Some knew him as Smeagol. Most know him as Gollum. But little is actually known of the former hobbit outside of the few flashbacks seen in The Hobbit and Lord of the Rings books.
But that is set to change with the upcoming action/adventure game, The Lord of the Rings: Gollum, focusing on Gollum’s life before either story.
The One Ring to rule them all certainly damaged and warped the poor hobbit known as Smeagol. Both physically and mentally twisting him into a monster, one that sought after its “precious”. Whether viewed sympathetically, or as a manipulative and evil creature, Gollum’s story is certainly one filled with darkness and despair.
But his story is also one of great mystery. All that is known about Smeagol is that he was instantly corrupted by the One Ring, and that he transformed into the creature known as Gollum. But this change is only referenced in Tolkien’s masterful works, and very little detail is actually given to this process. But this, however, could be set to change with the release of Lord of the Rings: Gollum by Daedalic Entertainment.
What is Lord of the Rings: Gollum about?
Young Frodo learned a great deal from Gandalf, which we know with Frodo’s knowledge of Gollum’s past. Smeagol has obviously been through a traumatic time, but this has never been explored within Tolkien’s original works. In a recent interview with The Hollywood Reporter, the CEO and Co-Founder of Daedalic Entertainment, Carsten Fichtelmann, explained that the team “have the story that we all know from the book”, which is what The Lord of the Rings: Gollum will build on.
“Everything that happens to him before he appears in the book are the main things we will see in our game.”
Based on this, it seems clear that Smeagol’s downfall and corruption will be key plotlines for The Lord of the Rings: Gollum. The game will focus on what happens to Gollum “before we see him in the books.”
What type of game is Lord of the Rings: Gollum?
There have been many Tolkien-inspired games before, but Fichtelmann states that “the Tolkien estate looked for a company that was capable of doing something which is more story-orientated”. Interestingly, Daedalic Entertainment is partnered with Middle-Earth Enterprises in the production of The Lord of the Rings: Gollum. It means that the game will be based on the novels, not the films (or upcoming Amazon series).
In addition to a focus on storytelling, Daedalic has confirmed that Gollum will be an action/adventure game. Sadly, little is known about how combat will work – or even if there is combat at all. The ‘action’ element of the gameplay is also quite the mystery, even though we know that Gollum is prone to angry rages.
But one element of the gameplay seems confirmed: choices. Tolkien’s fantastically written dialogue reveals Gollum’s split personality, emphasised by Andy Serkis’ performance in the film trilogy. Gollum is in constant battle with himself and with his previous self, Smeagol.
In the same interview, Fichtelmann explains that Gollum has “two voices” talking “continuously”, linking to the fact “there are decisions to make in the game.” With so much of Gollum’s backstory unwritten, it seems clear that The Lord of the Rings: Gollum will give the player the ability to choose how Gollum acts.
What else have Daedalic Entertainment worked on?
The idea of wanting something, or searching for something (which pretty much sums up Gollum’s character), is something that Daedalic Entertainment have experience in: the company has developed numerous point-and-click adventure games, including the Deponia series, Edna & Harvey and Silence, among others.
This may give some clues as to the format of The Lord of the Rings: Gollum. It could very well be another point-and-click style game; it would relate well to the storytelling and choice-making elements that Daedalic has confirmed. These could well even be added to by action-orientated moments, relating to the Action/Adventure description.
When is The Lord of the Rings: Gollum set to release?
Unfortunately, no firm release date has been given for Lord of the Rings: Gollum, other than “2021”. So it’s at least a year away. With that timeframe, it could release around the time of Amazon’s Lord of the Rings TV series.
What formats will The Lord of the Rings: Gollum be available on?
The Lord of the Rings: Gollum is set to release on PC and “all relevant console platforms at that time”. That means it’ll likely be releasing onto PS5, Xbox Series X and Switch; though PS4 and Xbox One releases are still a possibility.
Are there any trailers or screenshots of The Lord of the Rings: Gollum?
No! Exactly what the game looks like remains a mystery for now. Daedalic’s in-house developed games so far have tended to have more of a cartoon-style visual rather than realistic, so that could be a clue as to what to expect. We’ll update with images or trailers as and when they become available.