The Lord of the Rings: Gollum
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The Lord of The Rings: Gollum Review

My hopes weren’t very high for The Lord of The Rings: Gollum. The game has been through the wringer with multiple delays, development through the pandemic and as much as Deadelic Entertainment tried to brush up the visuals, every new trailer looked worse than the one that came before. But even with no expectations, The Lord of The Rings: Gollum still disappointed me. Not only is the game visually trite but the gameplay is horrid, I encountered dozens upon dozens of crashes and the story is forgettable.

The Lord of The Rings: Gollum takes about 15 hours to get through and even with that short campaign, I would not recommend you waste 15 hours of your life on this. I made an effort to at least play the game for 45 minutes a day and even that was a chore.

The Lord of the Rings: Gollum

During the campaign, I explored dull environments and crept my way through tedious and dated stealth sections. The game also drags on for longer than needed with some sections lasting four hours of the same rinse and repeat climbing and sneaking. I get it, Gollum isn’t a fighter but to mindlessly walk through tall grass and shimmy across a wall for hours on end isn’t fun. No matter how you put it.

The Lord of The Rings: Gollum also struggles to find its ground when it comes to the story. The game tries to bring characters into the plot for what feels like the sake of things. Gandalf makes his cameo quite early and, for the most part, has a natural role but the rest such as Nazgul feel forced. It was like the development team on Gollum had a checklist of things they simply had to do and “add as many useless characters into the game as possible” was on there.

The Lord of the Rings: Gollum

While Gollum can sneak around and is quite agile at parkour, the game is also packed with horribly mindless things to do. Collecting items around a volcano, herding Borocs into a pen and other mini-games don’t add any value to the experience at all. Even the sneaking around is a snore fest. If seen, it’s game over and I spent my time running from shadow to shadow, tossing stones at metal objects to distract guards and trying to handle Gollum’s clumsy movements.

Gollum can murder enemies but that is far and few between here. These murders and other negative actions then result in Gollum having an internal crisis with his split personality Smeagol. During these sections, Gollum would bicker and moan. I would then have to choose who I wanted to side with as a “gaining control” incentive. Depending on my choices would then alter some future conversations with characters around the game. However, there isn’t anything permanent to lose or gain by siding with one set personality. These decisions simply alter the way a conversation is played out.

The Lord of the Rings Gollum

When it comes to the general gameplay variety in The Lord of The Rings: Gollum, there isn’t much going on here. Most chapters are linear and see Gollum climbing about before sneaking through a guarded area. The odd “stop for a break” moment would often play out a short cutscene with some character or Gollum but the general flow of the game doesn’t evolve as the chapters go on.

Even climbing and exploring never amazed me at all. The vines and ledges stick out like a sore thumb in the environment which held my hand the entire time. Enemies are copy-and-paste across the game too. The only real saving grace here is that some areas do look decent. Large mountain areas and demonic architectural structures hold up well. But again, it all starts to blend together after a while as it gets more boring as the hours go on.

The Lord of the Rings: Gollum

The Lord of The Rings: Gollum is also scared to approach any of the lore in the universe. If it didn’t have “The Lord of the Rings” in the title, you wouldn’t even know this game was set in the same world. Enemies don’t directly relate to the story we all know and even the sad attempts at recreating the set pieces fall flat.

While the gameplay in The Lord of The Rings: Gollum is horrid, the visuals and performance are in a worse league. I never had one session on PS5 where the game didn’t crash. If that wasn’t bad enough, everything is a technical mess. Animations jitter all over the place, enemies are blind and deaf which affects the sneaking and Gollum’s general movement feels janky and stiff.

The Lord of the Rings: Gollum

The visuals also look like that old-school DOOM 3 “everything must be glossed up and shiny” era. It is as if the entire game was dunked in a bucket of water and tossed out. It looks incredibly dated. The Performance Mode was the only saving grace here. While the game still crashed in this mode, the frame rate was stable at 60FPS. Quality mode was all over the place and Quality Raytracing saw the frame rates drop to 10FPS. It isn’t good at all.

So should you play The Lord of The Rings: Gollum? No. No amount of post-launch work will fix this game. It is dated, dull and at best, a forgettable experience. It is like playing one of the worst PlayStation 2 games back in the day. There’s no silver lining here and “what ifs” or “that is a good thing” because there’s nothing to see here.

The Lord of The Rings: Gollum


The Lord of The Rings: Gollum is not a good game. It plays like one of the worst PlayStation 2 games back in the day and there’s just no justifying its existence.



It ends


Dated visuals


Horrible gameplay


Marco is the owner and founder of GLITCHED. South Africa’s largest gaming and pop culture website. GLITCHED quickly established itself with tech and gaming enthusiasts with on-point opinions, quick coverage of breaking events and unbiased reviews across its website, social platforms, and YouTube channel.

1 Comment

  • Nikki_boagreis 28 May 2023

    I might consider purchasing Lord of The Rings Gollum if they manage to resolve any bugs and crashing.

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