A new Lord of the Rings game will take an unlikely angle, putting players in the tumultuous and troubled mind of Gollum. The new action-adventure title will be developed by Daedalic Entertainment in partnership with Middle-earth Enterprises, and will be called The Lord of the Rings - Gollum.
The Lord of the Rings franchise is unique in the sense that its licensing in video games takes on two different forms: one that is based explicitly on movie content from Peter Jackson's films, and then another that is based on Tolkien's books which is much easier to work with. The latter has produced Middle-Earth: Shadow of War and other hits, and offers a lot more flexibility in content with the trade-off that locations and characters will have to look quite different from their film interpretations in order to avoid any issues.
Daedalic Entertainment's new Lord of the Rings game will operate from a unique perspective thus far in the franchise's history, occupying the role of Gollum rather than some of the more traditional heroes like Frodo or Legolas. The game is being described as one that will "explore new events and details" related to Gollum's character arc. The Lord of the Rings - Gollum will also use the Unreal Engine and will be localized into multiple different languages in anticipation of a worldwide launch. Carsten Fichtelmann, CEO and co-founder of Daedalic Entertainment, had this to say about working with such a storied property and iconic character:
"The Lord of the Rings is one of the most epic and renowned stories of all time - it's an honor for us to have the opportunity to work on our own contribution to this universe. In Gollum, players will assume the role of one of the most iconic characters in Middle-earth. We tell Gollum's story from a perspective never seen before, in any storytelling medium, all the while staying true to the legendary books of J.R.R. Tolkien."
The new Lord of the Rings game is set for a 2021 release, and will target the PC platform and "all relevant console platforms at that time", which seems to indicate that Daedalic Entertainment is prepared for the next generation of consoles as well. There aren't many details on what gameplay surrounding Gollum will look like, but The Lord of the Rings - Gollum will likely incorporate a system where players need to choose between the two voices in Gollum's head. The studio also indicated that the story of Gollum would be explored from a new perspective, which means we're likely to get some adventures that the books or movies don't necessarily detail much.
A new Lord of the Rings game could do wonders for a franchise that has been hot and cold when it comes to video game adaptations. The Lord of the Rings - Gollum is coming from such a unique angle that it will surely entice fans of the property who have since passed on keeping up with all of its video game iterations, and it will also give its developers a chance to develop gameplay that wouldn't necessarily work for hobbits or warriors. The Lord of the Rings - Gollum is a long ways off still, but it sounds like a game fans should keep a close eye on as it nears closer to its 2021 release.