If you haven’t heard about Lord Of The Rings: Gollum, I am right there with you. The upcoming middle earth game from Daedalic Entertainment was announced early in 2019 with what sounds like very few details carved in stone aside from the main character. Daedalic are back this year to remind us that it exists and reiterate plans to release the game in 2021.
In an interview with Edge Magazine this month (via WCCF Tech) Daedalic have shared a couple extra details about what to expect from the game. On the subject of how Gollum appears, senior producer Kai Fiebig says “we started with the person he was and then evolved him. You can see that this was once something like a human being, before the Ring corrupted him.”
Ignore that picture of Gollum above because the Andy Serkis version of Lord of the Rings’ horrible little goblin is out. Lord Of The Rings: Gollum is being made in partnership with Middle-earth Enterprises, not Warner Brothers, so unlike Shadow Of Mordor (and Shadow Of War) it will be drawing from Tolkein’s novels rather than the films.
As for what kind of game Gollum is, Daedalic have settled on a stealth action game despite being quite non-committal when Jay Castello spoke with them last year. Game designer Martin Wilkes explains how Gollum is particularly suited to a game environment, explaining how it can feel odd when game characters muse aloud things meant as hints to players. “We’re able to give the player direct guidance about navigation because Gollum talks to himself all the time anyway,” Wilkes says.
The split personality isn’t just useful for pointing players towards the correct physical path, though. Daedalic are using the Gollum and Sméagol dynamic to give players narrative choices as well. “Each personality is being attacked by the other; each has to defend himself,” says Wilkes. “You will have maybe two, three or four conflicts per chapter that lead to a final decision point. And at this final decision point, it will be harder to pick Sméagol, for example, if you’ve always fought for the Gollum side before.”
There’s still very little official information online about Lord Of The Rings: Gollum, so for now keep an eye on Daedalic Entertainment’s website for more. The game is planned for a 2021 on PC and other platforms.