Tolkien’s Middle-Earth universe contains several high-grossing video-game titles, some of which expand the original story, while others based their narrative on Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings. The newest addition to the line-up is the upcoming Lord of the Rings: Gollum, which tells the titular hero’s tale as he traverses the Middle-Earth in search of his Precious. Deadalic Entertainment, the game’s developer, kept things under tight wraps until yesterday when they released an official sneak peek trailer on Youtube.
In the details they disclosed before the trailer’s release, Deadalic Entertainment stated that Lord of the Rings: Gollum will be an action-adventure game set in a canonical storyline, but from Gollum’s perspective. According to the game’s creators, the story will be set from the time of his slavery below the Dark Tower to his escape from the Elves of Mirkwood and possibly even further.
From what we’ve seen in the trailer, Gollum is likely to traverse Mount Doom and Mordor, various cave and caverns, where he’s likely to encounter many iconic creatures. Judging by the spiders we’ve witnessed in the sneak peek trailer, the players might even encounter Shelob, the primordial spider.
Whatever the case might be, the combat aspect of the Lord of the Rings game certainly won’t be its focus. This makes sense, with Gollum at the center of it all. As seen in the trailer, the game’s primary focus will be centered around stealth and an occasional rock to the head of any opponent unlucky enough to cross paths with the formerly named Smeagol. This absence of an elaborate combat system isn’t a bad thing, as shown by super-successful stealth titles like The Thief and Styx. Both titles prioritize stealth, agility, and cunning, over direct confrontation in almost an artistic way.
Deadalic Entertainment did release a few stills and screens before the trailer’s release, and one of those stills revealed decision-based storytelling, which fits nicely into Gollum’s personality disorder. Players will have to make key decisions at specific points that will directly affect Gollum’s actions, personality, subsequent actions in the game, and the story’s overall conclusion. From what the audience witnessed in Peter Jackson’s Lord of the Rings trilogy, the choices are likely split between Gollum’s own split personalities, Smeagol and Gollum, adding more depth to the overall story and the character itself.
Deadalic Entertainment certainly has their hands and plates full if they’re ever to achieve the glory of other Lord of the Rings titles, like the Middle-Earth: Shadow of Mordor or its sequel Shadow of War. The studio certainly has some high-quality titles under its banner, like Deponia, a highly-praised and critically acclaimed point-and-click adventure game, which means that they’re up to the task. Given how well-received the trailer is, Deadalic Entertainment might make a few sequels or other LOTR games if Gollum turns out to be a success.
Unfortunately, we won’t know how good the game is until it releases sometime in 2022. The exact date remains unknown, but we know that it will release for Xbox, PlayStation, Nintendo, and PC.