The Lord of the Rings: Gollum finally arrives in September

The Lord of the Rings: Gollum
(Image credit: Daedalic Entertainment)

The Lord of the Rings: Gollum was announced by Daedalic Entertainment in March 2019, a point I mention to note the fact that, more than three years later, we still don't know a whole lot about it. That finally changed in a couple of different ways today, though: We have a new gameplay preview, and an updated release date of September 1.

The Steam listing for Gollum describes it as a "story-driven action adventure" about the adventures of JRR Tolkien's favorite obsessive, set primarily in the same time frame as the early chapters of the Lord of the Rings books, "from his time as a slave below the Dark Tower to his stay with the Elves of Mirkwood." Of course, Gollum is not much of a fighter, so the focus is primarily on stealth and cunning, although opportunistic murder is never out of the question.

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One of the more unusual aspects of the game is the "split personality" of the lead character: "He can be vicious and villainous as Gollum, but social and cautious as Smeagol," Daedalic said. That seems to carry over into the game as well: Our man Ted said after his recent brief preview that "gameplay is as conflicted as Gollum," with uninspiring stealth bits and potentially good platforming bits.

"After years of just existing as a name and pre-rendered concept footage, Gollum's first look was divided between visions of an uninspired stealth-action game and an intriguing throwback platformer," he wrote. "It's difficult to tell which way the final game is going to lean, but I come away from its public reveal unenthused by the mix so far."

To be fair, that's based on just 20 minutes of gameplay, which isn't enough time to make any sort of definitive judgment, and hopefully The Lord of the Rings: Gollum will turn out to be cooler than expected: Something like Styx, perhaps, but with less murderous aggression and more psychological hangups.

Andy Chalk

Andy has been gaming on PCs from the very beginning, starting as a youngster with text adventures and primitive action games on a cassette-based TRS80. From there he graduated to the glory days of Sierra Online adventures and Microprose sims, ran a local BBS, learned how to build PCs, and developed a longstanding love of RPGs, immersive sims, and shooters. He began writing videogame news in 2007 for The Escapist and somehow managed to avoid getting fired until 2014, when he joined the storied ranks of PC Gamer. He covers all aspects of the industry, from new game announcements and patch notes to legal disputes, Twitch beefs, esports, and Henry Cavill. Lots of Henry Cavill.