The Lord of the Rings: Gollum revives the details

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JRR Tolkien’s ‘Lord of the Rings‘ series, which is called the bible of fantasy literature, has boasted its presence in various media as much as its fame. Most of the works based on this have an attractive character as the main character or create an original character based on a worldview to draw another story.

Daedalic Entertainment paid attention to Gollum, who can be seen as the main protagonist among the numerous characters in The Lord of the Rings. Few people have had a greater impact throughout the story than Gollum, who left the famous line “My Precious“. However, there weren’t many works that featured Gollum as the main character, but this seems to be because he was more suited to the role of licorice in the story, in a position close to a villain along with his unfavorable appearance.

So, when I heard that Daedalic Entertainment was developing a game featuring Gollum as the main character, I was more curious than expected. Even though there were many more attractive characters to use as game characters, what was the reason for the story of Gollum?

As the release was delayed, there was no news at all, but a place was prepared for the media to check the gameplay in detail. Indeed, I would like to tell you about what I felt while watching the play video with the developer’s narration to see what the Gollum game to be presented by Daedalic Entertainment would look like.

The Lord of the Rings Gollum revives the details

First of all, ‘The Lord of the Rings: Gollum‘ is a game made based on the book trilogy by JRR Tolkien. The time zone is set before the start of the War of the Rings, and Mordor and Myrkwood appear as the main setting. As Gollum appears as the main character, the focus is on stealth play rather than flashy combat action. The developer said that the Lord of the Rings movie is not imitated, but rather reinterpreted, so you can see a lot of things you haven’t seen before.

The lord of the Rings: Gollum

Unlike a typical hobbit, Gollum lived in an underground cave for a long time and acquired a deformed body structure. It is possible to use both hands and feet to walk and run, and to hide as much as possible by crawling as well as rock climbing.

Even in the actual demonstration video, we could see the characteristics of Gollum in the original work. You could see the finely crafted details in the exterior, such as almost bald hair, enlarged pupils that did not fit the size of the face, and quadrupedal gait. If you compare it to the movie version of Gollum, the face is round and it feels a bit cuter. Overall, the details are taken care of, so the unfavorable appearance shines more brightly, but I think anyone who likes Gollum will be able to accept Gollum in the game without any hesitation.

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On the other hand, the game faithfully reflected Gollum’s appearance not only on the outside but also on the inside. In the original story, Gollum has two personalities: Sméagol, who is his original personality, and Gollum, who has been corrupted by the influence of the Absolute Ring. It’s a bit different from the dual personality, but Sméagol, who has a relatively good heart, and Gollum, who has an evil heart, are talking and communicating with each other quite often.

The Lord of the Rings

In the game, Gollum also reflected this setting, so there were frequent scenes of Smeagol and Gollum having a conversation. This gives a little fun to those who know the original, while also playing the role of a game guide. However, Gollum’s advice does not always benefit the player. Just as in the original game, he did as Gollum said and then tasted bitter, so these variables are provided in the game.

When a certain branch is reached, an option that represents the situation of the two personalities rather than the flow of dialogue has appeared. The player must choose one of the two actions, weighing the positions of Smeagol and Gollum. For example, looking at the scarab that appeared in front of you, you choose whether to leave it alone or eat it. At this point, if you leave it alone, Smeagol’s personality will be strengthened, and if you eat it, Gollum’s personality will be strengthened.

In the demonstration video, I chose the option of following the scarab, and after that, while watching the scarab, it led to a scene where I was suddenly chased by Nazgul, who appeared on a Fel Beast.

Usually, games that divide a specific branch with options often offer multiple endings. In response, the developer cannot change the overall events of Middle-earth as ‘Lord of the Rings: Gollum’ is based on the original story. Therefore, there are two endings, but in the end, the ending itself will come to one.

Natural Park-Ru Action

If there was an actual Gollum, it would have moved like this.

Natural Park-Ru Action

A scene where you can see Gollum’s movements very well is the expedition to Siris Ungol, which appeared as the first area in the demonstration video. Siris Ungol is made up of a very steep mountain range, and in order to move, you had to climb a cliff or hang between the rocks to cross over to the other side.

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Gollum used his hands and feet to walk and run, and his jumping and hanging movements were very natural. The overall movement was good, but the viewing angle set low to match the crawling Gollum caused some discomfort. Still, it didn’t interfere with the gameplay much, and I was able to get used to it faster than I thought while watching.

Natural Park-Ru Action 1

On the other hand, Gollum, who was excellent at rock climbing, was not able to hang from all cliffs. It could only be hung on a wall where vines had grown, and it was possible to move freely without consuming stamina on a wall hung using both hands and feet.

On the other hand, in situations where only both hands were hanging and moved, stamina was quickly consumed, and when all stamina was consumed, there was a restriction that it was impossible to move. This is expected to play a role in adjusting the difficulty in the Park-Ru puzzle, one of the core contents of the game. In order to reach the goal within the limited stamina, the player must check the route and move in advance, just like in real rock climbing.

In addition to stamina consumption, these difficulty control devices were prepared in a variety of ways, such as when hanging from a cliff while falling from a certain distance or from a high place, to slide a certain distance with the power of the falling, or to move the wall itself to be hung.

Gollum, the master of stealth and stealth,

special skill ‘Gollum Sensor’

Gollum, the master of stealth and stealth,
special skill ‘Gollum Sensor’

It is safe to say that Gollum has little fighting ability due to his small and skinny build. A 1:1 battle is at a level where you lose to both the pros and Baggins, so you have to rely on surprise and stealth rather than all-out warfare.

The demonstration video showed Gollum moving secretly among the orcs that took control of Mordor. Enemies such as orcs each have a boundary area and can locate the enemy through sight and noise. To avoid this, Gollum had to move with a low stride or move cautiously by hiding in the bushes.

The ‘Gollum Sensor’, unveiled during the demonstration, shines brightly in such stealth play. When you activate the Gollum sensor, enemies are displayed in red and safe areas are displayed in green. If the enemy moves while the sensor is on, the moving line remains as a red line, allowing you to quickly and intuitively grasp the overall situation.

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gollum the master

In situations where combat cannot be avoided, such as an enemy standing on a sentinel where he must pass, he can defeat the enemy by surprise. However, in order to succeed in the surprise attack, the enemy had to sneak in without being detected, and the enemy had to be alone. Also, during a surprise attack, stamina continues to be consumed and it makes a loud noise, so unless absolutely necessary, it would be better to hide and move than a surprise attack.

If a surprise attack is difficult, you can overcome the crisis by using a specific object like a stone. During the game play, there was a situation in which an orc standing guard on the bridge was looking towards the entrance, so it was impossible to surprise.

If you are caught by the enemy, the game is over, so you have to run away quickly before being caught. The developer noted that enemies will rush to catch Gollum the moment it finds it, but keeping a distance or hiding quickly can reduce the enemy’s interest and make it safer.

Will the Lord of the Rings fans be satisfied

or will it be a fun game without knowing the Lord of the Rings?

The Lord of the Rings: Gollum, which we looked at through the 20-minute demonstration video, was a game that showed signs of contemplation to reflect the detailed settings of the original game. There were also regional settings and various characters that would be pleasing to fans of the original work, and we paid attention not only to characters with relatively little weight, but also to creatures such as Shenrop.

Various devices were prepared to express the character Gollum similarly to the original in appearance and inside, and an attempt was made to incorporate it into the game play. However, since this demonstration association was only at the level of showing the beginning and the middle, it seems that it remains to be seen what type of level design will be shown in the future stealth play.

‘The Lord of the Rings: Gollum’ is scheduled to be officially released on PC, PS5, PS4, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X/S platforms on September 1, 2022, and the Nintendo Switch release date is yet to be determined.

Lord of the Rings fans
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