The Ring of Omnipotence was broken. Impressions from The Lord of the Rings: Gollum
Playing in the beloved Lord of the Rings universe is always an event. But in the case of The Lord of the Rings: Gollum, there is no reason to be happy. The new adventure about Gollum turned out to be so bad that it causes extremely negative emotions. How it happened, UNIAN understood the fresh material.
The other day I saw that The Lord of the Rings: Gollum took the fourth position in terms of pre-orders in the Ukrainian segment of the PlayStation Store. Well, my condolences to all buyers. Now we will be perplexed together, because the game turned out to be simply disgusting.
Daedalic Entertainment has previously seemed like a reliable studio that releases small but decent games. She created many quests, including the Deponia series, and was responsible for promoting the excellent Shadow Tactics: Blades of the Shogun. However, the company’s new “product” is not even a stillborn game, but something worse. Make yourself comfortable as I will now try to explain how The Lord of the Rings: Gollum manages to inflict Mordorian pain.
Technical director for courses
I’ll come with trump cards: technical execution. I did not complete the game, but not because of laziness or negligence. At the end of 5 out of 10 chapters, The Lord of the Rings: Gollum broke completely. Incorrect work of the script led to the death of Gollum when loading locations. And restarting the checkpoint led to the appearance in the form of a corpse somewhere under the textures. That is, the game for 999 hryvnia on Steam and 1799 hryvnia on the PS Store cannot be completed.
On this, in general, you can complete the material and advise everyone to pass by The Lord of the Rings: Gollum, and preferably with a closed nose. But wait, there is still more to say about the project. Even if you miss a critical breakdown, there are hundreds of questions for testers.
Why do checkpoints appear right before losing a mission? Who made such an angular geometry of objects with dozens of invisible walls? Who gets reprimanded for constant collision problems? Why the hell are screensavers constantly dropping frame rates? How did it happen that one journalist noticed everything, but the developers did not?
Apparently there will be no answers. And after all, all these shortcomings are present in the game with the graphics of 2010 at best. Low quality textures, “soap” at a distance, primitive animations, jerky facial expressions, too thick shadows – that’s what awaits users in The Lord of the Rings: Gollum. In some places, the style tries to smooth out the overall impression, but it turns out badly. In Mordor, everything is black-red-gray and the eye does not cling to details at all. Although what details – the locations look terribly poor. What the technical department and artists of Daedalic were doing throughout the development, I don’t understand at all.
Tolkien is ashamed
There is no need to talk about the plot of The Lord of the Rings: Gollum for a long time. The developers promised to show the story of the adventures of Gollum during the period when he lost the Ring of Omnipotence, and before the events of the Lord of the Rings trilogy. In general, this is how it is. Five chapters were devoted to the slavery of the character in Mordor, and the rest – to a seemingly journey in the possessions of the elves of Mirkwood. But I’m not sure exactly: the game broke down during an attempt to escape from Mordor.
The only thing you can catch on in the plot is the constant disputes between the two personalities of Gollum. The story gives a slightly better idea of the character’s character, demonstrates his inconstancy and internal “swings”. However, it is still difficult to empathize with the main character, because he is shown as a cunning, cold-blooded and prudent creature. Far from always, the player is given a choice of which personality to listen to. And these decisions globally do not affect the narrative in any way.
Users will have to take the side of Gollum or Smeagol based on their own moral guidelines. Moreover, there is no motivation to be evil – in only one mission I noticed the opportunity to get a slight advantage. The mechanics itself is also very simple – you need to choose the right argument 2-3 times to convince the second person.
Otherwise, the plot can be safely called a complete failure. The history of the game is marking time for half of the game, and the company’s dynamic development, the constant feeling of movement of the main characters from Tolkien’s books are absent from the word at all. The new characters turned out to be single-celled, as the writers could not reveal them. Timid attempts to show the internal intrigues in Mordor also ended in mid-sentence. And the game gives out so few details about the universe of “The Lord of the Rings” that it’s even a shame to mention it.
The plot as a whole does not want to line up in a clear line and rushes from fire to flame, trying to hook at least something. But there was no interest in moving forward either at the beginning or in the middle. Further, again, I can’t say, but it’s unlikely that the screenwriters were suddenly visited by muses. Rounding out the long list of problems is strange camera work in cutscenes with constant close-ups of Gollum. It seems to be an attempt to bypass technical problems. However, it turned out badly, disgustingly, awkwardly, clumsily, crookedly – you can choose an epithet to your liking.
An example of what not to do
Oh the gameplay. When you remember him, you want to wrap yourself in a warm blanket and drink a cup of tea to calm down. But we need to get together, so let’s start with a simple one – stealth. Segments with covert passage are strictly linear: any step to the side is punished by the capture of the protagonist. There are no thoughtful and variable arenas here.
Although where will they come from if Gollum has almost no means of influencing the routes of the guards. He can only throw rocks at isolated objects and extinguish lamps to attract enemies. The rest of the stealth comes down to hiding in the shade or grass. Moreover, in the first case, the enemy can stand a meter away from the main character and not see him. Why in meters? Yes, because all locations are either narrow corridors or enclosed spaces without traces of designer fantasy.
Gollum can eliminate opponents, but the process is very long, because you need to get close from behind and hold the button down for about five seconds. In one of the moments when it was necessary to kill two enemies, the developers created a relatively large room and spread the opponents in different corners. Otherwise, with such a poor and clumsy stealth, you will not complete the assignment. The sketchy animations make Gollum feel clumsy, even though he is famous for his agility.
Heavy and poor movements, coupled with extremely primitive level geometry, lead to the fact that the protagonist constantly gets stuck somewhere, does not want to get under the wagon and refuses to turn normally, as the camera behaves worse than in Japanese games at the beginning of the “zero”. And the enemies hear everything very well: with any careless movement, a yellow sign of suspicion lights up above them. Therefore, you need to sneak very slowly. When the alarm goes up, orcs might even look under the wagons and smoke Gollum out. I was already surprised that there was at least some positive detail.
Platforming is even worse than stealth. The vast majority of the passage is necessary to climb walls and ledges, swing on the crossbars and jump. There is also running on vertical surfaces, which often turns into torture due to a naughty camera. But it’s still half the trouble. The main problem is eerily primitive design.
Sometimes you have to climb for 30-40 minutes, performing the same actions. Here he climbed, there he jumped over to the other side, here he ran along the wall and so on. No joke, but the main find in platforming is moving platforms and crossbars. There are no interesting and complex spatial obstacles, as well as the general development of mechanics, in The Lord of the Rings: Gollum. For some reason, they also screwed up endurance, which is consumed during fast running and long jumps, but does not create any additional difficulties.
The general poverty of platforming is complemented by disgusting space geometry and collision bugs. Gollum is constantly under-jumping, falling off a ledge, not clinging to a surface, and so on. Artists Daedalic so generally “well done”. Elements of platforming sometimes stand out among the environment, even hurt the eyes, sometimes they are lost among the local palette. One can only dream of balance. Personally, after Star Wars Jedi: Survivor, it was physically painful for me to play The Lord of the Rings: Gollum. It is clear that the games are different in terms of budget, but for the end user, the feeling is important. And in this regard, Gollum’s adventure causes only irritation and sincere bewilderment.
Throughout the passage, the authors make clumsy attempts to diversify the gameplay. Appears the mechanics of controlling the satellite – a bird or a person. But it is also primitive in its execution, it also works intermittently in places. Sometimes light space puzzles or even wall-climbing stealth come across on the way. However, the fundamental problems of The Lord of the Rings: Gollum are felt with every movement. And attempts to create the appearance of diversity in the setting of missions and gameplay sections do not add color to the overall picture.
Red sign with warning “do not buy!”
The Lord of the Rings: Gollum is a technically broken game where the core elements don’t compare to 15-year-old titles. Platforming is worse than in the first Uncharted, stealth is significantly inferior to Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell: Double Agent, and the story in the Lord of the Rings universe is no match even for The Lord of the Rings: The Battle for Middle-earth strategy.
Attempts to uncover Gollum and vary goals on assignments – that’s all that the new Daedalic project could boast of. And there are a lot of problems in the game, wherever you poke. It is generally woven from problems, many of which I have omitted. If you list all the minor flaws with the design, the construction of dialogues, the logic in the plot, the characters-functions, the uniformity of locations and the implementation of mechanics, then you will have to mess up many more virtual pages. But The Lord of the Rings: Gollum is not even worthy of that.
UNIAN rating: 0 out of 10.