Review of The Lord of the Rings’ Gollum: Two-faced 2023

The latest J.R.R. Tolkien game is The Lord of the Rings: Gollum. This Daedalic Entertainment and Nacon adventure features one of the franchise’s most notable side characters.

Its mechanical and technological flaws prevent it from being a treasure.

One ring rules all.

The Lord of the Rings: Gollum is set parallel to the series’ early events, allowing Daedalic Entertainment to fill in the character’s off-screen activities. Gollum travels around Mordor in quest of a priceless artifact that was taken from him, encountering some of The Lord of the Rings’ most famous characters.

The creators enjoyed exploring Tolkien’s universe and adding fresh details to Gollum’s past and other known characters and locales. I wasn’t a huge fan of the series, but the plot and tempo kept me interested for several chapters.

Gollum’s sound and melody capture Lord of the Rings. Gollum is a fearful creature in over his head, and the suspenseful soundtrack emphasizes his peril when fleeing orcs and kidnappers. It effectively complements the protagonist’s conflicting egos.

Gollum’s two personas were great story fodder. You can talk like Gollum or Smeagol, changing speech and the tale. Gameplay incorporates this character trait.

Mordor—more issues

Players will choose Gollum or Smeagol for important plot decisions. Smeagol is hopeful and compassionate, whereas Gollum is evil. In a quick discussion problem, you must persuade the opposite side. As you choose conversational choices, Gollum and Smeagol will argue. It interactively showcases the character’s best trait.

The game follows Gollum and Smeagol’s entire conflict. The HUD shows whose personality is driving, and other characters will interact with Gollum differently. It’s nice that your passive decisions have consequences.

Only the Gollum versus. Smeagol mechanism makes LotR: Gollum interesting. 3D platforming and stealth dominate the gameplay, which is quite formulaic. Assassin’s Creed-style ledge-hopping, bush-hiding, and rock-throwing to disguise enemies are included. I became tired soon since this game doesn’t have a new twist on it.

Gollum, an action-adventure game, has little combat. The monster knows he would lose versus an orc, so he ambushes them to take the upper hand. It’s exciting the first few times, then it becomes a tedious gameplay activity that leads to the next cinematic or plot moment.

The game’s roughness doesn’t help. The aesthetics are good, however movement seemed awkward, and my camera kept leaping or overshooting my desired movement.

On PC, I had continuous performance difficulties. Hitches and frame drops occurred even on medium settings. I played much of the game before the day one patch, so some flaws may not be present when you play. If you buy the PC version, bear this in mind.

Partial value

Lord of the Rings aficionados will love Gollum’s offerings. It’s amazing to watch an interesting side character become the main in a narrative that extends a universe full of secrets.

It’s a shame there’s nothing else. The Lord of the Rings: Gollum is as divisive as its protagonist due to its lackluster gameplay and technical issues.

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