Is The Lord of the Rings: Gollum Worth It? Review

Is The Lord of the Rings: Gollum Worth It? Review

The Lord of the Rings: Gollum is a new The Lord of the Rings game that follows the complex character of Gollum. He is a gross-looking animalistic guy that has quite a background story. Gollum can be explored from different angles to present a good outcome. The game tries to do it but not that hard as there are a lot of misses. It is an adventure that acts like a fill-in-the-blanks for Gollum. There were a lot of things that developers could have done.

The setting of The Lord of the Rings has an impact on how the story is perceived. It shows the perspective of Gollum from the other side despite having shortcomings. The story of Gollum sheds light on the world and the things happening in it. It attempts to uncover the character of Gollum from the other side. Despite having a complex character like Gollum that has amazing storytelling potential, it fails to properly execute it. The Lord of the Rings: Gollum is priced like a triple-A game but delivers a mediocre experience at best. From performance to everything else, it offers little incentive. Is The Lord of the Rings: Gollum worth it? Let’s find out.

Plot (Spoiler Free)

It acts as a prequel to The Fellowship of the Ring and takes place sometime after The Hobbit. The thought of Gollum will go to the thief Bilbo Baggins since he was the one who stole the ring from him. The Lord of the Rings: Gollum begins with Gollum as a prisoner of Elves. Gandalf comes to him and meets him while he is the prisoner of Elves.

The first half of the game is the discussion between Gandalf and Gollum about his time as the prisoner of Mordor and the Orcs. He is forced into hard labor by orcs where he conspires against his enemies and his eventual escape. He will interact with different NPCs during captivity. Gollum is tortured to give up the name of Bilbo Baggins.

The story is that of two personalities that are cramped into one. Each of these personalities is trying to take control. Both Gollum and Sméagol are cramped into one body. Gollum and Sméagol do not necessarily represent good and evil.

The line between good and bad is blurred for the two characters. Sméagol might think of murdering a person while Gollum will oppose it. Their decision has a grey line between them. Sméagol is still regretful of his friend’s murder all those years ago and you can see the impact of it on his personality. Storytelling can be engaging despite having average gameplay.

Not Much Combat

Most The Lord of the Rings games has a lot of combat but that is not the case with The Lord of the Rings: Gollum. Gollum is not the character of combat, he is frail and small so direct combat is out of the question. The game is more about linear platforming. Going in stealth when it’s time and things like that. Gollum can strangle enemies without armor but can’t do anything to most enemies.

There is plenty of linear transversal in the form of platforming. Gollum will do a lot of climbing, swimming, and jumping. Control is fluid, but occasionally, Gollum’s movement might get in the way. His jumps are not as smooth as other games with platforming. Platforming is simple and every ledge is brightly marked. You can find the path forward easily.

Sometimes, it might be troublesome to find the path forward due to multiple environmental cues. Grapple areas are clear with specific textures. There are not a lot of challenges when it comes to platforming despite being a major part of the game. Lighting can sometimes conceal an area if you are not looking with keen eyes. Platforming is simple that does not have much diversity.


Going through enemy camps involves stealth. You have to be quick and stealthy while going through an enemy camp. Stealth has some setbacks with no proper detection system. You have to solely rely upon simple detection. Enemies feel mindless and options are limited. The sense of danger in The Lord of the Rings: Gollum is lacking despite Gollum being a helpless character.

Orcs look bad, they walk awkwardly and can get stuck while walking which makes escape from them easier. You can throw rocks to distract enemies. Occasionally Gollum can hide in tall grass or shadows. Platforming and stealth can sometimes work together. Players can use platforming to hide from enemies. So platforming is used for more than just traversal.

General Gameplay

There are things to do beyond escaping from Orcs and hiding. Despite being shown as a lonely character, Gollum still manages to get the attention. The Lord of the Rings: Gollum has average platforming but it has a thoughtful and engaging story once it focuses on the character of Gollum. You have to decide if going through average gameplay is worth it to know the story of Gollum.

Gollum has dark and light sides that are blurred most of the time as mentioned earlier. It will often give you choices of responding to a dialogue or action as either Sméagol or Gollum. You can select how you want to answer that.

If you answer as one personality but the other personality disagrees you have to convince it with dialogue. If you end up winning then it will progress the way you selected if not, then the choice of other personality will be selected. Such sequences feel good when they occur.

The flow of the game can be disturbed by the strange sequences such as guiding a partner through a hostile area through different commands. Such sequences can interrupt the flow as they change how you approach the game. Some levels will ask you to solve puzzles to progress. Such sequences are not common but when they occur they feel out of place.

Looks and Feels Bland

Going through Mordor or Elvish areas makes the world feel like a character. It’s not like the Developers were looking for photo realism but it still feels outdated. The grandness of the world cannot be denied but it is suppressed by the exaggerated design of the game. The Lord of the Rings: Gollum has an exaggerated design that exaggerates all the characters in the world. NPCs and the character design are not that good.

Movements and facial animation of characters are rough and not in sync with the audio. Humans and elves are not visually appealing. The exaggerated style backfires on the game making everything seem worse. The game looks old and everything in the game feels flat. The texture is barely there and the animations are bad. One can see visual glitches here and there. Gollum is the one character that looks good as everything else is bland.

The sense of might in some areas is good. One can appreciate the grand structure of the game’s setting. The areas that you are traversing though are not good until you are outside. By then, you will have seen most of the things that the game has to offer. Basically, the area you interact with is flat while the areas you can see are grand. The game does not become interesting or hard so there is no progression.


The Lord of the Rings: Gollum is not a long game and you will see the majority of what it offers early on. Transversal in the game relies on platforming but the lack of diversity makes it a hollow experience. Stealth and platforming go in a loop as some parts of the game will have both. There is not much stealth because it is nothing more than throwing things to distract enemies. In the looks department, the game doesn’t do well either. Most of the texture is flat and the exaggerated design of the game doesn’t make it any better.

There is even an option to buy different emotes with real money. So yeah, the game has microtransactions despite being a single-player game. TLOTR: Gollum has the marketing and everything else of a triple-A game. The only thing it lacks is the quality of a AAA game despite being priced as one. If you are a big fan of The Lord of the Rings then maybe wait for a sale to get it. I just can’t recommend it as an instant-buy type of game.

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