The Lord of the Rings: Gollum – Everything we know about the upcoming return to Middle Earth

The announcement of Lord of the Rings: Gollum took many gamers by surprise. Here’s our full guide to everything we know about the action-adventure title so far including the release date, news, trailers, gameplay and more. 

Gollum is central to the plot of The Lord of the Rings, but he wouldn’t be the first character a fan would pick out for a standalone experience. Nonetheless, it’s a hugely interesting choice and we can’t wait to see how developers, Daedalic Entertainment, re-imagine the iconic character.

What is Lord of the Rings: Gollum?

The action-adventure game will see players assume the role of Gollum and his other personality – Smeagol. The introduction of split personalities should make for an unusual gameplay dynamic and a unique way of framing the game’s moral decisions.

We see the conflict between the two personalities play out in the cinematic trilogy, where Gollum (and Smeagol, obviously) is portrayed by Andy Serkis. Gollum is essentially the evil personality, corrupted by the One Ring, while Smeagol is the original, more empathetic personality that occasionally bubbles up to the surface.

The events of this outing will follow Gollum after he encounters the One Ring, but before the events that viewers follow in the films with Sam and Frodo after being split from The Fellowship. So, we imagine both new and existing characters will make an appearance throughout the campaign.

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Lord of the Rings Gollum  

Lord of the Rings: Gollum — Release date and platforms

Unfortunately, this is one we’re going to have to wait a while for. Daedalic are just teasing us at the moment, with a full release expected from 2021 across PS5, Xbox Series X and PC.

It seems that the 2021 launch date will be planned to coincide with Amazon releasing its televised take on Lord of the Rings. Middle Earth will be big news once again, we’re just hoping the TV series and game are better than The Hobbit trilogy.

Lord of the Rings: Gollum — Trailer and concept art

Because Gollum is so far from release, we haven’t received a trailer yet. For now, we will have to make do with the small amount of concept art and the interesting idea that Daedelic might change the traditional idea of what Gollum looks like.

Director, Mathias Fischer, told Edge Magazine: “Tolkien didn’t give a size reference for Gollum to begin with, so in the first illustrations, he’s gigantic! He’s like a monster emerging from the swamp.”

Daedalic Entertainment CEO Carsten Fichtelmann added: “When it comes to shapes, colors, we definitely try to produce something that is a statement.”

That said, in the concept logo Daedalic have produced, Gollum looks quite like the previous imaginings of the character. It’s such early days though, this character model could easily be discarded.

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Image credit: Daedalic Entertainment

Lord of the Rings: Gollum gameplay — What can we expect?

A glance at the back catalogue of Daedalic Entertainment shows us that this could be quite different from Lord of the Rings adaptations of the past. Or, at least, that it will be different from the most well-known entries to the sub-genre: the old movie tie-ins and recent Shadow of Mordor series.

According to Daedalic’s website, the developer “has a strong focus on narrative games” — so we might see a more story-driven, less action-packed entry to the Lord of the Rings universe. Especially when compared to the most recent games set in Middle Earth – Shadow of Mordor and Shadow of War.

Daedalic have worked on games from a variety of genres, with a particular focus on point and click adventures. Recent strategy game, A Year of Rain, is also a notable addition to their roster. Overall, we’re getting the impression that this will be a more thoughtful addition the Lord of the Rings gaming lore.

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Lord of the Rings Gollum  

This is definitely supported by a comment from Fichtelman, who told Hollywood Reporter: “Our goal was to present a storytelling experience. About four years ago, I caught Middle-earth Enterprises in Berkeley, maybe like Peter Jackson did 20 years ago, and I said we’re interested in licensing Lord of the Rings… After some negotiations, it was clear that the Tolkien estate looked for a company that was capable of doing something which is more story-orientated than some of the other products that came out over the last years.”

Fichtelman also explained that the warring personalities of Gollum and Smeagol will be central to the game. He said: “You already have that big conflict in the character, two voices talking to you continuously, which means there is a good reason there are decisions to make in the game: the Smeagol decisions or the Gollum decision.”

We can’t wait to see how this dynamic works but, for now, there isn’t much more information. We’ll be keeping up to date with developments and updating this page as we do, so watch this space.

What do you hope to see from Lord of the Rings: Gollum? Let us know on Twitter and Facebook @trustedreviews!

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