More information about Lord of the Rings: Gollum have emerged thanks to a fresh batch of screenshots and concept art.
The GamesRadar exclusive images give us a fantastic early look at the game, even if we've yet to see actual gameplay for the upcoming game due out in 2021. Through the images we learn more about Gollum as a hero, the type of gameplay we'll encounter, and even the kinds of enemies you'll have to avoid as you stealth through levels.
Saide Haberstroh, project manager for Lord of the Rings: Gollum, talked us through the various screenshots and concept art images as part of the Future Games Show to describe exactly what we're looking at with each shot.
Take a look below, with commentary from Haberstroh.
"Here you can see Gollum trying to escape a cluster of spiders through the underground of Mordor. These spiders are mortal creatures and have special abilities such as being able to climb on walls. Due to this, they are harder to get rid of than other creatures Gollum will encounter during the game."
"Here we see an in-game dialogue of Gollum with himself, which is more of a monologue and these kinds of monologues not only show the split personality of Gollum, but also the struggle with his inner-self. This also can help the player here and there with some useful information. As we already have the split personality of Gollum, it felt very natural for him to talk to himself and even give some hints or give an overview of the situation as he has to come clean with himself what's going on. So it does not seem forced, and in this way, it works perfectly for us in this game context."
"This screenshot is a very good example of our fast-paced, parkour gameplay. As you can see Gollum is in the middle of a jump to a ledge in order to proceed through the level."
"Here you can see orcs, some of the enemies of Gollum, which he has to avoid if possible. As I already said, he's not the fighting type, so he's better off avoiding enemies and doing some stealth action. In this moment, as you can see, the captain of the orcs is telling his crew to search the carts, so they are looking for Gollum. It's better to be hidden and not attract any more attention from the orcs."
"Here you can see a good example of our vertical level design, where Gollum tries to get an overview of the situation he's in. As stealth has a very important part of our game - it's one of our core mechanics - the level design has to adapt to that, and it's very important to us to give the player the possibility to find their own way through levels. So it's very helpful for them to give them some kind of vantage point where they can have an overview of every level."
"This is a good example of our stealth gameplay, where the creatures in the level are noticing Gollum. They are doing this in other ways to how the orcs and guards do, so this can either be an advantage if you want to distract the guards for example. But, it is also a disadvantage as the creatures create noise, which can attract the attention of orc guards, and if you are, for example, trying to crouch under them they can also damage Gollum himself. The player has to be careful in deciding which way works best for them - either avoiding the creatures altogether, or trying to use them for Gollum's advantage."
"In the Lords of the Rings: Gollum, we want to show some familiar locations, which have never been seen in such detail before or so close up. Here we have the Barad-dur Outskirts where you can see the war preparations going on."
"Here you can see our inner conflict mini-game where you have to decide for either Gollum or Smeagle. In this case the green options are the Smeagal options, and the red ones are the Gollum options. As a player you have to manifest a choice. Instead of just choosing, you have to press a button multiple times to manifest your option, but the options are also flying around the screen so it's not that easy, and it can also happen that sometimes a player has another outcome than expected if they fail the minigame. But this is also dependent on the choices the player made before. Whether the player is more on Gollum or Smeagle's side, some options will be easier or harder to get."
"Here you can see a difficult situation for Gollum as he has to avoid a larger group of orcs this time, and in order to do so he is sneaking behind some crates in the level. But, the way he is approaching, there is also a creature again, which could attract the attention of the orcs, so it's a hard decision whether to stay where he is, with two orcs that could turn around and see him, or going further and having the creature possibly attract the attention of the orcs. So the player has to decide what to do here."
Along with the in-game screenshots, we were also provided with two concept art images, which give us a look at two characters you'll encounter in the game - one friend, and one foe.
"In this concept art here you can see the Grashneg, who is a help to Gollum when it comes to tasks where Gollum is not strong enough. As you can see the Grashneg is a guy who has no problem smashing some crates, proceeding through a barrier while destroying it. Grashneg can be very helpful for Gollum, but in return, Gollum also has to help the Grashneg so we face a double-sided relationship here."
"Here we have one of the main villains in the game, Lestor, a Gondorian renegade who betrayed his kinsmen and his family [aka the Inquisitor]. As a reward for that, he has climbed up high in Sauron's services and now supervises many of his spy agents. Sauron, of course, has many spies - human spies as well as animal spies - but, in the case of the Inquisitor, Sauron has given him much power and knowledge. But even with all this power and knowledge it's hard for him to adapt to the Mordor lifestyle as it's quite an adjustment to his life before, and he certainly sometimes regrets his decision to betray his country."
The Lord of the Rings: Gollum will be coming to current and next-gen Sony and Microsoft consoles, Nintendo Switch and PC in late 2021.