This week in video games, May 28, 2018: E3 game announcements come early this year

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      The Electronic Entertainment Expo, E3, takes place in Los Angeles in less than two weeks, but the announcements have already begun. Plus, Razr has made the Blade laptop even better, and Ubisoft’s The Crew 2 is getting a closed beta.

      Battlefield 5, CoD: Black Ops 5, Rage 2, Shadow of the Tomb Raider announced ahead of E3 2018

      Normally, the weeks prior to the Electronic Entertainment Expo are deathly quiet because the studios and publishers are holding their news for the show. Not this year.

      A couple of weeks ago, Square Enix revealed the third game in the renewed Tomb Raider series. Shadow of the Tomb Raider is scheduled for release on September 14.

      In the past two weeks, other major releases have been announced, possibly to get the news out before it leaks.

      Rage 2, from Bethesda Softworks, is an unlikely sequel to the shooter developed by id Software and released in 2011. The new game has not yet been dated but is planned for release in 2019.

      The next Call of Duty game, Black Ops 4, is dropping the single-player campaign in favour of pushing the limits on multiplayer and the zombies mode. It’s also adding “Blackout”, which is a battle-royale-style last-player-standing mode. It releases on October 12.

      Battlefield V moves the action to the Second World War and introduces female playable characters. It arrives on October 19.


      Razr updates the Blade gaming laptop to make it even better

      Gaming brand Razr has updated its Blade laptop. The 15.6-inch hardware is designed for gamers but has the horsepower to do video and audio production, too.

      The new machine is built using the eighth-generation Intel Core i7 chip that has six cores. It ships with 16 GB of memory and up to 512 GB of SSD storage, with one of two Nvidia GeForce GTX cards (1060 or 1070). It’s powerful enough to run virtual-reality headsets, including the HTC Vive and the Oculus Rift.

      You can choose between a high-definition display or a 4K screen with touch support.

      The Blade can output to three external displays using HDMI, Mini DisplayPort, and Thunderbolt 3 (which can be used to connect hubs, too), as well as other peripherals, like external hard drives with three USB 3.1 ports.

      The new laptop starts at $2,480 and maxes out at $3,480. For a limited time, you can get $500 worth of games, including some VR titles, with the purchase of a new Razr Blade.

      Get in on the closed beta for The Crew 2

      Ubisoft’s open-world driving franchise, The Crew, is getting a sequel at the end of June.

      But you can get a chance to play The Crew 2 starting on May 31 by registering for the closed beta.

      The beta event will run through June 3, and will be happening on PS4, Windows, and Xbox One.

      Games released or releasing soon

      • N++, the 2-D platformer independently developed in Canada by Metanet, is now playable on Nintendo Switch
      • The Banner Saga, a “Viking saga” told through a video game, is also available for Nintendo Switch. The game's sequel, Banner Saga 2, arrives on the platform on June 7.