An official The Lord of the Rings Gollum apology has been shared by developer Daedalic Entertainment after the fantasy game received largely negative responses across the board. PCGamesN’s own Lord of the Rings Gollum review found a thoroughly disappointing experience that fails to shape its good ideas into a fun or worthwhile experience, and it seems feedback has been similar elsewhere. The Lord of the Rings Gollum Steam reviews sit at ‘mostly negative’ and its Metacritic score is similarly dismal.
“We acknowledge and deeply regret that the game did not meet the expectations we set for ourselves or our dedicated community,” the response from Daedalic reads, “Please accept our sincere apologies for any disappointment this may have caused. Our goal as a studio, and as passionate The Lord of the Rings fans, has always been to tell a compelling and immersive story-driven adventure. Crafting a story with Middle-earth as our playground has been the greatest honor – and the biggest challenge we have faced so far.”
I’ve said it many times before and I want to reiterate it once again: making games is hard. I’m sure there were plenty of time pressures and deadlines that had to be met, and it’s never nice to see a game fall short of its mark, because the people behind it are, in almost every case, working as hard as possible to make something great. Nevertheless, there’s no avoiding the fact that spending your money or time on a game that leaves you feeling cold is an unquestionable shame.
Daedalic says it’s hard at work on updates, and is “committed to providing you with patches that will allow you to enjoy the game to its fullest potential.” It adds, “We will continue to keep you updated on our progress and provide transparent communication regarding the upcoming patches and improvements. Your passion and dedication as players has been the driving force behind our determination to make things right.”
Hopefully the team is able to resolve some of the more notable issues, but Gollum’s problems extend beyond just its bugs and minor issues; they run deeper within some of its core design. There are good ideas in there, such as Smeagol’s inner conflict with his alter ego, but even those feel half-baked, and not in a way that you can easily just pop back in the oven to finish off.
If you’ve been left wanting something else to cleanse your palate, take a browse through the best RPG games, or the best stealth games if you’re feeling sneaky. Alternatively, look forward to the biggest and best upcoming games for the rest of 2023, and perhaps you’ll find something truly precious.