I’ve all the time been an enormous fan of J. R. R. Tolkien’s creations. From experiencing The Hobbit as a younger baby with my father to writing up my college dissertation on girls in Center-earth, his writing has had a profound affect on me. Sadly, my quest to evaluate The Lord of the Rings: Gollum has proved to be an unexpectedly perilous journey.
I used to be hoping for an expertise wealthy in journey, story, and puzzles, and regardless of my considerations in regards to the myriad methods it may go fallacious, I used to be curious to dive right into a considerate exploration of Gollum as a personality. Upon beginning, nevertheless, it rapidly turned clear that it provides none of this stuff. As an alternative, I used to be caught in a dreary platformer with weak stealth recreation mechanics and a deeply uninspired plot.
Whereas it does sometimes draw from Tolkien immediately, Daedalic Leisure is essentially content material to supply up an inferior mixture of concepts and tones from Peter Jackson’s movie variations. Gollum’s origin story and character as introduced listed below are too acquainted, because the developer has not taken the leap of religion required to tell apart its model of Gollum from what we’ve seen earlier than.
I got here throughout the odd unfamiliar face whereas taking part in that I want I may have realized extra about. It’s in these moments that the sport exhibits some potential, because it toys with the concept of growing Tolkien’s extra obscure characters, however – as soon as once more – it by no means commits.
Gameplay-wise, Gollum feels prefer it’s been dragged out of a bygone period, although not in a comfy, nostalgic means. Its janky platforming brings to thoughts a poor man’s Styx or Crash Bandicoot, which left me questioning why I wouldn’t simply play these much more polished video games as a substitute.
One factor I did genuinely get pleasure from, although, was the morality system. You don’t play merely as Gollum or Smeagol. As an alternative, you play as each, both, or neither, actually. In some conditions, you get the choice to reply as Gollum would (normally aggressively) or as Smeagol would (typically passively). In concept, that is an fascinating strategy to exploring the character’s inner battle, however I want it wasn’t so half-baked. The choice-making course of is in the end by no means given a lot punch as a result of lack of weighty penalties.
The sections the place Smeagol should ‘battle off’ Gollum after selecting to aspect with the latter persona present no actual problem. I by no means misplaced to the opposite internal persona, and I’m undecided I wanted all the possibilities the sport gave me. Extra riddles and further taste from the supply materials additionally wouldn’t have gone amiss.
I discovered myself craving so typically for extra plot and fewer tailing sections straight out of 2010, or patience-testing platforming gauntlets that I’d should run time and again.
Graphically talking, I’m additionally disenchanted, particularly given the Gollum system necessities. The advertising showcased the sport’s supposedly spectacular visuals, even going as far as to companion up with Nvidia to promote its DLSS capabilities. Whereas a number of the maps are certainly enchanting or whimsical to traverse, it’s all harking back to how I keep in mind low-budget, late-noughties releases wanting. It’s clearly removed from a 1:1 likeness in actuality, however that’s actually the, properly, aesthetic.
Character fashions are equally off. The faces specifically make some bizarre expressions when talking, and the general model is surreal, simply not in a means that feels intentional or nice to spend hours . Gollum himself is the spotlight design-wise. He’s a bit creepier than different variations, which isn’t essentially a foul factor.
It’s additionally inconceivable to disregard the font decisions. Sure, you learn that proper. I might have reasonably checked out Comedian Sans the whole time. Including salt to the wound, the sport additionally provides virtually no actual accessibility options or settings. You can also make the textual content greater, however there are not any choices for color-blind gamers, disabled gamers, deaf gamers (apart from the subtitles with the atrocious font), or visually impaired gamers.
I do respect the concept on the recreation’s core – to discover an typically neglected character – however from a gameplay, narrative, and technical perspective, The Lord of the Ring: Gollum by no means places ahead a convincing argument for letting this bizarre little man carry an entire mission.
All in all, The Lord of the Rings: Gollum actually was… a recreation. It was not, nevertheless, recreation, nor was it Tolkien-inspired expertise by any means. After years of growth and a number of delays, Gollum is downright disappointing. Your time can be higher spent on grabbing an outdated PlayStation 2 and a used copy of The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King. We will solely hope the brand new Lord of the Rings MMO fares higher.
The Lord of the Rings Gollum evaluate
The Lord of the Rings: Gollum fails to reside as much as each the Tolkien identify and its personal potential. From exhausting, repetitive gameplay to a poorly constructed narrative, it is a piece of Center-earth you must by no means discover.