Gollum game: The Lord of the Rings video game reviews - what are critics saying?

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The new video game has quickly become the worst rated game of 2023

The Lord of the Rings: Gollum game has quickly become the worst rated game of 2023 after it was released on 25 May. The game, which was subjected to multiple delays, isn’t just the worst rated game so far this year, it’s the worst rated game by quite a large margin.  

Fans and video game reviewers have not held back on airing their grievances with the game either, with one star reviews flooding social media. 

This is everything you need to know. 

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What is the Gollum game?

The Lord of the Rings: Gollum is a new action adventure game in which players step into the shoes (or, well, feet) of Gollum, one of the best known characters from the Lord of the Rings franchise. 

For some backstory, Gollum was a Stoor Hobbit who was originally known as Sméagol - however he was corrupted by the One Ring, and later renamed Gollum. 

Sméagol and Gollum are the two sides of the same coin, and represent the two distinct personalities inside the creature. As Sméagol, he can be friendly but cautious, and as Gollum, he is vicious and wicked. He is torn between his desire to possess the One Ring and his desire to be free from it.    

Will you be playing the new game? (Photo: Daedalic Entertainment/Nacon)Will you be playing the new game? (Photo: Daedalic Entertainment/Nacon)
Will you be playing the new game? (Photo: Daedalic Entertainment/Nacon) | Daedalic Entertainment/Nacon

The official website reads: “For the first time, follow the untold story of Gollum: an experience that stays incredibly faithful to the books. From his flight from Mordor, where he escaped the Mouth of Sauron and the demon-spider Shelob, to the dungeons of Thranduil, the Elvenking and Legolas's father, Gollum has had many adventures and encounters on his extraordinary journey.

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“After being corrupted by the Ring over hundreds of years, Gollum has developed exceptional agility and sharp wits. Use his unique skills to explore and infiltrate legendary locations and dizzying heights. Find your way past the orcs as you climb the Dark Tower of Barad-dûr and give the elves the slip in the mysterious Mirkwood.”

When was it released - how can I play?

The game was released on 25 May and is available on:

  • PS 4 and 5
  • Series XS and Xbox One
  • Nintendo Switch
  • Steam
  • Epic Games 

The new Lord of the Rings game lets you play as Gollum (Photo: Daedalic Entertainment/Nacon)The new Lord of the Rings game lets you play as Gollum (Photo: Daedalic Entertainment/Nacon)
The new Lord of the Rings game lets you play as Gollum (Photo: Daedalic Entertainment/Nacon) | Daedalic Entertainment/Nacon

Via its website, you can choose if you want to buy a digital or physical version of the game, and between the standard edition or the “digital precious edition”, which comes with the addition of an art exhibition, lore compendium, the original soundtrack and Sindarin VO. 

However, you might want to take a look at what the reviews are saying before parting with your hard earned cash…

What are reviews saying?

To put it lightly, the Gollum game has been thoroughly torn to shreds in the reviews that have been coming out. 

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Nic Reuben from the Guardian gave the game a one star rating, writing that it’s a “derivative, uninteresting and fundamentally broken stealth action that fails to capture anything interesting about Tolkien’s fiction”. 

Reuben says: “This game never looked especially promising, and now it’s out, it’s about as riveting as listening to a huddle of ents discuss the finer points of deciduous shedding. It’s a technical disaster, at least on PC, and even when it does work, it feels like an extended forced stealth section from a game where stealth is just one of 50,000 other systems. It’s watery, janky, broken, alternately frustrating and frictionless, completely without tension or pathos, and squanders a great concept.

Reviews for the recent release have been less than enthusiastic (Photo: Daedalic Entertainment/Nacon)Reviews for the recent release have been less than enthusiastic (Photo: Daedalic Entertainment/Nacon)
Reviews for the recent release have been less than enthusiastic (Photo: Daedalic Entertainment/Nacon) | Daedalic Entertainment/Nacon

Over at GameSpot, Sam Pape said Gollum “does not simply miss the mark here or there: it’s an unbridled disaster of truly epic – like, Tolkien-level epic – proportions”. 

In his verdict for IGN, Justin Koreis wrote: “The Lord of the Rings: Gollum fails to provide a satisfying answer to the big Why’s. Why, of all the interesting characters in The Lord of the Rings lore, would anyone want to play an entire game as Gollum? Why would one trade the solid action of prior games in this universe for busywork, uninspired and frustrating platforming, and bad stealth? It’s not clear who this is for, or what it was intended to achieve. What is clear is that it’s not fun to play, and not something to recommend to any but the most curious and dedicated Lord of the Rings fan.” 

Gamers have also not held back on sharing their opinions on the game on social media either. 

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