We’re still a few days away from an official next-gen console gameplay reveal, but we have a couple of screenshots to tide us over, at least. Daedalic Entertainment has revealed a collection of screenshots from its upcoming game, Lord of the Rings: Gollum, which is slated for release on PC, Xbox Series X and PS5. These may give us our first look at a major next-gen game — although they look fairly similar to what you might find on a PS4 or Xbox One.
Daedalic shared the screenshots exclusively with German gaming magazine GameStar, and the screenshots have been circulating online ever since. There are more than a dozen screenshots available from the game, most of which showcase dark, orcish caves. The graphics have a slightly exaggerated, cartoonish feel to them, which help make the screenshots all the more striking.
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It’s worth pointing out that Daedalic did not identify whether these screenshots come from the PC, PS5 or Xbox Series X version of the game. Generally speaking, pre-release media comes from PC builds whenever possible, so these screenshots may not perfectly represent what PS5 and Xbox Series X gamers will ultimately see. Still, since the game is slated to come out for all three consoles, the screenshots are still a pretty good indicator of the game’s general graphical quality.
The trouble is, static screenshots don’t do much to show off what the PS5 and Xbox Series X will ultimately be capable of. The screenshots can’t show off frame rate, for starters. While current-gen consoles can sometimes run games at 4K, they tend to do so around 30 frames per second; next-gen consoles will be able to achieve 60 fps, or more.
Additionally, the biggest advancement in PS5 and Xbox Series X gameplay might not relate directly to graphics at all. Instead, developers have been quick to tout enhanced load times due to SSD storage. This could have a huge impact on the flow of a game, but wouldn’t really be possible to show off in a screenshot. (We could easily see it in a live gameplay demo, however; all the more reason to look forward to Microsoft’s May 7 event.)
Beyond that, The Lord of the Rings: Gollum is a stealth/action game where you take control of the titular antihero from Tolkien’s mythos. The screenshots show Gollum sneaking around orc caverns, evading guards who need to find him. There’s also an element of choice, as players will have the ability to respond to problems as either the nasty, suspicious Gollum personality, or the timid, fearful Sméagol personality. This will probably have some kind of effect on gameplay, although we’re not sure what it will be yet.
In any case, the screenshots give us some idea what to expect from next-gen console games — or, at the very least, their PC counterparts. The Lord of the Rings: Gollum will probably not be a launch title for either the PS5 or the Xbox Series X, so expect it sometime next year.
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Marshall Honorof is a senior editor for Tom's Guide, overseeing the site's coverage of gaming hardware and software. He comes from a science writing background, having studied paleomammalogy, biological anthropology, and the history of science and technology. After hours, you can find him practicing taekwondo or doing deep dives on classic sci-fi.