The Lord of the Rings: Gollum Review

The Lord of the Rings: Gollum by developer Daedalic Entertainment and publisher Daedalic Entertainment & NaconSony PlayStation 5 review written by Jim with a copy provided by the publisher.

Estimated Reading Time:  5 minutes.

I have been a fan of the Lord of the Rings ever since I watched the Peter Jackson movies way back in 2001. I have tried to read the books, but for whatever reason I just couldn't get into them and I do love to read. There have been a lot of Lord of the Rings games starting way back in 1982 with a game called The Hobbit (a.k.a. The Hobbit Software Adventure). There were way more games that take place in Middle Earth than I thought, but my time with the games start after the movie. Although my favorite Lord of the Rings games have been based on the movies I will try anything that takes place in this amazing world J. R. R. Tolkien created. So, I was excited for The Lord of the Rings: Gollum, especially after the amazing Harry Potter game that came a few months earlier.

In this new game, you get to play as one of the most interesting characters in The Lord of the Rings series: Gollum/Smeagol. Taking place before and alongside the events of The Fellowship of the Ring, you will get to see what happened to Gollum before he joined the hobbits on their journey. For the first half of the game, Gollum tells his story to Gandalf while imprisoned in the halls of the Elven-King. As Gollum tells his story you will play the game in a form of flashbacks that show what happened to Gollum after he was captured by the Nazgûl and force him to tell them that Baggins has the one ring. After, Gollum is sent to Mordor as a slave where most of the first half of the game takes place.

Most of the game is stealth where you must hide in dark places to avoid being seen. Being seen is almost always a game over as Gollum only needs to be touched by an enemy to be defeated. You can tell when you are hiding as Gollum will turn dark and his eyes will glow. You can also use Gollum's intuition to see where enemies are while you hide and can also be used to find other useful things like collectibles. While most of the game will require stealth there are a few orcs that won't have helmets on and these Gollum can strangle to death. But you can not hide bodies so if another orc finds the body they will start to hunt for you. You can also find and pick up rocks to throw at things that make noise to lure away enemies and to shut off lamps to darken an area. One of the things this game did right was its decent stealth mechanics.

When you are not sneaking around you will be doing lots of running, wall running, jumping, and climbing. There is a lot of platforming in this game. At the start of the game, I could tell easily where I could and couldn't go, but later in the game things got harder to see. It felt like the developers may have rushed the second half of the game. I spent over an hour in one level looking just where to jump next, and when I finally found it it was so hard to see I wondered if anyone could be able to find it fast. Another part that really got me was in the game Gollum can grab certain ledges when he jumps, but for some reason they decided to not have them in some places later in the game. I fell to my death more times than I would like to think about.

Also, wall running and running up walls that can be done in certain areas felt very clunky. Half the time Gollum wouldn't even do it and I died. And one other part that really got me was when Shelob the spider was chasing Gollum, and the camera pans to show how far behind she is from you but this makes it hard to see what is in front of you. There is a green line that shows you the way to go, but it's so fast that it's hard to keep up. I died way too many times because of this. The game also got very repetitive with mostly fetch quests to do. But there are a few clever puzzles mixed in that stumped me for a little while.

While the game is mostly played in the third person, for some reason when you crawl into tunnels it will switch to first person and it kind of reminded me of the original Metal Gear Solid. In this, you can only move forward or backward. It also switches to first person when you dive into the water and swim. I am not sure why they picked these views for these two parts, but it can make navigating underwater a little hard.

One redeeming aspect of the game is its story. Gollum's story is very well written and in parts of the game, you can decide what Gollum/ Smeagol says and change the story a bit by picking if you want to convince Gollum or Smeagol to do one thing or another. Gollum is more dark and wicked while Smeagol is more friendly but cautious. What you pick can and do can change a few things and endings in the game and it is a pretty cool idea I really enjoyed.

I did run into a few glitches here and there. One game crash, one time where a cut scene ended and I just fell through the world and had to restart at the last checkpoint. And then one time I was falling and got stuck on a rock and Gollum just...swam on the rock and didn't move. I didn't run into as much as other players have though, so I either got lucky or the patch that came out shortly after release fixed the issues these players were having.

At first, I didn't like Gollum's voice in this game. It was no Andy Serkis but it did grow on me the longer I played. And Andres Williams who voiced Gandalf sounded so much like Ian McKellen I had to look it up to see if it was him or not! The rest of the game's cast is also all very good and decent. The music is decent but I would prefer the movie's music over what they did here or maybe something a little more like the movie. However, they did try to do their own thing so I have to give them credit for that. There just wasn't anything memorable like the movie's soundtrack.

The Lord of the Rings: Gollum is not a perfect game and isn't the best The Lord of the Rings game, but it does have a good story that adds lore to the story we all know and love. I do wish we could see more new places of Middle Earth though it seems like all the games take place in Mordor these days. We do see a few new places in this game, but not enough and there isn't enough exploring. It felt rushed at times, especially towards the end. The game may be frustrating at times and have a few glitches now and again, but I did enjoy the story it told. I just wish they would have taken a little more time with this and made a truly amazing Lord of the Rings game we have all been waiting for.

Score: 6 / 10


  1. 6/10 for this crap? LOL you lost all credibility right there.


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