The Lords of the Rings: Gollum – Everything You Need to Know About the Upcoming Action-Adventure Game

Gollum might be one of the most popular and recognizable characters in The Lord of the Rings, but you wouldn’t think many developers would think of building an entire game with him as the playable protagonist. Daedalic Entertainment’s The Lord of the Rings: Gollum is promising exactly that, and owing to that premise, it has piqued the curiosity of quite a few people- fans of Middle-earth in particular. After a couple of delays, the game is not long away from launch now, and ahead of its release, here, we’re going to take a look at a few key things you should know about it.


The Lord of the Rings: Gollum owes its existence to a deal between developer Daedalic Entertainment and Middle-earth Enterprises, and that means the game is based on J.R.R. Tolkien’s literary works rather than the movies based on them. While you may, of course, see some similarities with the movies in how Middle-earth and some its characters are visualized in the game, when it comes to the story and lore, The Lord of the Rings: Gollum is looking only at the books, not the movies.


What exactly is the game’s central narrative premise though? The Lord of the Rings: Gollum’s events take place in parallel to the story of The Fellowship of the Ring, with the focus being on telling Gollum’s story in that period. Events from his storyline leading up to his meeting with Frodo and Sam will be covered, including his escape from Mordor, his encounter with Shelob, and more.


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In addition to Gollum himself, The Lord of the Rings: Gollum will feature plenty of characters that fans of The Lord of the Rings will be very familiar with- which, given the game’s narrative premise, is to be expect. There’s the aforementioned Shelob, of course, but fans can also look forward to crossing paths with Gandalf the Grey, the Elven king Thranduil, the Mouth of Sauron, and more.


Given the fact that you’re playing as Gollum, you’re obviously not going to be involved in any bare-knuckle brawls or furious melee clashes of skill and strength. No, Gollum is a particularly sneaky and agile character, and sure enough, The Lord of the Rings: Gollum is going to be a very stealth-focused game. Gollum will find plenty of enemies in his path throughout the game, and players will have to rely on stealth and other creative methods to dispatch foes and find ways past them.


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Outside of combat, The Lord of the Rings: Gollum will continue to emphasize the physical attributes of its protagonist by making parkour an important part of his gameplay. Given how nimble and quick he is, Gollum will be able to climb across walls and steep surfaces with ease, jump across gaps, squeeze through gaps, and more. There will, however, be a limit to how much you can use parkour, thanks to the inclusion of a stamina gauge.


One of Gollum’s biggest defining traits as a character is, of course, how mentally fractured he has become due to the One Ring’s corruption over the course of several centuries, which manifests as two personalities within him- Smeagol and Gollum. That will be a central part of the game as well. These will be presented as choice and consequence moments throughout the game, where the Smeagol side will present the more honourable thing to do and the Gollum side will take you down dark and twisted roads.


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For some reason, many players out there expect every new game these days to be open world by default- but The Lord of the Rings: Gollum is not going to be that. Daedalic Entertainment has confirmed that this is going to be a linear game that will take players from one location to the next as you progress further in the story. From Mirkwood to Mordor itself, players will be visiting plenty of familiar locations in Middle-earth, though you should expect it to be a pretty linear and guided experience.


The Lord of the Rings: Gollum will, like most games these days, launch with a costlier special edition for those who want to purchase it. Priced at $69.99, it will come with a number of additional bonuses- one of which will be Elvish voice acting in the game. While something like that being paywalled initially caused a bit of a stir, Daedalic Entertainment has since then clarified that the DLC will be restricted only to background characters and is only meant to add greater flavour and authenticity to some background characters and NPCs. When it comes to the main story, characters will speak in Elvish when they’re supposed to, even if you don’t have the DLC.


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The Lord of the Rings: Gollum has looked quite impressive from a visuals front in all that’s been shown off of it so far, and on more powerful hardware, it will, as you’d expect, look even better. For instance, on PC, the game will feature support for Nvidia Ray Tracing and DLSS 3, so you can expect improved performance and better lighting, shadows, reflections, and more.


What exactly are the system requirements if you do plan on playing the game on PC though? There’s quite a bit to get through on that front, given that Daedalic Entertainment has provided details on seven different setups with ray tracing either on or off. When it comes to the latter, for the 1080p and 30 FPS setup, you’ll need either an Intel i5-4660 or an AMD Ryzen 3 1200, along with either a GTX 1060 or an RTX 2060, and 6 GB of RAM. For 1080p and 60 FPS, meanwhile, you’ll need either an Intel i7-4770 or an AMD Ryzen 5 1600, along with an RTX 3060 and 6 GB of RAM. For 1440p and 60 FPS, that gets kicked up to 8 GB of RAM and an RTX 3060 Ti, while for 4K and 60 FPS, you’ll need an RTX 3070, along with either an Intel i5-8400 or an AMD Ryzen 5 3600. Across all settings, you’ll also need about 45 GB of free storage space, though other than the lowest setting, all of them will require an SSD.


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Three different setups are also available if you want to play with ray tracing enabled. The lowest setup will run at 1080p and 60 FPS, you’ll need 8 GB of RAM, and RTX 3060, and either an Intel i3-6100 or an AMD Ryzen 5 2600. For 1440p and 60 FPS with ray tracing enabled, that goes up to 10 GB of RAM and an RTX 4070, while for 4K and 60 FPS with ray tracing enabled, you’ll need 16 GB of RAM, an RTX 4080, and either an Intel i5-8400 or an AMD Ryzen 5 3600.


The Lord of the Rings: Gollum is launching on May 25, but it won’t be available on all platforms out the gate. At launch, it will be available on PS5, Xbox Series X/S, PS4, Xbox One, and PC via Steam and the Epic Games Store, though a Nintendo Switch version won’t arrive until later this year, with a specific release date currently unconfirmed. It also remains to seen whether the Switch version will be a native release or a cloud version.