For March and April, the pandemic didn't really affect the video game release calendar. Everything on the schedule was already on its way to being shipped; it would have been more difficult to halt production and reschedule everything than to simply stick to the plan.
But now, we're right in the middle of a lockdown, at the peak of a pandemic. Multiple games have been delayed. Most notably, The Last of Us: Part II, which should have come out on May 29, has been postponed until June 19. And almost certainly, more AAA games are on the chopping block. Even though publishers can always sell their wares digitally, there are lots of people who still play their games via physical media. The logistics of delivering said media, and bypassing brick-and-mortar entirely, are intimidating.
Accordingly, most of May's games are ports of older games on new platforms. Here is your video game news roundup for May 2020.
XBox Gold Free Games For May 2020
V-Rally 4 (May 1 - May 31)
This is an arcade-style racing game where you choose from officially sponsored rally cars. Race on dirt and tarmac from South Africa to China.
Warhammer 40,000: Inquisitor - Martyr (May 16-June 15)
This is a sci-fi action RPG from the Warhammer franchise, featuring a bird's eye view and four upgradable classes. Multiplayer and customization are a plus.
Xbox 360 (backwards compatible)
Sensible World of Soccer (May 1 - May 15)
An early sports simulator, this game was first released in 1994, over 25 years ago. Later versions updated the gameplay, look and team rosters. The current port was released on XBox Live Arcade in 2007.
Overlord 2 (May 16 - May 31)
A action roleplayer, Overlord 2 casts you as a leader of minion hordes. Most fantasy games aren't known for their humor, but this one is full of it.
Playstation Plus Free Games For May 2020
Cities: Skylines (May 5 - June 1)
This is a city-building simulator in the vein of the SimCity franchise. It includes both the base game and the "After Dark" expansion. Build skyscrapers, maintain infrastructure, and levy taxes.
Farming Simulator 19 (May 5 - June 1)
Another simulation experience, this game lets you grow and maintain a farm in the country. Choose the crops you want to grow and the animals you want to tend to.
Google Stadia Free Games For May 2020
Zombie Army 4: Dead War (May 1)
The Zombie Army series started as a spin-off to the Sniper Elite stealth franchise before becoming its own franchise. The Nazis are defeated and Hitler is dead. Or is he? This game is pure B-movie entertainment with gory, visceral thrills.
SteamWorld Heist (May 1)
If you cross side-scrolling action with turn-based tactics and steampunk influences, you'll get SteamWorld Heist. You play as an upgradable gunslinging robot that can ricochet its bullets off walls, Revolver Ocelot-style.
The Turing Test (May 1)
A sci-fi puzzle game set on Jupiter's moon Europa, you investigate the disappearance of the base's human crew with the help of an AI robot named Tom.
Star Wars Episode I: Racer (May 12 for Nintendo Switch, May 26 for PS4)
One of the best Star Wars games ever made will be ported to the Playstation 4 and Nintendo Switch this month. Originally released to coincide with the 1999 theatrical release of The Phantom Menace, this game puts you behind the controls of a Pod Racer. Play as Anakin, Sebulba, and more as you deal with overheating engines and Tusken Raiders.
Maneater (May 22)
For something a little different, consider picking up Maneater, which thrusts you into the role of a massive killer shark who's out for revenge against the fisherman who killed its mother. Take down boats of hunters and crowded beach parties by jumping out of the water and biting down hard. Your victims explode in a bright red mist that dissipates through the water.
Minecraft Dungeons (May 26)
This is a good old-fashioned dungeon crawler, where you explore randomly generated levels. Despite the Minecraft aesthetic, there is no crafting and no building. Expect lots of exploration, puzzle-solving, and medieval combat.
BioShock: The Collection (May 29)
The vast majority of sci-fi first-person shooters are DOOM derivatives, about space marines killing mindless zombies, mindless monsters, or both. The gameplay is front and center to the experience. But the Bioshock franchise infused the first-person shooter genre with heart, moral choice, and social commentary on modern America. Bioshock: The Collection will be ported to the Nintendo Switch in May, and it includes all three original games in the series: BioShock, BioShock 2, and BioShock Infinite.
Borderlands: The Handsome Collection (May 29)
When you cross sci-fi action with western tropes and add some off-beat humor, you get the Borderlands franchise, a loot-based first person shooter featuring endless variants of weapons and enemies. The Handsome Collection (named after main villain Handsome Jack), will be ported to the Nintendo Switch, and consists of Borderlands 2 and Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel.
XCOM 2 Collection (May 29)
Another Switch debut, XCOM 2 Collection provides hours of turn-based RPG gameplay. You play as a band of human survivors, dedicated to stopping the ongoing alien invasion of Earth. And as you notch up victories, you can upgrade your weapons, combat skills, and army. The collection includes the original XCOM 2 base game, all DLC content, and the expansion XCOM 2: War of the Chosen.
Xenoblade Chronicles: Definitive Edition (May 29)
Back in 2010 during the Wii's heyday, Nintendo released an action RPG called Xenoblade Chronicles in Japan.. Amidst the gimmicky shovelware that used the Wiimote's "waggle" mechanics as its main selling point, Xenoblade Chronicles stood out as a thoughtful, well-made experience, with lots of dialogue and world-building, and underlying themes about the nature of fate and destiny. The Definitive Edition on the Switch will include visual improvements and better controls, along with a new Epilogue.