First new King Kong game in 18 years blasted as "complete scam" goes viral with unfavorable comparisons to 2023's worst-reviewed game: Gollum

King Kong looks surprised in a screenshot from Skull Island: Rise Of Kong
(Image credit: GameMill Entertainment)

Skull Island: Rise Of Kong - the first proper King Kong game since 2005 - comes out today, but unflattering gameplay clips that surfaced online have compared it to the year’s worst-reviewed game.

Rise Of Kong casts us as our loveable kaiju-gorilla, as he seeks revenge for his parent’s death and uses his King Kung Fu on other jungle giants. That seems like good low-stakes fun, but the viral clips below paint a much jankier picture, with some King Konnoisseur’s calling the game a “complete scam.”

Twitter user Wayneradiotv made a damning comparison: "Are we really being blessed with a second gollum in the same year?" Lord Of The Rings: Gollum was the year's worst-reviewed game, largely thanks to that aforementioned jank and a wonky character model for its central hero. Reviews for Rise Of Kong haven't dropped yet, but various cutscenes, gameplay clips, and full walkthroughs have been circulating online.

“Just hoping the game is fun to play,” one hopeful fan responds in the comments. RickDaSquirrel, the user who shared the clips, replies with footage of the combat that had Kong swiping at three crabs for a minute and a half. “It’s not,” he said. 

It’s disappointing to see a project in such a state, especially when so many developers spent time and effort on it, but there are snippets here that could at least be entertaining. One cutscene has Kong encountering an angry sandworm before they engage in a shouting match. But Kong’s initial shock is amplified with a dolly zoom (the effect where the background squeezes and zooms, while the foreground remains still), adding a goofy, slightly funny note on top of the scene that put a smile on my face, at least.

We've reached out to representatives of IguanaBee to confirm the legitimacy of these clips and to ask for a statement regarding the development process. Skull Island: Rise Of Kong releases later today on PC, Xbox Series X|S, Xbox One, PS5, PS4, and Nintendo Switch.

Check out our upcoming games guide for more.

Freelance contributor

Kaan freelances for various websites including Rock Paper Shotgun, Eurogamer, and this one, Gamesradar. He particularly enjoys writing about spooky indies, throwback RPGs, and anything that's vaguely silly. Also has an English Literature and Film Studies degree that he'll soon forget.