Daedalic Entertainment has been developing a new video game set in J.R.R. Tolkien’s Middle Earth titled The Lord of the Rings: Gollum, and today we have our first look at the footage from the game! It’s only about a minute long, but the footage is pretty cool!
In the trailer, we see shots of the cave that Gullom lives in, and we see him crawl out of the cave to witness that chaos of Mordor. According to IGN, the game will “mix Prince of Persia-like stealth action, feature a branching narrative, and expand on the hints given by J.R.R. Tolkien about the Stoor-formerly-known-as-Sméagol to create a brand new Lord of the Rings story that aims to fit alongside the books.”
Daedalic Entertainment CEO Cartsen Fichtelman previously talked about the game, explaining that it “follows the path of Gollum and what happens before Frodo and his companions find him trailing them in the Mines of Moria… We’ll tell his story until he first shows up. Sometimes they mention some things that happen to Gollum, but nobody knows exactly what happened. That’s our task, explaining what exactly happened there.”
When previously talking about the gaming experience, he explained:
“When you play Gollum, you’ll play Sméagol at the same time. You need to make some decisions, maybe some decisions that are more or less from Sméagol, and some that are from Gollum. You can decide for yourself what you’d like to see more. When you decide some things, it could be—this is reflected in the mechanics. The game forces you to convince yourself and find one of these two positions. When it comes to other iconic characters in the universe, in Middle-earth, we’ll see what happens around Gollum.”
It’s also explained that it’s not just “choosing to be Sméagol or Gollum, because for Gollum as an entity it’s not that easy. Each personality is being attacked by the other; each has to defend himself.” It’s also explained that “the decisions you make affect the way the game feels. You always either play as Sméagol or as Gollum as the ‘dominant’ persona and that can influence animations, soundscapes, certain gameplay situations, and in-game dialogue.”
It was also made clear that the game will not change any of the source material. It just expands on it. Lead narrative designer Tilman Schanen explains:
“We naturally stay within certain limits. It won’t be like you’re going to end up destroying Middle-earth because you never made a Sméagol choice. In the end, of course, Gollum’s fate is pretty much determined by the books. But your decisions can and will have effects, for example, for other NPCs in the game. Some decisions will have a bigger impact, others very little. Just as in real life.
“We follow Tolkien’s story quite strictly and only take some freedom for purposes of gamification or sometimes simplification. Tolkien doesn’t describe Gollum’s story before he appears in the book in great detail. So mainly, we draw from small notes in the appendices and second-hand reports from characters like Gandalf. Since we need to fill in many gaps, it gives us quite a bit of creative freedom to pursue our narrative vision.”
When talking about way Gollum was presented in the game, he said:
“With Gollum himself, our goal is to make him more relatable, as players have to be able to slip into his skin for the course of an entire game. That’s why our Gollum looks less creepy (and has more hair) than the movie version.”
The game is set to be released sometime in 2021, and I’ll be looking forward to watching it. Check out the teaser trailer below and let us know what you think!