Daedalic Entertainment has debuted the first trailer for its next-gen prequel title, The Lord of the Rings: Gollum. The footage comes via IGN, painting an appropriately bleak picture of what’s to come. The stealth adventure game has been in the works for PC, PlayStation 5, and Xbox Series X and is currently slated to release sometime in 2021. Watch the teaser trailer below.
IGN offered some additional information on The Lord of the Rings spinoff project. Daedalic specifically says that Gollum’s next-gen gameplay takes inspiration from Prince of Persia, mixing in vertical climbing parkour and cunning stealth. The studio wants players to carefully plan out encounters, as the game typically strays from standard combat. This means that players will use scavenged items, the environment, and allies to progress through both open and linear levels.
Aside from the Prince of Persia similarities, Gollum will also see players progressing through a branching narrative that will expand on one of The Lord of the Rings’ most tragic characters. With that comes the responsibility of playing a part in the greater story of The Lord of the Rings. Daedalic lead narrative designer Tilman Schanen said that players will indeed come across familiar faces during their time adventuring through the story:
We cannot wait to talk about this but it’s still a bit early for that. Keeping in mind the scope and timeline of our narrative, we have to closely consider who Gollum would even be able to meet, where, and when. This means that for the most part, they will play smaller – but in some cases very significant – roles in the story.
Gollum will also take the time to explore the lead character’s internal, psychological battle, meaning players will have the opportunity to either side with Gollum or Sméagol. Choosing between these two sides will impact how the story progresses. Schanen elaborated on how Gollum fits into the greater Lord of the Rings story:
We naturally stay within certain limits. It won’t be like you’re going to end up destroying Middle-earth because you never made a Sméagol choice. In the end, of course, Gollum’s fate is pretty much determined by the books. But your decisions can and will have effects, for example, for other NPCs in the game. Some decisions will have a bigger impact, others very little. Just as in real life.
Though Sméagol and the series garnered much of their modern popularity through Peter Jackson’s acclaimed movie adaptations, the studio is sticking with the literature for its interpretation of the character. Daedalic’s goal with Gollum is to tell a brand new story that comes before The Lord of the Rings books, while also making the character more relatable along the way.
In May of this year, Daedalic shared first screenshots for its PC, PlayStation 5, and Xbox Series X title.