Upcoming stealth game The Lord Of The Rings: Gollum will take you back before the tiny terror's story intersects with those pesky hobbitses. No, not that far back. He's still a gnarly little creature fighting a war in his own mind and hunting down the ring the Bilbo tricked him out of. Daedalic Entertainment have released a new teaser trailer and revealed some new information about how their prequel game chooses stealth over combat.
The trailer below is a quickie and doesn't let on with anything that looks like gameplay, but Daedalic have shared some other new details. For one thing, Gollum is definitely a stealth game moreso than a combat one.
"The game mixes stealth with vertical climbing parkour," lead game designer Martin Wilkes tells IGN. "If you want a reference you might think of it as similar to Prince of Persia. It is mostly a non-combat game, but Gollum will be able to stealthily take out enemies. However, this will not be easy and always come with big risks. We want players to carefully weigh these encounters. After all, Gollum’s strengths lie in cunning not combat." Wilkes says that Gollum can also distract enemies with throwable items and receive help from some special allies.
As for the environments you'll be sneaking your way through, Wilkes says that they will be more constrained. "The game is, for the most part, structured in sets of levels and hubs," Wilkes explains. "When Gollum arrives at a new location the places where he can go from that hub are limited until he either works his way in (for example, the prisons of the Dark Tower), finds secret passages or information, or manages to scheme his way into otherwise restricted areas."
"Some levels are completely open in all three dimensions and can be explored freely, while others are more linear but often with alternative routes where players can, for example, decide if they rather sneak around some guards or take a risky parkour route in vertiginous heights to pass the next segment."
Daedalic also say that Gollum will have a branching narrative. Gollum's own future is somewhat set in stone given the source material but his decisions to listen to his Gollum or Sméagol personalities may affect the fates of those around him.
Originally, Daedalic said that Gollum won't look like he did in the movies but as Imogen noticed when the first Gollum screenshots emerged, he does mostly look like the Andy Serkis version of Gollum. Art director Mathias Fischer explains, "Our approach is therefore to create a unique and distinctive style but at the same time not deviate entirely from the iconic shapes that are familiar from the movies." So yeah, Gollum is pretty familiar.
The Lord Of The Rings: Gollum is set to release sometime in 2021, though no more specific timing has been given yet.