picks the best games, movies and shows of the next seven days every Monday at 10am GMT. 

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