Daedalic today announced a new game called The Lord of the Rings: Gollum, which is notable for the fact that a) it’s all about Gollum, who sucks, and b) it’s another attempt at a Lord of the Rings game without the fabled film license.
Back around the time of the main trilogy’s release (and for a few years afterwards), EA had the Lord of the Rings license, but only for the story’s depiction in Peter Jackson’s films. There was a separate license for the books, which meant that alongside the excellent movie tie-ins and Battle for Middle Earth games we got stuff like The Hobbit and the dodgy RTS The Lord of the Rings: War of the Ring.
That division continues today; WB have the rights to the films, despite barely using them (the Mordor games may as well be original IP), and other companies are free to license the books. Enter German developers and publishers Daedelic, which means this Gollum game won’t feature Andy Serkis (or even an Andy Serkis-a-like), and this take on Middle Earth, like that found in The Lord of the Rings Online, won’t feature the same visual landmarks we identify from Jackson’s films.
But whatever! This should still be interesting because it’s got you literally playing as Gollum, slinking around in the shadows, though whether you’ll be shanking dudes or just eating fish and being a prick isn’t known for now.
What we do know, thanks to this interview with PC Gamer, is that the game will be set “before we learn about what happens to him in the books”, and that his split personality will play a part in how you play. “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”, Daedelic CEO Carsten Fichtelmann says.
The game will be out in 2021, which explains why there isn’t even a screenshot yet.