Daedalic’s upcoming game, ‘The Lord of the Rings: Gollum’, will finally be released on May 25th for PC, PS4, PS5, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X/S, after a lengthy development period. For those who may not have been impressed by Monolith’s hack-and-slash approach to Middle-earth games, this game offers a new perspective with its stealth action mechanics. A version for the Nintendo Switch is also planned for later this year.
In ‘The Lord of the Rings: Gollum’, you’ll take on the role of the titular character as he embarks on a quest for the Precious, following the events of the first few chapters of ‘The Fellowship of the Ring’. Given that Gollum is not a skilled fighter, the game’s mechanics will focus on his stealth abilities and climbing prowess to survive. The story also delves into the battle that rages inside his mind, where you must decide whether to give in to Gollum’s darker urges or hold on to the kindness of Smeagol. While the game’s narrative is original, it draws heavily from the books and features appearances by familiar characters in a world inspired by Peter Jackson’s ‘Lord of the Rings’ movies.
The development of ‘The Lord of the Rings: Gollum’ has been a long and arduous process. The game was first announced in 2019 and was initially scheduled for release in 2021. However, due to the impact of the pandemic on development, the release was delayed. Although a tentative release date was set for September 2022, the game still required additional polish, causing further delays. What was expected to be a brief postponement ended up taking longer than anticipated, resulting in an extended incubation period for the game.
The delayed release of ‘The Lord of the Rings: Gollum’ might actually work in its favor. When the game was first announced in 2019, Amazon’s ‘The Lord of the Rings’ TV series was still in its early stages, and the hype around the previous big Tolkien game, ‘Middle-earth: Shadow of War’, had died down.
However, in 2023, the situation is vastly different. Amazon’s ‘The Rings of Power’ show has become a massive “success”, and Weta Workshop, the renowned movie effects house, is working on its own game set in the Tolkien universe. This renewed interest in hobbits, orcs, and Middle-earth in general could potentially create a larger audience for ‘The Lord of the Rings: Gollum’.
I love Daedalic’s games, I have a fondness for the Deponia series, but a part of me is having some second thoughts about Gollum, Since Gollum is not much of a fighter, majority of the time the player will be sneaking around and watching Gollum interact with himself and his split-personaility will get tiresome after awhile. Hopefully it introduces some interesting mechanics to spice up the game or the story telling has to be top tier.