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The Lord of the Rings: Gollum trailer, release date, gameplay and more

Gollum
(Image credit: Daedalic Entertainment)

The Lord of the Rings: Gollum is an upcoming stealth game from Daedalic Entertainment. Taking the role of the corrupted hobbit Gollum, you’ll sneak through the dangerous land of Mordor, bypassing orcs, ringwraiths and all sorts of other dangerous creatures as you go. Given how many Lord of the Rings games we’ve seen in the last two decades, it’s hardly unprecedented to have another one, and yet The Lord of the Rings: Gollum is unusual in one way: It’s one of our first looks at PS5 graphics.

While LOTR: Gollum won’t be exclusive to the PS5, it gained some notoriety for giving us our very first screenshots of PS5 graphics. (They looked fine; next-gen graphics are hard to capture in still images, apparently.) Once you get past the novelty of the screenshots, though, there’s a very real game underneath, which will explore one of our favorite fictional characters of the 20th century. Here’s what we know about Lord of the Rings: Gollum so far, and what we’d still like to learn.

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The Lord of the Rings: Gollum release date

The Lord of the Rings: Gollum

(Image credit: Daedalic Entertainment)

As mentioned above, The Lord of the Rings: Gollum gained a lot of traction by representing our first glimpse at PS5 graphics. Sort of. As we discussed in our article on the topic, it’s unlikely that the screenshots actually came from a PS5 build of the game, probably originating on a PC instead. Still, the game will indeed be out on PS5, and showed us screenshots before almost any other PS5 game, so it has that going for it.

As for when the game will come out, it’s difficult to say. There’s no hard release date yet, although Daedalic Entertainment has said that the game is unlikely to be a launch title for either next-gen console. As such, it’ll probably be out sometime in 2021. Any further speculation will have to wait until Daedalic gives us some more information.

The Lord of the Rings: Gollum trailer

Daedalic has released a brief teaser trailer for The Lord of the Rings: Gollum, which shows the titular character crawling out of a creepy cave while looking out at a burning volcano. That doesn't tell is much about that game, but if this footage is indeed in-engine, it could mean that we're in for some gorgeously moody visuals.

At the very least, we can say that the game will have a slightly cartoonish, exaggerated art style. Everything in the game looks a bit askew and ugly, not unlike the titular character himself. A lot of the game will come down to its animations, though, which we haven’t seen in action yet.

The Lord of the Rings: Gollum gameplay

(Image credit: GameStar / Daedalic )

We haven’t seen any live gameplay from The Lord of the Rings: Gollum yet, but we do have some idea of what it will entail. Daedalic has said that the game will be primarily about stealth. This makes sense, since Gollum isn’t much of a fighter, and wouldn’t stand much of a chance against the enormous orcs who patrol Mordor.

Based on screenshots, we also know that players will have some choices regarding dialogue, which could change the story, or at least the situations in which Gollum finds himself. Some choices skew more toward the conflicted Sméagol part of his personality, while others highlight the nasty Gollum half. Whether these choices will eventually give Gollum new gameplay abilities, or are simply there for narrative flavor, we’ll have to wait and see.

Lord of the Rings games have always been a bit of a mixed bag, although a lot of them have wound up as cult favorites over the years. (The Third Age and Battle for Middle-earth) come to mind. LOTR: Gollum may not be the next Shadow of Mordor-style hit, but it’s at least a glimpse of the experiences that next-gen consoles could produce. And for the moment, that’s very precious.