When Daedalic Entertainment announced earlier in 2020 that they would be developing a new LOTR-based video game, fan expectations went through the roof. One of the main reasons? The new Prince of Persia-style game showcases one of the franchise’s most iconic yet underrepresented characters: Gollum. Here is what we know so far.
The new Gollum Title will be Based on the Novel Series, not the Films
Gollum is a key character in the original story, and not only because his actions set the plot in motion more than once. The internal battle between Gollum and the remnants of his former self, Sméagol, is also crucial for readers to understand what Frodo is facing. Consumed with his love for the powerful ring, Gollum acts as a foreshadowing of what Frodo will inevitably go through and how heavy his burden is. It is good news, then, that the game developers have signed a deal revolving around the rights to the books, not the movies. This means that plot and character development will be heavily influenced by, and truer to, the novels.
Developing games based on pre-existing franchises is a very common practice in the entertainment business. For example, many phone slot games routinely utilise pop culture, including online slots based on blockbuster movies like Jurassic World or the board game Monopoly. Some even make indirect pop culture references, like White Wizard, that reminds the user of LOTR’s very own Gandalf.
The fact that the Daedalic will be based on the novel series instead of the film franchise sets it apart from other gaming providers, but does mean that Gollum will look a bit different than fans remember from the big screen. This could very well be welcomed by fans of the books as a refreshing change from the usual representation.
Gollum Clashes With Sméagol
LOTR has already had its fair share of video game spin-offs, including 2006 The Battle for Middle Earth, which means that making a game all about Gollum is a great change of pace in a gaming franchise usually built around Aragorn, Legolas, and Gandalf. So far, we know that the game will be released sometime in 2021 across several platforms – Microsoft Windows, Nintendo Switch, Xbox One, and the Xbox Series X/S, as well as both PS4 and PS5, making it a next-gen title. It will be a single-player action-adventure game that aspires to build on platforming gameplay, and focus on Gollum’s stealth and climbing skills.
The plot will see Gollum roam Middle Earth while Frodo is still in Shire, blissfully unaware of what fate has in store for him. As such, the game will be set before the events in the LOTR trilogy, but after Sméagol has acquired the ring. At the start of the game, he is held prisoner at Mordor fortress Barad-dur, but rumour has it that he escapes and makes his way to meet several other iconic characters, like Thranduil and the Nazgul. The internal conflict between Gollum and Sméagol will also propel the plot forward.
By all accounts, 2021 is shaping up to be a very exciting year for Lord of the Rings fans. Not only will we be able to enjoy a gaming title dedicated to Gollum, but we will also be able to enjoy the power combo of seeing the release of the new LOTR TV series on Amazon Prime Video. Furthermore, rumour has it that Amazon Prime is already considering a Gollum spin-off!