The Lord Of The Rings
Hey, guys, so having spent a week with the new Gollum.You may recall a few months ago I released a video talking about my experience playing a preview beta version of the game. And while the animations were rough, it seemed like a game with some promise. It has an interesting premise and focuses on one of Tolkien’s most iconic, tragic, and interesting characters. I’ve seen a lot of reviewers panning the decision to have players play as Gollum, but I gotta say I still think it’s an idea that could be interesting if executed really well. First off, let’s start with the thing I was most interested in for some time now - the lore. As with anything adapting Tolkien’s world that’s dealing with bits and pieces of information, there’s a fair amount of original events and characters within the story. And for the most part, I think these original aspects work pretty well. I found myself legitimately interested in the Candleman character around the time he is recounting the tale of Earnur - the last king of Gondor. There’s other things directly from the books, like a reference to Beren & Luthien, a brief glimpse of Erebor, Gandalf’s interrogation, and a moment with Gollum just as it is described by Legolas at the Council of Elrond. However, it feels like these moments are just too few and far between to make this a must-buy for lore fans. Omissions like Aragorn capturing and traveling with Gollum seem like something that would’ve made for a great cutscene at the very least, if not an entire level of the game. Now, a lot of reviews have focused on the graphics and gameplay. And as I’m just a Tolkien fan who tends to play only a few games per year, I’ll defer to those judgements when it comes to things like performance and how this compares to other wtealth games. That being said, even I could notice some of the buggy issues this game had at launch, and I was surprised how taxing it was to run on my PC considering the graphics of the game. Speaking of the graphics, much has been said of the quality elsewhere. Personally, I didn’t mind the graphics looking like they were from the XBOX 360 era, as I knew this game was coming from an independent publisher - I simply never expected this game to compete with even last-gen games like Shadow of Mordor in terms of graphics, gameplay, or complexity. But the lower expectations I had in terms of these categories were not the same as the gaming community at large - and for good reason… And this brings up what is, in my opinion, the biggest issue with The Lord of the Rings: Gollum - the Pricing. Quite simply, this game had no business being released while priced as a AAA game. As I’ve alluded to, I never went into this game expecting it to be the heir apparent to the excellent Shadow of Mordor games. It’s made by an indie developer, and as such, I went in expecting it to be more simple in general, including the visuals and gameplay.
However, when a game like this carries a $60
price tag, and has an optional $10 DLC on
top of that, it communicates to gamers that
this is a game of a certain caliber - a level
that Gollum simply does not achieve.
Not that I don’t enjoy and appreciate adherence
to the lore and deep cut references, it’s
just those things do little good if the game
in question isn’t an absolute blast to play.
I might be willing to bump this game up a
point or so if it were more reasonably priced
for the experience it provides gamers.
As for my recommendation, if you’re a big
time Lord of the Rings fan or someone who
is really into stealth games, I’d say wait
for the game to go on sale.
You’ll feel a lot better about the purchase
if you do.