Indie developers are once more sharing the spotlight with the deep pocketed studios, with interesting titles like We Were Here Forever a surprising distraction from the big name ports. There's no argument that May is a month of niche releases, with some unique takes on genres being carved out by the likes of Lovecraftian horror, Dolmen.
With month after month of big ticket releases, this lull is full of surprises and will surely see some interesting entries into Steam's top 20 games by the time the summer months roll around.
In this article:
- Citizen Sleeper - May 3rd
- Sniper Elite 5 - May 26th
- Hellstuck: Rage With Your Friends - May 27th
- Pac-Man Museum - May 27th
- Hardspace: Shipbreaker - May 2022
May 2022 PC Release Highlights
Warhammer 40,000: Chaos Gate - Daemonhunters - May 5th
In this latest X-Com-like rampage, you lead a force of Grey Knights - a secret chapter of the fabled space marines defending against the Chaos Gods. Your charge is to lead these battle-hardened hardcases onto battlefields to rid the galaxy of the latest crisis - a strange new plague unleashed by the Chaos God, Nurgle - the Bloom.
The action takes place in isometric turn-based format, with gory zoomed-in close-ups of particularly gruesome kills. not for the faint of heart, but also not exclusive to the hardcore Warhammer enthusiast either. This game is more than welcoming to those new to the lore surrounding the Warhammer universe, and Chaos Gate would not be a bad first experience, if you've never touched the series before (or, indeed, played the tabletop games).
Salt and Sacrifice - May 10th
A follow-up to the acclaimed Salt and Sanctuary, the 2D Soulslike RPG from indie studio, Ska Studios released back in 2016. Salt and Sacrifice has you playing a prisoner roaming a neglected and shabby kingdom ravaged by a dark magic, with the sole purpose of hunting the utterly evil Mages who brought this darkness upon the lands.
Each stage is a sprawling labyrinth, beset with enemies and enough platforming mayhem to keep you on the edge of your seat. You can upgrade your character and Mage Hunts will afford you new resources for crafting powerful gear to help your quest.
Tough, unyielding and at times infuriating, Salt and Sacrifice manages to keep the series feeling new, but will be no easy task to complete. If you like a challenge, then you'll love this game. If you tire of repetitive grinds when you lose a boss battle, you may want to skirt this one. Although having some improvements over Salt and Sanctuary, this latest offering does have a few flaws that some reviewers have so far been unable to overlook. On the other hand, Soulslike fans will simply chalk this up to the inherent difficulty the genre is known for.
We Were Here Forever - May 10th
We Were Here Forever is the fourth in a multi-platform series: -
- We Were Here (2017)
- We Were Here Too (2018)
- We Were Here Together (2019)
- We Were Here Forever (2022)
The gameplay isn’t what you would call ostentatious, but that doesn't mean it isn't polished and easy on the eyes. The game is beautifully drawn, the levels designed to perplex and has a storyline that steps along at a comfortable beat throughout. We Were here Forever will ensure you are spending your time wisely in the game, and relies on a teamwork that other games fall short of hitting in many respects.
You and a fellow prisoner find yourself trapped in the realm of Castle Rock, and you need to find out if your incarceration was due to betrayal, or your lack of criminal enterprise. This Antarctic adventure has you co-operatively exploring the sinister castle and solving puzzles to plot your escape together. Certainly unique enough to enthral even the most cynical puzzler fan, and pretty enough to turn new heads to the series, We Were Here Forever is mostly recommended for its style and substance in a landscape of games where it knows its place, and relishes in it.
The Centennial Case: A Shijima Story - May 12th
Cast you mind back to the last interesting FMV (Full Motion Video) games we saw, such as Death Come True and Not For Broadcast, and you'll notice that the genre allows for some incredibly unique twists on a traditional game style. Not For Broadcast had you sat in the editor's chair ensuring the live feeds that were broadcast on your TV channel omitted both the four letter expletives and any narrative that the public should not be exposed to. This sort of premise had not been seen since the heady Spectrum, Commodore and Amstrad era, where games had an unwavering touch of creativity that often delivered something unique, without the safety net of an open world sandbox or shiny graphics to fall back on if the game was pants.
The Centennial Case: A Shijima Story does not have a unique premise. Not even in the realms of FMV, to be fair. However, the way in which the story and mystery is delivered will have you feeling like this is your first time in the genre.
Centennial Case centres around an investigation that delves into the cursed history surrounding the Shijima family for a century. Best-selling mystery novelist, Haruka Kagami, investigates the family’s history at the request of a colleague. After receiving an invitation to a Shijima succession ceremony conducted every hundred years, Haruka (and you, the player) will uncover killers and unravel mysteries throughout a well-woven story, acted and presented to a high standard.
Evil Dead: The Game - May 13th
One of the more high profile releases in May, the Evil Dead makes its way to PC and offers a faithful and gore-soaked horror that will appeal to any fan of the genre. With a combination of clever gameplay systems and good use of multiplayer mechanics, players will invest their time thanks to a good selection of game modes and solid franchise lore. Though lacking in depth to some degree, this co-op and PVP multiplayer, pick-up-and-play, hack, slash, bash and chainsaw-em-up needs very little convincing for fans of Evil Dead.
With a Metascore of 77, and mixed reviews, it is clear to see that most of the positive comments come from those fond of Ash and friends, but it's still a fantastic way to spend a dark evening in front of your PC. Fun, gruesome and filled with humour, there are few games that can match the cult appeal of Evil Dead: The Game, nor should they try.
Dolmen - May 20th
From the developer, Massive Work Studio - "Dolmen is an action game with RPG elements, where the player’s worst fears turn against him, finding the aberrant alien world of Revion Prime. Sci-Fi and Cosmic Horror are mixed in an engrossing gameplay experience!"
Dolmen is an interesting and rather unique Lovecraftian version of a familiar Soulslike formula. If you're not familiar with Lovecraftian - don't worry. Having two decades in the gaming world still made me scratch my head when I read it; games in this genre are reminiscent or based on the work of the American fantasy and horror fiction author H.P. Lovecraft, you could some it up with "cosmic horror" if you were being succinct.
With a rich crafting mechanic and delightfully sci-fi approach to slashing up enemies, Dolmen reaches for the stars in terms of Soulslike format, and only falls short in a few places. the inability to jump and less than impressive cinematics do little to dissuade fans of this game. Being multi-platform, some controller players will adore the difficulty in the game, whilst keyboard and mouse fans may have little fun in surprise attacks by the plethora of enemies. That said, the PC game will have staunch support from sci-fi and RPG fans alike, making Dolmen a dark horse that could have its name alongside other Soulslike romps.
Citizen Sleeper - May 3rd
Sniper Elite 5 - May 26th
Hellstuck: Rage With Your Friends - May 27th
Pac-Man Museum - May 27th
Hardspace: Shipbreaker - May 2022