It’s a disgrace Andy Serkis by no means received an award for his work as Gollum within the Peter Jackson-helmed The Lord of the Rings trilogy. The best way he managed to evoke two distinct personalities — Gollum and his mild-mannered Hobbit alter ego Sméagol — along with his voice and physique actions is a efficiency that ought to have netted him a kind of goofy-looking gold statues. In a hands-on demo of The Lord of the Rings: Gollum, I used to be reminded of Serkis’ mercurial efficiency as Gollum and was happy to see that these twin personalities had been a basic a part of the sport.
In my quick time with Gollum, I received to scamper round Mordor chasing troublesome crows and avoiding orcs, which, in the event that they catch you, will routinely offer you a “sport over.” Sneakiness is the secret, Treasured. Gollum can conceal in weeds or in water or throw stones to distract enemies so he can go by them unseen. Gollum additionally options platforming mechanics that remind me of the previous PSX-era Tomb Raiders. You may shimmy on canyon partitions as a stamina bar drains, run and leap to succeed in distant ledges, and swing like Simone Biles on the uneven bars. Fundamental stuff. However the place I assumed the sport really wowed me was after I was interacting with the assorted peoples of Center-earth.
All through the demo, Gollum has the chance to make decisions relying on his Sméagol character or his Gollum one. Gollum is the cruel, sturdy survivalist whereas Sméagol is gentler, meeker, and extra eager on making buddies. As with all selection system, the extra of 1 sort of selection you make, the extra that character dominates, making it tougher to make the other selection in a while. The alternatives you make have an effect on the folks (somewhat, elves and orcs) round you and may affect their destiny.
Gollum can’t battle, so he should depend on expertise for sneaking to keep away from seize by the elves. Picture: Daedalic Leisure
I’m excited about seeing how the completely different decisions you make both as Sméagol or Gollum play out within the bigger context of the sport. It’s no nemesis system, however I’m an enormous sucker when a sport’s narrative is bolstered in its gameplay and vice versa. The divide between Gollum and Sméagol performed an enormous position in Frodo’s journey, and I’m glad The Lord of the Rings: Gollum discovered a strategy to artfully incorporate that right into a story that’s wholly distinctive.