The Lord of the Rings has seen its fair share of video game adaptions, from the tactical strategy of Battle for Middle-Earth to the warring nemesis system of Shadow of Mordor. Yet Lord of the Rings - Gollum is a different beast entirely, a narrative-focused title centered around the iconic character.

Developed by Daedalic Entertainment, known for Deponia and The Chronicles of Shakespeare, the title puts Gollum at center stage for the very first time, although the character isn't based on his film appearance or interpretation.

Lord of the Rings games have slowed after the original films and The Hobbit films ended, but Daedalic partnered with Middle-earth Enterprises to make a new adaption of J.R.R. Tolkien's books. Although, that may change with Amazon's Lord of the Rings show. Details may be sparse, but there's still a bit of information to dig into about The Lord of the Rings - Gollum.

The Lord Of The Rings - Gollum Release Date

On March 26, 2019 Daedalic announced they'd be developing The Lord of the Rings - Gollum, an action-adventure title for PC and "relevant consoles," out in 2021. They later confirmed that the game is in development for PS5 and Xbox Series X. There's no official release date for The Lord of the Rings - Gollum, but a few signs point to a late 2021 release.

In February 2020, Daedalic reported it was facing financial troubles. The studio's game A Year of Rain severely underperformed on Steam Early Access, leading the company's 51% owner Bastei Lübbe to release a statement.

"The previous business model is proving to be unsustainable" said Lübbe, adding they "will therefore now examine all options for a re-positioning of Daedalic Entertainment and its business model."
Although Daedalic didn't set a release date for The Lord of the Rings - Gollum this change could reasonably be assumed to cause an internal delay for the game, even if it's just a minor one.

The Lord Of The Rings - Gollum Story

The Lord of the Rings - Gollum chronicles the character's journey in between the events of The Hobbit and Fellowship of the Ring. This time period presents a Gollum who's far more corrupted than the version we see in the films, so don't expect something like Andy Serkis' portrayal. This is when Gollum is in the throes of the One Ring, and the story will mirror that.

An interview with Edge sheds a bit more light on what we can expect from The Lord of the Rings - Gollum. The character's dual personalities will play directly into the story, and Senior Producer Kai Fiebig expands on this.

"We don’t want to displease the folks who have only seen the movies. But in short, he doesn’t look like Andy Serkis. 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. We have more storytelling possibilities than the movies ever had, and for us, it was very important to show a different set of emotions. We need somebody you could almost love, and on the other hand somebody you can really be afraid of. And at some points, trust me, you will fear him."
The Lord of the Rings - Gollum will also feature the iconic Nazgul, although Fiebig noted that they won't be quite as fearsome as their film counterparts, as we'll be seeing some of the lower members of the group.

The Lord Of The Rings - Gollum's Gameplay

Gameplay is the biggest question about The Lord of the Rings - Gollum, as we know it'll be narrative-focused based on Daedalic's past experience. The aforementioned Edge interview also mentions that players will need to choose to side with Smeagol or Gollum at certain points, adding choice into the experience. Game Designer Martin Wilkes explains,

"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."
In terms of other gameplay mechanics, The Lord of the Rings - Gollum will also feature stealth, large open levels, and a move away from the violence usually found in Lord of the Rings games.