EVERYTHING WE KNOW ABOUT UPCOMING GAME "LOTR: GOLLUM" ! April 16. 2023. Gollum is heading to PC, Xbox, and PlayStation on May 25, with a Switch version to follow at a later date.
Following a delay, The Lord of the Rings: Gollum is finally set to release on Xbox, PlayStation, and PC on May 25 in a standard edition and an aptly-named "Precious edition" that includes a few extra goodies. It's also releasing on Switch at a later date. If you know you want to head back to Middle-earth, Lord of the Rings: Gollum preorders are available now at Amazon.
The Lord of the Rings: Gollum is a brand new LOTR adventure that sees players exploring the world of Middle-earth through the eyes of the nefarious Gollum with gameplay focused on stealth and agility instead of combat. All The Lord of the Rings: Gollum preorders include a pack of six exclusive in-game emotes for Gollum. The bonus comes with physical and digital copies of the standard and Precious editions. Players who want to immerse themselves deeper into The Lord of the Rings: Gollum's vision of Middle-earth can grab the digital-only Precious Edition on PS4, PS5, Xbox, for $70 and PC for $60. This version includes the base game plus an "Art Expedition" app that contains more than 100 sketches and other behind-the-scenes details, a lore compendium, and an official soundtrack featuring music from the game. There is also a Sindarin voice-over DLC expansion that adds Elvish dialogue spoken in authentic Sindarin, one of the languages JRR Tolkien created for the series.
The Lord of the Rings: Gollum is set to take us to Middle-earth and offer us a different perspective. As the name gives away, we'll be playing as Gollum as we stealthily make our way through various locations plucked right from Tolkien's fantasy world. From Mirkwood to Barad-dur tower and Cirith Ungol, the new adventure from Daedalic Entertainment will let us put Gollum's skills - such as sneaking and climbing - to use as we navigate dangerous environments.
Announced in March of 2019, The Lord of the Rings: Gollum is an action-adventure game from Daedalic Entertainment, a German studio famous for making point-and-click adventure games. While the studio's most popular output is the Deponia series, you may have also heard of some of the games they’ve published, including Shadow Tactics: Blades of the Shogun and 2018’s State of Mind. Daedalic inked a deal with Middle-earth Enterprises to work on this project, which means that the game will draw from the books and not the movies.
Jonas Husges of Daedalic Entertainment told Official PlayStation Magazine(opens in new tab) that Gollum will make use of the next-gen PS5 tech. Gollum’s actions become more tangible and his physical struggle when he runs out of stamina translates directly to the way the game is played," said Husges. This points to The Lord of the Rings: Gollum using the PS5 DualSense's haptic feedback ability, which will likely apply more resistance to the triggers when Gollum is tired or otherwise strained.
Official Gameplay Reveal:
Daedalic explained that the game will take place in the years following Gollum’s acquisition of the one ring, meaning that it is set prior to the events of The Lord of the Rings.
“Everything that happens to him before he appears in the book are the main things we will see in our game.”
"We have the story that we all know from the book, but everything that happens to him before he appears in the book are the main things we will see in our game," Carsten Fichtelmann, CEO and co-founder of Daedalic Entertainment, told The Hollywood Reporter. "We will tell the story before he first appears in the books."
The game was then subject to a world-exclusive preview in Edge Magazine in January 2020, which revealed some more details about the story. The game will kick off in Barad-dur, a Mordor fortress where the creature is being kept against his will. More recently, in a recent 2022 press release from Daedalic, the developer described the upcoming adventure as a look at Gollum's experiences from "behind-the-scenes" in the first chapters of The Fellowship of the Ring, when he leaves the misty mountains after losing the ring to Bilbo.
In the very first gameplay reveal from Daedelic, we got to follow Gollum at Barad-Dur as he tries to reach a gate and free himself from the tower once and for all. As the studio notes, the game will go beyond Mordor to other parts of Middle-earth, such as the land of the elves where we'll meet a variety of Lord of the Rings characters. It’s a clever timeframe to set the game as it affords Daedalic a lot of creative freedom to dive into the murkier bits of lore that Tolkein didn’t dwell too heavily on.
The very first gameplay reveal gave us a look at the stealth-based abilities and parkouring skills Gollum can use as he navigates through each level. As he can't beat enemies by charging into battle, he has to rely on his ability to feel sounds and see in the darkness to use unlit spaces to curtail his enemies. Having gained skills over the last 500 years, Gollum is an experienced freestyle climber who can also jump across platforms, hang from ledges, and fit through tight spots to get away from, or around, his foes. Every action that requires force of some kind will use up Gollum's stamina gauge, so you have to be mindful of the amount of stamina you have left before you leap to do another big climb.
Part of the gameplay will also focus on Gollum’s inner battle with his Hobbit-self, Smeagol. CEO Carsten Fichtelmann told The Hollywood Reporter that in Gollum “you already have that big conflict in the character… which means there is a good reason there are decisions to make in the game: the Smeagol decisions or the Gollum decision.” So far, these choices have been presented as dialogue responses or choices that reflect his differing personalities on-screen, but Daedelic says the system is still currently subject to change while the game is still under development.
Most recently, Daedalic released a stealth gameplay trailer that shows Gollum sneaking through various locations in the world. Using his small stature, the protagonist can be see using the shadows to his advantage to avoid nearby enemies. We also see a brief glimpse of Shelob.
So far we've seen snippets of three different locations that we'll be venturing through as Gollum. With the first look showing off the dark depths of Barad-dur, the latest preview showcased the Cirith Ungol mountains in Mordor and Mirkwood. All of the levels in the game are said to be "quite linear", but you can use Gollum's small stature and climbing abilities to make use of multiple different paths to progress.
Accordingly, the visual style that Daedalic is aiming for is set to skirt “the uncanny valley” and aim for bold style over true realism. Fichtelmann notes in the initial report that the team is trying to “produce something that is a statement.” Gollum’s descent into hunchbacked creature will no doubt be striking then - the game has a lot of wiggle room if it wanted to incorporate some elements of the horror genre given Tolkein’s rogue’s gallery of creatures. By seating the player outside of the shoes of the atypical hero, Daedalic would do well to drive home the imposing terror of some of Tolkein’s beasts when facing an unarmed, frail creature like Gollum and not say, an all-powerful wizard or warrior king.
It looks like the game will seek to make you feel different, perhaps more positive and empathetic emotions towards the gruesome creature than you’ve previously been acquainted with in the books and novels. Gollum is naturally quite a tragic character, so there is a lot of room to experiment here, especially for a studio so well-acquainted with branching narratives.