Daedelic Entertainment's The Lord of the Rings: Gollum appears to have gone through a significant aesthetic improvement since we last laid eyes on the upcoming game for PCs and next-gen Xbox Series X and PS5 consoles.
While previously we saw a quick glimpse at what's in store for the upcoming title with a cavalcade of screenshots, it wasn't exactly up to par with what many players had been expecting. Now, the developer has released a teaser trailer (opens in new tab) offering a proper look at the next-gen title in all its glory.
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The minute-long trailer is short but sweet, an obvious improvement on what we had seen in the past. It isn't clear what console the game is running on at this time (or if it's simply being rendered via PC), but as we see a slithering Gollum making his way to a burning Mordor, it's clear extra care went into bringing this cinematic look at the game to fruition.
Early screenshots of the Gollum-centric adventure featured colorful, fantastical environments and a sneak peek at dialogue and gameplay. But in the end they more resembled current-gen graphics, as if the game was meant to arrive on PlayStation 4 or Xbox One instead. Now, it looks as though some additional work has gone into ensuring
In addition to releasing an exclusive new trailer via IGN (opens in new tab), Daedalic revealed some additional details about the game. It's set to combine stealth action like the kind seen in classic series Prince of Persia, with a branching narrative that players will shape throughout the course of the game. It will also expand on what Lord of the Rings creator J.R.R. Tolkien already established about Gollum for a juicy new story meant to coincide with the original books.
There won't be additional footage of the Gollum-centric title until 2021, but Daedalic did share a few intriguing details about what we'll see when there's more gameplay on the horizon. It's described as a "non-combat game," as Gollum will be able to take out enemies with stealth, according to lead designer Martin Wilkes.
As such, you'll have to rely on "special allies" (familiar faces from the Lord of the Rings lore, confirms lead narrative designer Tilman Schanen) and items Gollum can use to distract enemies to get their attention and move in for the kill. Between these segments, Gollum will need to make pivotal dialogue decisions that will find you playing as either Gollum or Sméagol as the current dominant persona. Depending on what choices you make, this will affect additional dialogue, animations, and gameplay situations.
These choices comprise something of a morality system that will "naturally stay within certain limits," according to Schanen, but they won't change the Lord of the Rings source material, given that this story is a prequel. The story takes place parallel to the first book, while Gollum makes his way to Mordor in search of the Ring and Bilbo Baggins. When he's captured by Sauron's servants, that's where the game kicks off.
The game will be divided into levels and hubs, with some open-world exploration, alternative routes, and secret passages to explore; expect a heavy focus on vertical parkour and lush environments inspired by Tolkien's vision of Middle-earth. Overall, the team at Daedalic worked closely with Middle-earth Enterprises to remain respectful to Tolkien's original writing, and it seems from the details we know thus far, that goal may have been met.
The Lord of the Rings: Gollum is currently slated for release on Xbox Series X, PlayStation 5, and PC in 2021. As we inch closer to release, we should be seeing meatier glimpses at Gollum's journey – and more of his motivations.