The developer of the upcoming Lord Of The Rings: Gollum game Daedalic is trying not to upset fans that have only seen the movies. The developer confirmed that Gollum is not going to be like what we have seen in the movies.
Senior producer Kai Fiebig touched on the topic and he mentioned why this approach was taken. The following is what he had to say regarding the matter:
We don’t want to displease the folks who have only seen the movies. But in short, he doesn’t look like Andy Serkis. We started with the person he was and then evolved him. You can see that this was once something like a human being, before the Ring corrupted him. We have more storytelling possibilities than the movies ever had, and for us, it was very important to show a different set of emotions. We need somebody you could almost love, and on the other hand somebody you can really be afraid of. And at some points, trust me, you will fear him.
Lord Of The Rings: Gollum is going to be a very crucial game for the developer as it will give the dev a chance to escape the point and click adventure niche and dive into something new. Not to mention that this is a game that is based in the Lord of the Rings universe.
Daedalic’s art director Mathias Fischer mentioned the following about Gollum:
This is really not a character you want to spend 20 hours with. So our biggest challenge was to make him a bit more sympathetic, a bit more relatable. Maybe brush over the fact that he’s eaten children.
Lord Of The Rings: Gollum is fortunately not going to be all about Gollum, players will be able to learn more about other races such as orcs. You will be able to hear conversations that orcs have in the game and learn more about them. Game designer Martin Wilkes mentioned the following regarding the matter:
We don’t go as far as having a complete biography of each individual Orc. That would be too far-fetched, but we want to tell little stories when you take sidepaths, you learn about some of the characters and what drives their lives.
Interestingly, Lord Of The Rings: Gollum is not going to have roleplaying mechanics such as skills and leveling up. The developers explained why that is the case and the following is what Wilkes had to say regarding the matter:
He’s not trained, he doesn’t have perfect form. His movements are very effective, but not optimized and not very elegant. We want to show the struggle, the effort. He’s out of breath, groaning, swearing. It just wouldn’t make sense for a character this old, after 300 years of surviving, to suddenly squeeze roleplaying mechanics into this.
The devs even touched on the dual personalities of Sméagol and Gollum and how they fight with one another. Both will fight for dominance in the game and that is how decision making is tackled.
It’s not just choosing to be Sméagol or Gollum, because for Gollum as an entity it’s not that easy. Each personality is being attacked by the other; each has to defend himself.
You will know which personality is dominant from the animations as Gollum moves like a predator and Smeagol moves like the prey.
That does make a lot of sense and it seems that Daedalic has a clear understanding regarding what this game is going to be like when it comes out. Let us know what you think about Lord Of The Rings: Gollum and whether or not you are interested in checking it out when it comes out in 2021.
Source: Edge Magazine Issue February 2020