The Lord of the Rings: Gollum Review (PS5)

Are you ready to venture to the treacherous realms of Middle-earth in a game that puts you in control of the split-personality menace known as Smeagol and Gollum? Well, you might want to think twice before picking up Daedalic Entertainment’s latest title, The Lord of the Rings: Gollum, because it’s a broken mess of a game that will leave you feeling disappointed and underwhelmed.

This third-person stealth platformer attempts to fill in the gaps between The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings stories, but fails miserably due to its repetitive and dull gameplay. The campaign lasts roughly 10 hours, and each chapter, lasting around an hour, consists of stealth, platforming, or fetch quest levels that severely lack any sense of variety. In fact, we couldn’t even get through all the story chapters, as we encountered a game-breaking bug that stalled our progression and left us unable to complete the game before the embargo.

From start to (not quite) finish, we experienced a bevy of bugs that not only impeded our experience but led to several game crashes and fresh app restarts. We encountered issues such as catching on invisible objects, getting stuck in death loops, characters disappearing from cutscenes, and being unable to interact with vital mission objects. These were just a few of the problems that we faced, making us feel like we were playing an early build of a game with a desperate need for more time in the oven.

Additionally, the graphics are muddy and definitively PS3 era, which is especially disappointing considering how fragmented the levels are with multitudes of loading screens. The only positive aspect of this game was its decent use of DualSense haptics and maintaining a steady 60 fps.

Narratively, there’s nothing here that feels remotely consequential to the wider world. We get affirmed on events that we already knew, leading it all to feel pointless. It barely feels like it’s set within the same places where Sam and Frodo destroyed the One Ring, or a collection of Dwarves made their daring barrel-based escape. With the odd appearance from someone like Gandalf, or the mere mention of Aragorn, the references within are so vapid that it feels tailored to someone that had once sort of watched the films while they were on in the background.

The game does try to tap into mechanics specific to the character of Gollum, like the intermittent choices you can make which side with either of his personalities. However, after a couple of goes, you’ll quickly realize your choices boil down to the same outcome mechanically. We also never had a time where we lost an argument to the other side, so the answers we chose never seemed all too important.

It’s a shame that this game misses the mark so badly when there’s so much potential in a single-player linear Lord of the Rings experience like this. Unfortunately, this game is a massive missed opportunity and is not worth the cost.

In conclusion, The Lord of the Rings: Gollum is simply not worth your time or money. With repetitive and dull gameplay, muddy-looking graphics, and an uninspiring story full of bugs, this game receives a score of 2 out of 10. It’s sad to see that there is nothing precious about this experience.

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The material in this article is written on the basis of another article.

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