Monolith Productions gives us a Gollum that can crush more than hobbitses.
Does everyone remember that part in Lord of the Rings where Gollum murdered Gandalf in one-on-one combat? No? Well, don't tell that to Monolith Productions which is redesigning the iconic characters for the upcoming online battle game Guardians of Middle Earth. Following the same concept as Defense of the Ancients or the insanely popular League of Legends, players choose characters from the Lord of the Rings franchise and take them into battle against an opposing team. What might strike some players as odd is that since Gollum is one of the smallest and weakest characters of the series (only able to get the better of small goblins or the occasional lone Hobbit), Monolith upped his damage beyond that of the white wizard Gandalf. This minor balancing decision has made Gollum one of the most powerful characters to play.
"Wretched, yet fearsome. Cowardly, yet unnaturally strong," reads a narrator in Guardian's battle profile video. "Gollum was once a kind of hobbit, but the One Ring twisted his mind while giving him strength and abnormally long life. He is obsessed with the Ring, and everyone is his enemy. Fast and strong, Gollum's abilities are finely tuned to kill quickly with hit-and-run tactics, or in single combat."
Profiled characters are presented with three main statistics; Survivability (a combination of Health and Resistance), Damage, and Difficulty. Gollum's Survivability is practically non-existent, but he more than makes up for it with a Damage rating just below the highest possible setting. Gollum also has abilities for channeling health and purging harmful effects, and he even comes with a flurry attack that skips its cool-down period if it results in a kill.
Gandalf, by comparison, has high Survivability, and his abilities make him ideal for absorbing damage while single-handedly fighting large enemy forces. His Damage rating, however, is noticeably lower than Gollum's, which in a one-on-one fight could make all the difference.
Realistically, this isn't the strangest choice Monolith could've made for the game, since Gollum will still have to rely on careful, well-timed strikes to ensure any kind of success. It's just strange to see some of the choices developers make to ensure a character like Gollum could go toe-to-toe against the powerful beings of Middle Earth. At this point, it could've been Gollum himself screaming "You shall not pass!" at the Balrog before drop-kicking it off the stone bridge.