The Lord of the Rings: Gollum PAX East 2023 Preview

The Lord of the Rings: Gollum

When it comes to the Lord of the Rings series, some love the idea of new content coming out; meanwhile, there are those that feel that the new content being put out is tarnishing the legacy of author and creator J.R.R. Tolkien. With the release of The Hobbit but as multiple movies, many felt that Warner Bros. was milking the franchise.

Now with The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power being a popular series on Amazon, many are looking forward to the release of The Lord of the Rings: Gollum. At PAX East 2023, we had the opportunity to meet with Daedalic Entertainment to preview their upcoming game.



At PAX East 2023, we were able to play The Lord of the Rings: Gollum from the starting chapter including the opening cinematic. Gollum is being interrogated about his whereabouts after Bilbo took the ring.

He asks if Gollum if he ever left the misty mountains. As the interrogation goes on, we are thrown back to the Misty Mountains and take control of Gollum. Since Gollum is semi-frail, he moves cautiously sticking close to the ground to avoid any danger.

If you have played any exploration adventure game, you should be able to get the hang of the controls fairly easily. The game focuses primarily on Gollum’s fight to survive and escape dangerous situations with ease.

Parkour is a major component of the game with Gollum jumping around to avoid being spotted. At one point, Gollum encounters a butterfly, but Smeagle is suspicious of it and tells Gollum to smash it because it is a spy. This brings up the morality system where Gollum can either heed Smeagle’s warning or form his own ideas with potentially different outcomes.

Throughout the first level, climbing and finding your own path is rather significant. Once Gollum encounters the Ring Wraiths and the Orcs he must find a way to get around unnoticed. Unnoticed does not mean avoiding his enemies entirely, it can mean taking them out stealthfully.

The player must choose when to strike based on when it is safe for Gollum. Gollum can use bushes to crawl through in order to get close to enemies but making too much noise draws their attention to them. If spotted, the demo would say Game Over and respawn you to a checkpoint. Finding the right time to jump onto an enemy’s back to knock them out takes patience and practice just like the parkour system.

Gollum can also use objects to distract enemies or take out lights to help him get the element of surprise on his enemies. Sometimes, those enemies will take themselves out. The Enemies falling to their own demise actually felt more satisfying than taking them out directly.


For The Lord of the Rings: Gollum, the movement felt smooth and refined. Once we got used to how Gollum can move it was easy to move throughout the level. Our biggest difficulty came when trying to eliminate an enemy.

The prompt for it was not clear or did not proc at times causing us to fail a few times. Outside of failing the killing blow, the game felt polished and easy to play. Players who don’t like jumping puzzles may be put off by the game, but fans of The Lord of the Rings should love LOTR: Gollum.

Based on the first level, we expect that the game will have a slower more methodical approach with Gollum cautiously moving throughout the world. It will be interesting to see who Gollum interacts with and how the morality system changes the story.

For controls, they felt very easy to use especially if you have played an Assassin’s Creed game. As someone who dislikes stealth and jumping puzzles in games, Gollum surprisingly did not anger me that much.

The biggest annoyance was the stealth kill system and that was supposedly already being addressed. I will definitely keep an eye out for when The Lord of the Rings: Gollum releases and may pick it up on launch.

The Lord of the Rings: Gollum launches on May 25th, 2023 on Xbox One, Xbox Series X, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, and PC. The Nintendo Switch release date has yet to be announced. Also, check out our interview with Daedalic Entertainment regarding The Lord of the Rings: Gollum.

, , ,


Hardcore gaming enthusiast, cosplayer, streamer, Tall Anime lover (6ft 9), and a die-hard competitor. I have been a Pop-Culture Journalist since 2011 specializing in shooters, Pokemon, and RPGs.

Where'd our comments go? Subscribe to become a member to get commenting access and true free speech!