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Precious Possibility or Precarious Letdown? - Lord of the Rings: Gollum Review

Updated: Jun 5, 2023


title image showing gollum perched on a rock looking at the eye of sauron

Image: Daedalic Entertainment


Greetings, gaming aficionados! Today, we're journeying to Middle-earth in Lord of the Rings: Gollum. As a fan of Tolkien's rich fantasy universe, I was intrigued by the prospect of stepping into the hobbit feet of one of its most complex characters. However, does the game hit the mark or does it falter under the weight of its own ambition? Let's explore in this Lord of the Rings: Gollum review.


Gameplay (3/10)


Lord of the Rings: Gollum primarily focuses on stealth-based gameplay with a side of platforming and puzzle-solving. Gollum's abilities are accurately reflected, but the actual gameplay mechanics can feel underwhelming and repetitive.

The stealth sections are hit-or-miss, with some levels providing genuinely tense and thrilling moments, while others can feel frustrating due to inconsistent AI. The platforming sequences, while visually appealing, often lack precision in control, leading to unnecessary deaths and retries.


Graphics and Sound (4/10)


On the visual front, Lord of the Rings: Gollum delivers a decent representation of Middle-earth. The environments range from the dank caves of Mordor to the grand halls of the Elven realms, each with a distinct design. However, the graphics can feel a bit outdated, particularly in comparison to other current-gen titles.

The sound design is one of the game's stronger aspects. The ambient sounds, the voice acting - particularly Gollum's - and the soundtrack inspired by Howard Shore's original score all contribute to a rich and immersive auditory experience.


Story and Characters (3/10)


In terms of narrative, Lord of the Rings: Gollum explores a story not fully fleshed out in the original trilogy, focusing on Gollum's journey. However, the execution falls short of its potential. Despite some intriguing moments, the storyline often feels disjointed and fails to delve deep enough into Gollum's character.

Moreover, the game's dialogue system, which attempts to showcase Gollum's internal struggle between his "Gollum" and "Sméagol" personas, often feels superficial and doesn't significantly impact the storyline or gameplay.


Conclusion


All in all, Lord of the Rings: Gollum feels like a missed opportunity. While the game has an interesting concept to play from Gollum's perspective, its repetitive gameplay, lackluster narrative, and underwhelming graphics prevent it from reaching its potential. It may hold some small appeal for hardcore fans of the Tolkien universe, but it's hard to recommend it as a must-play title for most casual gamers or those seeking a more enriching gaming experience.


Overall Score: 3.5/10

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