Hamburg-based developers Daedalic Entertainment have announced that they are currently working on a new Lord of the Rings video game.
Entitled The Lord of the Rings: Gollum, the project is an action adventure game that will be based upon the original events in JRR Tolkien’s books – not those of Peter Jackson’s films. Focusing on the character of Gollum is an interesting choice, but also one that has much to offer in terms of story if done correctly. Daedalic’s CEO Carsten Fichtelmann boasted that the game will “tell Gollum’s story from a perspective never seen before, in any storytelling medium, all the while staying true to the legendary books of JRR Tolkien.”
In the books, Gollum’s quest to reclaim the One Ring is not explored in any great detail but we know that his journey took him to many places throughout Middle-Earth. He encountered the great spider Shelob in the pass of Cirith Ungol, he was captured by Sauron’s forces and tortured at length, then mysteriously set loose. He was later captured again by Aragorn of the Dúnedain in the Dead Marshes of Dagorlad.
Gollum was then taken a great distance across Middle-Earth to Mirkwood, to the court of the elven king Thranduil, and questioned by the wizard Gandalf the Grey. He eventually escaped Mirkwood and made his way to the mines of Moria, where he went to ground. And that’s just his tale prior to the films. As most of us already know, Gollum encounters the Fellowship in the mines of Moria, following them to Amon Hen – and thus begins his journey with Frodo and Sam.
As WB Games currently hold the licence for the LOTR films, The Lord of the Rings: Gollum will not feature the iconic art style seen in Peter Jackson’s trilogy. More importantly it will not feature the voice talent of Andy Serkis, though the game may draw inspiration from his performance.
How exactly this story will be brought to life remains to be seen, not just narratively but also in terms of gameplay. Fichtelmann revealed that Gollum’s split personality will play a major role, stating: “You’ll come to decisions you have to make, and you’ll have the two voices talking to you. He may change his mind, and this is a clue about how it will play.”
If done well this mechanic could be very interesting indeed, similar to the voices present in Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice.
The Lord of the Rings: Gollum is only in the very early stages of its development at present and is expected to release on PC and “all relevant console platforms” sometime in 2021.