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The New Pope – Now streaming on Showmax

Jude Law reprises his role as “young pope” Pius XIII, but Sir John Brannox is gunning for his seat of power in The Vatican.

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The New Pope, IMDB’s third-most anticipated TV show of 2020, is now streaming first on Showmax. Jude Law reprises his role as “young pope” Pius XIII. Sir John Brannox, played by John Malkovich (another two-time Oscar nominee), is gunning for his seat of power in The Vatican, and already earning high praise as The New Pope.

The Young Pope, the original 2016 series, made Time Magazine’s list of the Ten Best Mini-series of the 2010s. Law was nominated for a Golden Globe for what The Guardian called “a lacerating performance – his young pope is brutally calculating, occasionally almost charming and never less than terrifying.”

The new series opens with Pius lying in a coma, with his replacement not working well for The Vatican, and pressure mounting to appoint a new pope.

Enter the persuasive, seductive Sir John Brannox – soon to be Pope John Paul III. As The Guardian puts it, “Malkovich plays delicate Brannox with a purring, campy charisma; resplendent in a purple suit, a smudge of mascara beneath watchful eyes”.

The result, The Guardian says, is a series “just as rich and ravishing and gloriously enigmatic,” as its predecessor, a “deep dive into the hidden world of the Vatican City, marvelling at its mystique with agnostic fervour.”

Of course, they didn’t hire Law just so we could watch him sleep, as enjoyable as that is, so sooner or later these two powerhouses are going to face off over that gilded throne.

The New Pope’s supporting cast includes Silvio Orlando, Cécile de France, Javier Cámara and Ludivine Sagnier, returning in their roles from The Young Pope. Ulrich Thomsen (Banshee, The Black List), joins the cast this season, alongside some surprising guest stars: Oscar nominee Sharon Stone stops by the papal office in episode 5, and His Holiness takes the opportunity to ask for her advice on what the church could do “to make itself more eloquent.” It’s a very funny scene (hint, there is some crossing and uncrossing of knees), and there’s a similarly amusing cameo from Marilyn Manson in episode 4.

In Italy, that anticipation led to the January premiere drawing almost 1-million viewers, dwarfing Game of Thrones’ release figures there. And audiences loved it, giving it the highest-ever rating for a Sky drama premiere in Italy.

The New Pope is now available to stream on Showmax.

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Spirit of the North comes to Switch and PC

A Nordic-inspired adventure game, Spirit of the North, will be released on PC and Nintendo Switch later this year.

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Merge Games have announced a partnership with Infuse Studio to bring the emotional exploration-puzzle adventure, Spirit of the North, to Nintendo Switch and PC later this year.

Spirit of the North is a single-player, 3rd-person adventure game inspired by the breath-taking and mysterious landscapes of Iceland. The story takes root from various pieces of Nordic folklore.

Breathe in the surroundings to solve various puzzles and speculate the meaning of a lost ancient civilisation. With the help of a companion, shed light on the ruins of the past and overcome obstacles.

Play as an ordinary red fox whose story becomes entwined with the guardian of the Northern Lights, a female spirit fox. As players journey over the mountains and under red-stained skies, they will discover more about their companion and a land left in ruin. Traverse tundra, glaciers, and mountainsides as they follow a foreboding scarlet trail that paints the sky.

Key Features:

  • Make your way across stunning landscapes, on an emotionally stirring journey.
  • Solve environmental puzzles to change the world around you, using ancient powers bestowed upon you by the guardian of the Northern Lights.
  • Follow the mysterious Spirit Fox across a land left in ruin as you discover more about a lost civilization.
  • Moving orchestral soundtrack featuring 14 original compositions.

To find out more about the game, visit here: mergegames.com/spirit-of-the-north

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Crash Team Racing gets Grand Prix season

The Crash Bandicoot-themed racing game, Crash Team Racing, gets a downloadable content pack with 50 more kart bodies and 51 new characters.

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The villainous Nitros Oxide has decided earth is no longer of interest, and has challenged Crash and team to one last epic battle on his home planet in the Gasmoxia Grand Prix.

During this toxic race to the finish, players will challenge each other on an epic new track high up in Gasmoxia’s atmosphere, where two rival fast-food conglomerates are battling it out for planet domination (and a CTR TV sponsorship). New skins, karts, an imperious new character to unlock and a new track to conquer, touted as the most technical track ever assembled in Crash Team Racing – players will have a wild ride in this Grand Prix season.

New characters: As if Oxide’s presence wasn’t enough, he’s enlisted help from the Galaxy’s self-proclaimed ruler, Emperor Velo. Unlock this devious new character in the Nitro Gauge.

New time trials: Velo isn’t just making an appearance this season, he’s providing a new challenge in Time Trials.

New karts: Your intergalactic ride awaits. Unlock three hovering new karts this season: the Void Manta, the Velo Chopper, and the retro-vibing Galactic Cruiser.

Pit stop items: When in Gasmoxia, do as the Gasmoxians do. Look like a local with a wide array of new Pit Stop items to swag out your racer and kart in the space-adventuring theme of the planet.  

The Gasmoxia Grand Prix season is set to go live this today, 20 February, at 5 PM SAST. With the launch of the Gasmoxia Grand Prix this week, Crash Team Racing Nitro-Fueled boasts a total of eight Grand Prix seasons, 40 racetracks, 12 Battle Arenas and more than 50 characters.

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