Some games should've just never seen the light of the day due to either the lack of polishing or that they're simply bad. In some cases, both apply to the same title. Case in point, The Lord of the Rings: Gollum.
Much like its titular lead character, Gollum, whose main shtick is that he spent too much time in the shadows with the One Ring, Daedalic Entertainment sure could've benefitted from lifting the curtains on the game early if only for preview to get feedback. The game, as it currently stands, doesn't look like it belongs on last-gen hardware let alone current-gen.
To no one's surprise, the reviews reflect the quality of Gollum.
As per Metacritic, The Lord of the Rings: Gollum has a 40% score on the PS5 and a 43% score on the PC. Its scores on the Xbox Series S and X versions as well as the PS4 and Xbox One aren't out yet but we highly doubt that they're any better.
To put that into perspective, Redfall actually had better scores on Metacritic even though it's one of the worst-rated games on Steam.
Here's a round-up of the abysmal scores of the game to give you an idea of just how awful reviewers see it:
- Inverse - 3/10
- GamesRadar+ - 2/5
- GameSpot - 2/10
- Push Square - 2/10
- Twinfinite - 1.5/5
- The Gamer - 1.5/5
- The Guardian - 1/5
The original The Lord of the Rings trilogy is a cinematic masterpiece that will probably never be seen and replicated again in history. It took The Hobbit three films to tell a cohesive story and even that couldn't hold a candle to even just one of the films from the original trio. Amazon's take on J.R.R. Tolkien's high fantasy works was costly and is still redeemable but it's no secret that the first season didn't live up to its promise. But, while every subsequent adaptation of The Lord of the Rings aside from the first three films by Peter Jackson has been decent at best, The Lord of the Rings: Gollum represents a new low.
With plans to turn The Lord of the Rings into a "Star Wars-like franchise", there needs to be a certain standard for each entry to try and meet.
Otherwise, video game developers and filmmakers might try to get away with a paltry excuse of a project like Gollum, which has zero irredeemable qualities and, as Inverse puts it, "as pitiable as its namesake."
The worst part is that The Lord of the Rings: Gollum is the first of several more games based on the same material that is set to come out this year and the next one.
With Embracer Group in absolute disarray following the botched multi-billion deal and the confusion surrounding the Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic remake, it might be a better idea to delay the subsequent LOTR titles until it can get its house in order.