We were allowed to play The Lord of the Rings: Gollum at Daedalic Entertainment. In our preview, we tell you how well the infamous Lord of the Rings character plays – and what makes Gollum feel so special.
The Lord of the Rings: Gollum from the German developer Daedalic Entertainment will not be the blockbuster RPG in the Lord of the Rings universe that many fans want. But it was never meant to be: Gollum tells the intimate story of perhaps the most interesting character in The Lord of the Rings; a hobbit completely addicted to the ring and constantly drifting to the edge of insanity.
As a supporting character in The Lord of the Rings Gollum always moves between good and evil. And that’s exactly what makes him a fascinating protagonist in my eyes. The good news: Daedalic seems focused on getting its story right.
Check out the trailer for The Lord of the Rings: Gollum:
There seems to be a lot of love in The Lord of the Rings: Gollum
developer Daedalic is already known for its story games, such as the Deponia series, The Whispered World series or The Long Journey Home. Unsurprisingly, one thing in particular struck me when alluding to Gollum: the story of the atypical main character, far from a shining hero, crawling through orcish and elvish halls, muttering under his breath.
Gollum as a protagonist is an intriguing choice I think. On top of that, Daedalic really wants to focus on telling the true story of Gollum – the one that JRR Tolkien would have told. The developer has also been helping with this for some time Tolkien Specialistswho have studied the life and work of the fantasy icon.
Gollum’s almost dissociative personality is a mainstay of the game: you’ll keep coming back can decide between the two sides – Gollum and Sméagol, which directly affects the plot and your character. Will your Gollum be consumed with madness and hatred, or will you give the creature a chance to act as Sméagol?
Still, the gameplay didn’t blow my mind
But how does Gollum play now? In the sections that I got to try out, the gameplay focused on simple stealth and platforming actions. Gollum is not a fighter, so not letting him walk around with armor and sword is the right decision in itself. Nevertheless, stealth, climbing and jumping are kept quite simple and do not bring any interesting innovations: you hide in bushes, watch opponents, collect and throw stones and try not to be seen.
When you’re not sneaking across a map full of enemies, Gollum focuses on climbing and jumping: Rocky outcrops are marked in color and show you – as has often been seen – where your aim is when jumping. During the playthrough, this often felt frustrating for me as jumps were not that easy and the fall ended in death every time.
Overall, the gameplay felt neither original nor satisfying. In addition, the question arises as to why these small tunnels or climbing ledges are everywhere on the map. They’re just very conveniently placed and a reminder that they’re more for the game and visuals than they are for the world. An approach à la Zelda would certainly have been a lot more fun and authentic.
while the graphic Although not close to next-gen and rather one comic character she adds a certain charm to the world of Gollum. However, it should be clear that The Lord of the Rings: Gollum is not a hyper-realistic game, but is more reminiscent of PS3 games in style. Which is absolutely fine as long as you don’t expect a blockbuster, but recognize the game of a smaller development studio.
Conclusion after playing: Lots of love for the story and characters, little room for maneuver in the gameplay
My first impression is mixed: Especially when it comes to lore, characters and story to put a lot of passion into The Lord of the Rings: Gollum. Based on the choice of the fascinating main character alone, I would love to see more of this game. Whether I want to play it personally, however, is a harder question: I’m not a big fan of stealth and platforming games, but I have the featured ones myself Mechanics in Gollum seen a number of times in other games.
A more original approach to gameplay or simply more complex stealth mechanics would probably benefit the game. Depending on whether only stealth fans should have fun here or whether a broader mass would like to be addressed. At the moment I’m not sure who will enjoy Gollum for the sake of gameplay alone. But maybe the game mechanics can take a back seat if the story and characters are as fantastic as I hope.
The Lord of the Rings: Gollum will expected Coming to PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series, PC and Nintendo Switch in 2023.