During a recent interview published on EDGE magazine (February 2020, issue 341) Daedalic Entertainment finally opened up about the upcoming Gollum game, based on The Lord of the Rings novels by J.R.R. Tolkien.
Let's get this out of the way: Gollum won't look like he does in the award-winning movies directed by Peter Jackson.
CEO Carsten Fichtelmann: Tolkien didn’t give a size reference for Gollum to begin with. So in the first illustrations, he’s gigantic! He’s like a monster emerging from the swamp.
Senior Producer Kai Fiebig: We don’t want to displease the folks who have only seen the movies. But in short, he doesn’t look like Andy Serkis. We started with the person he was and then evolved him. You can see that this was once something like a human being, before the Ring corrupted him. We have more storytelling possibilities than the movies ever had, and for us, it was very important to show a different set of emotions. We need somebody you could almost love, and on the other hand somebody you can really be afraid of. And at some points, trust me, you will fear him.
On the plus side, Gollum's inherent double personality provides the perfect basis for some interesting mechanics. There will even be some choices to be made. Game Designer Martin Wilkes explained:
In many games, it’s unintentionally funny when characters say, ‘Hmmm, I won’t be able to get through there, it’s full of guards’. We’re able to give the player direct guidance about navigation
because Gollum talks to himself all the time anyway.
It’s not just choosing to be Sméagol or Gollum, because for Gollum as an entity it’s not that easy. Each personality is being attacked by the other; each has to defend himself.
You will have maybe two, three or four conflicts per chapter that lead to a final decision point. And at this final decision point, it will be harder to pick Sméagol, for example, if you’ve always fought for the Gollum side before.
Last but not least, some of the fearsome Nazgûl will be featured in the game, though according to Art Director Mathias Fischer these are the 'less cool' Nazgûl.
They were an interesting challenge, because it’s so well documented where they are in the wider narrative. It was like, ‘Shit, can we use the cool Nazgûl?’ I think ours are the less cool
ones. They’re the drummer and bass player of the band. But we have a chance to make them more popular!
The Lord of the Rings Gollum, described as a stealth action/adventure game, has been confirmed as a 2021 release on PC and next-generation consoles such as PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X. Stay tuned for more info as it is released by Daedalic.