The Lord of the Rings: Gollum is launching today on Xbox (and other platforms) after a number of delays, and we're starting to realise why this game has seemingly been in limbo for quite some time.
Early reviews for this new LOTR title are starting to go live and, well... it's not looking good so far. In fact, depending on how things shake out as more impressions come in, we could be looking at one of the worst rated games of the year.
"Unfortunately, nearly every aspect of The Lord of the Rings: Gollum left me wanting more. Some parts of the game were thoroughly enjoyable, such as the brief great moments of Gollum’s tortured conscience, while others were just as disappointing, such as the inconsistent gameplay. At its best, The Lord of the Rings: Gollum gives players a chance to see Mirkwood and Mordor like never before."
Try Hard Guides (5.5/10)
"While LotR: Gollum seems to get all the important names and locations right, the feel and look of the Middle-Earth that many have come to expect isn’t there. The few short entertaining moments aren’t going to be enough to keep anyone’s interest beyond the first hour, with much of the game’s activities after that feeling like an ever-increasing chore."
God is a Geek (5/10)
"I really wanted to love The Lord of the Rings: Gollum. While the story is its strongest feature, the technical issues hound almost every facet of it. From the visual glitches to a lack of polish in its gameplay, it’s hard to recommend this to those looking forward to venturing into Middle-Earth once more. While I’m sure future patches will fix some of the issues, I don’t think it’ll become a title that will stand up against some of the other great Lord of the Rings games we’ve seen over time, and as a lifelong Tolkien fan, I’m upset this wasn’t the game I wanted it to be."
"It was always going to be tough to pull off a Gollum game, but there’s simply nothing precious about this amateur stealth adventure. A general lack of refinement lurks in every shadowy corner of LotR: Gollum, a game disappointingly barren of interesting ideas or substantial gameplay. Even the most loyal Lord of the Rings fans will struggle through it. If you value your time, do yourself a favour and avoid it like the Eye of Sauron."
"The Lord of the Rings: Gollum fails to live up to both the Tolkien name and its own potential. From exhausting, repetitive gameplay to a poorly constructed narrative, this is a piece of Middle-earth you should never explore."
"The Lord of the Rings: Gollum is a messy and frustrating action platformer set in Middle-earth. ... Most of the gameplay involves platforming and stealth, though neither works very well. Gollum is full of technical problems that make an otherwise unpleasant experience even worse, and the game’s boring story makes it hard to recommend, even to the most hardcore Lord of the Rings fans."
Push Square (2/10)
"The Lord of the Rings: Gollum is a broken mess of a game. There are barely any redeeming qualities to be found amidst what can only be described as a massive missed opportunity. There is some serious potential in a single-player linear Lord of the Rings experience like this, but with outrageously dated level design, clunky controls, a severe lack of polish, muddy and unimpressive graphics, and a dull story, Gollum completely misses the mark."
"Much like Gollum's quest for the One Ring, my quest to complete The Lord of the Rings: Gollum was full of endless setbacks, impossible odds, and ever-increasing levels of madness. And, like Gollum, my journey was doomed from the start. So if the developers' main goal was to really put you in the shoes of such a pitiful, unloveable character faced with constant pain and suffering at every turn, they were at least successful at that."
Yikes. The Lord of the Rings: Gollum is currently sitting at a measly 39 on Open Critic and is tracking to get a similar score on Metacritic, so it's safe to say you should probably avoid this one and instead look at what else is coming out on Xbox in 2023. What a huge shame!