It’s that time again when we sit down and discuss the biggest games coming out each month. To kick things off, The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom is undeniably the highlight of May, opening gates to the floating Sky Islands above an even more expanded Hyrule kingdom. Play around with new sandbox abilities to fuse weapons and vehicles for traversal, or rewind time to fight back the malevolent forces that threaten the lands. TOTK — aka Nintendo’s longest-kept secret — finally releases May 12, exclusively on the Nintendo Switch. Meanwhile, in Redfall, you head out into the titular island town to lay waste to a legion of vampires who’ve blocked out sunlight, cutting citizens off from the outside world. It can be played in both solo and co-op modes, and it’s out now on PC and Xbox Series S/X.
Middle-earth fans can sneak through iconic locations plucked from author J.R.R. Tolkien’s works in The Lord of the Rings: Gollum, which launches May 25, after multiple delays. The beloved roguelike Darkest Dungeon is getting a sequel, which sees you on a road trip of the damned, to avert an apocalypse in turn-based combat. System Shock remake and Amnesia: The Bunker fill out the horror quota this month, and let’s not forget Hogwarts Legacy’s launch on the old-gen PS4 and Xbox One consoles on May 5.
With that, here are the nine biggest titles coming to PC, PS4, PS5, Nintendo Switch, Xbox One, Xbox Series S/X, Android, and iOS in May 2023:
When: May 2
Where: PC and Xbox Series S/X
The town of Redfall is infested by a legion of vampires, threatening to bleed it dry, in this latest FPS from Arkane, creators of the famed Dishonored games. Squad up with a group of survivors in multiplayer co-op or venture into the darkness solo, and wage war against the nocturnal bloodsuckers across cultist outposts, psychic spaces, and stinking nests. Pick from four main characters — Devinder, Jacob, Layla, and Remi — who are equipped with unique abilities to hold back the undead and their maniacal followers.
Devinder, for instance, can put out a UV emitter to petrify hordes, Jacob has an auto-aim skill, while Layla can summon her vampire ex-boyfriend to assist… clingy. This looter-shooter format is a big departure for Arkane, and it also requires an always-on internet connection. Redfall is out on Xbox Game Pass as well, so you can save yourself Rs. 3,999/ $70, in case the reviews are giving you second thoughts.
When: May 2
Where: Android, iOS (Netflix)
Netflix’s newest addition to its growing collection of gaming titles is called Laya’s Horizon, an open-world adventure title that will have you gliding through the skies with the Windfolk as you learn to fly. Developed by Toronto-based Snowman, this wingsuit title — partly inspired by the developer’s previous titles Alto’s Adventure and Alto’s Odyssey — is now available to play at no additional cost for Netflix subscribers on iOS and Android.
The trailer for Laya’s Horizon shows a character equipped with a wingsuit as they glide through a variety of mesmerising locations while attempting to collect yellow-coloured objects floating in the air around them. As this is a mobile title, it will offer touch-based controls, allowing you to control your character and prevent them from hitting the ground.
Darkest Dungeon II
When: May 8
Darkest Dungeon II is coming out of early access, picking up after the events of the first game, where you defeated the corruption at the gothic Estate. However, that small victory was simply a sign of a far greater, world-ending evil, lurking in The Mountain, the source of all madness. Commandeer a stagecoach filled with your party of heroes and journey across a kingdom of ruins, besting any foes in turn-based combat using trinkets and weapons, and overcoming any roadblocks. The only thing keeping evil at bay is the torch you carry, which slowly wanes away, affecting the team’s sanity.
Just like 2016’s Darkest Dungeon, it’s not just the physical fights that strain your team, but also afflictions such as fear and stress, directly affecting their stats. Maintaining strong interpersonal relationships is key here — the friendlier your crew is, the stronger the morale and bonuses during battle. Meanwhile, an unhealthy alliance causes them to get distracted and create more mistakes on the field. Just make sure no one has a full-blown meltdown and you’re good!
The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom
When: May 12
Where: Nintendo Switch
Nintendo’s highly-awaited sequel to The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild is almost at the door. It’s difficult to put into words the hype and hope surrounding The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom. It’s not only a mainline Zelda game, it’s also the successor to the defining game of the last decade. Breath of the Wild turned the gaming landscape on its head, blowing every open-world game out of the water with its imaginative, fluid, and almost limitless design aspects of exploration, interaction, and pure video gaming fun. Tears of the Kingdom has the unenviable task to not just match the ridiculously high bar set by its successor, but clear it by a wide margin. That’s what fans expect it to be — a monumental game that exceeds all expectations and rewrites the rules. And if the teasers and trailers for the upcoming title from Nintendo are any hint, it might just end up doing so.
Link is back, on the trails of another epic adventure set in Hyrule. This time, the map also includes a cluster of floating islands in the sky and brand-new mechanics to navigate the aerial world. While Nintendo has kept details surrounding the story under wraps, the game has already reportedly leaked ahead of its May 12 release. So, if you’re waiting for this one, you might want to tread the Internet carefully to avoid spoilers.
Watch the Gameplay Trailer for The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom
When: May 16
Where: PC, PS4, PS5, PS VR, PS VR2
Humanity is an upcoming puzzle-platformer from Japanese developers ‘tha,’ where you control a glowing Shiba Inu dog and command a horde of people across maze-like levels. Your goal is to lead the people to their salvation and on the way you cross intricately designed stages that require creative solutions to progress.
Aside from platforming, Humanity also includes action, bringing elaborate boss battles to the table. The game also lets players design their own levels and share them online, much like Super Mario Maker. The game is coming to PC and PlayStation and will also be playable on PS VR. And the good news is, PlayStation Plus Extra and Deluxe/ Premium tier members will get access to Humanity as part of their subscription, as it is arriving as a Day 1 launch title to May’s game catalogue.
Warhammer 40,000: Boltgun
When: May 23
Where: PC, PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series S/X
The popular Warhammer franchise’s next instalment appears to be inspired by popular shooter games from the 1990s while featuring the same smooth first-person shooter gameplay associated with the series from Focus Entertainment. You’ll step into the shoes of a Space Marine and jump across vast levels.
Warhammer 40,000: Boltgun will have you fighting demons of Chaos as well as Chaos Space Marines, as you make the best of the highly destructive Space Marine arsenal that is at your disposal. The game features weapons like the bolt-firing Boltgun and the Grav-cannon, a deadly weapon that uses the local gravity field around an enemy to crush them, either stunning or killing them.
Amnesia: The Bunker
When: May 23
Where: PC, PS4, Xbox One, Xbox Series S/X
The Amnesia series is known for delivering chills and thrills and its slow and deliberate games are considered some of the scariest ever made. The series typically puts you in the shoes of a troubled and underpowered protagonist, trying to survive with minimal means available at their disposal. Aside from deep, personal, and creepy storylines, the scares come from the actual grounded nature of the gameplay itself. But, the upcoming Amnesia: The Bunker is taking a slightly different route this time.
Set in a terrifying WWI bunker, the game will let players use various period-appropriate weapons and tools lying around to navigate the titular bunker and survive the horrors within. Light is once again a key mechanic and your friend in the game, while darkness is your enemy. You play as a French soldier, Henri Clément, armed with a revolver and a dynamo flashlight, trying to find his way out. Developers Frictional Games have promised a lot of player agency and possible playstyles, all of which affect the outcome of the game.
The Lord of the Rings: Gollum
When: May 25
When: PC, PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series S/X
The Lord of the Rings: Gollum serves as a prelude to the Peter Jackson film trilogy, where you assume the role of the titular slimy character and go on a quest to retrieve the One Ring — his ‘precious’ from Bilbo Baggins. Gameplay largely revolves around stealth, which goes inline with his scrawny physicality, letting you crawl around and climb onto surfaces without drawing too much attention. The takeaway here is his split personality — Gollum and Sméagol — which function as an actual decision-making mechanic during moments of conflict. Players can either side with the timid or cunningly evil approach to best serve their journey.
The graphics seem to have received some tweaking since the first reveal, which should explain the numerous delays. Combat seems to be pretty limited, but developer Daedalic Entertainment promises untold arcs such as his flight from Mordor, escape from the Mouth of Sauron, and even an encounter with the demon spider Shelob. Additionally, those looking for authentic Sindarin (Elvish) voice acting will have to opt for the Precious Edition of the game.
System Shock (2023 remake)
When: May 30
A remake of Looking Glass Studios’ popular 1994 title System Shock is coming at the end of May, and this title uses the Unity engine. The game’s developers have promised high-definition graphics, along with a new interface with better controls. The release comes three years after developer Nightdive rolled out an alpha demo of the game, which was first revealed in 2016.
A beta version of System Shock followed in February 2021, after which the game’s release was pushed to 2022 and then to May this year. This “fully fledged” remake of the original game from 1994 is touted to feature new music and sounds. It will also star the original voice actor behind the AI-based Sentient Hyper-Optimized Data Access Network (SHODAN), an important villain in System Shock and System Shock 2.