No one expected Gollum to be a great game, but the reality is astonishingly poor. As one user put it: "an absolute embarrassment". So, shall we take a look at the worst $60 game you'll have seen in years?
We're not going to try and narrow down exactly what makes Gollum so poor, that would take more time than we have here. But to put it bluntly, this game is being sold at a triple-A price point, and yet it would be a struggle to justify spending even $10 on it. Even when it's running smoothly it looks like it's from the PS2 era, the story is uncompelling, and the level design is confused. The only redeeming quality is the somewhat decent voice-acting.
Gollum Playtime: How Long To Beat The LOTR Game
If there's one positive to come from this release, it has at least been able to unify critics and audiences. You can find a sample of the funniest and most damning reviews below.
- Until they release the Gandalf movie, we recommend dipping into the Rings of Power if you need your Tolkien fix (our Rings of Power review).
Gollum Receives Damning Reception: Metacritic Score 40/100
Normally we expect audiences to be more extreme than critics. And indeed, the most upvoted post in the Subreddit for the Gollum game on the day of launch was a PSA, which read in all caps "DON'T BUY THIS GAME". But this time around, the critics were just as savage:
- Eurogamer Poland came straight out and said what we were all thinking: This is the worst Lord of the Rings game ever made:
Gollum is probably the worst game set in the famous world, repulsive and unstable like the main character himself. The idea was really good and you can tell that the developers know and understand the source material, but the game they made offers outdated graphics, frustrating platforming, enormous amount of glitches and primitive stealth mechanics.
- Press Start Australia wanted to impress upon potential buyers that, in addition to all its individual flaws, Gollum is simply a very boring game to play:
I struggle to think of a positive experience over the thirteen-odd hours I spent playing this game. Gollum is uninspired and dated and The Lord of the Rings fans deserve better than this.
- And to add insult to injury, Twinfinite reminds us that Daedalic can't even blame their failures on excessive ambition:
The Lord of the Rings: Gollum doesn’t do anything fun or interesting like similar (better) games like A Plague Tale: Innocence and Requiem. It’s hard to say if even the most loyal Lord of the Rings fans would actually find something worthwhile here.
- For the sake of balance we searched far and wide for a positive review, and the best we found was from IGN who gave the game a 7/10 and described Gollum in the following way:
A surprisingly competent 3D stealth platformer that managed to portray one of the most famous fantasy anti-heroes in a very faithful light.
The game hasn't been out for long, and further updates might soon be on the horizon, but this game feels beyond saving. It's probably why they launched it in this state rather than delay; the publisher's must have recognized how much time and money would be needed to improve this game.
Lord of the Rings fans continue to be underserved by video games. Here's to hoping the new LotR MMORPG will at least be up to par.
This isn't the first disappointing title of the year:
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