Saturday, May 27, 2023

Game Review: 'The Lord of the Rings: Gollum'

Every bit as sad, weird and creepy as its antihero star, "The Lord of the Rings: Gollum" is a complete mess. What little value it has comes in the forms of laughing at what a sloppy, bizarre and insipid experience.

One of the worst major releases I have ever had the misfortune of playing, the effort from Daedalic Entertainment probably should have been put to death when it was delayed from its original 2021 release. 

A mixture of stealth and platforming, the game is set decades after Bilbo Baggins wrested the One Ring from his control. In the custody of Gandalf, Gollum recounts his pathetic and desperate plight to the wizard as he scales walls and leaps across chasms.

Among the many off-putting aspects of the gameplay, the jarring standout is Gollum's awkward, unnatural jumping ability. He springs upward and outward like some sort of demented jack-in-the-box, and you have to force back a chuckle because the sight is so awkward.

The writing isn't much better. The story unspools with the grace and precision of middle school fan-fic, with the everpresent, unanswered question lingering about why it is this consequence-free story needs to be told.

Any goodwill built up by the "Middl-earth" series falls to the wayside. This is a far different animal, and it's something that's best quickly dismissed and forgotten. This poor oddball should have been ignored and left to rot in the caverns. 

Publisher provided review code.

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