Gollum on PS5 tells the full story of Lord of the Rings’ saddest character

(Image credit: Daedalic)

Gollum, the upcoming game on PS5 and Xbox Series X, has come closer into view, with a new first-look trailer and a number of new details from development studio Daedelic about the Lord of The Rings spin-off game (via IGN).

In an interview, lead narrative designer Tilman Schanen talks about the narrative choices between Gollum and his Sméagol alter-ego, both of which the player will need to control and utilize to navigate their way through the game.

"It's not as simple as, 'Choose Sméagol to be good, choose Gollum to be evil'," Schanen says. "Our first rule is to stay true to the character (or our interpretation of him at least). Since you play two personalities in one character, choosing sides will give you some control. But it's more like maneuvering a truck with two flat tires and trying not to drive it off a cliff."

It's this description of the character's internal conflict – and how it will influence a branching narrative – that gives us the most insight into the game, with the (rather dull) CGI trailer below not offering anything in terms of in-game levels, navigation, or combat. Sauron's Eye also looks surprisingly pedestrian, more 'telecommunications tower' than 'fearsome overlord'.

The thought of grappling with Gollum's warring psyches for different outcomes is, however, somewhat undermined by the inevitability of the story, as Schanen reminds us: "In the end, of course, Gollum's fate is pretty much determined by the books."

Lord of The Rings meets Prince of Persia

There's plenty of interesting commentary in the interview, including comparisons with the wall-running and verticality of Prince of Persia, and description of stealth-heavy gameplay that will largely involve avoiding combat – unlike, say, the excellent Shadow or War or Shadow of Mordor games on the current generation of PlayStation and Xbox consoles.

With a Lord of The Rings TV show coming to Amazon Prime Video, too, there's plenty to geek out on in the coming years – though there's nothing so far about Gollum that really makes it stand out as a next-gen must-buy right now. Let's hope we're more impressed when we get a better look closer to launch...

Editor's note: The original headline has been updated for clarity.

Henry St Leger

Henry is a freelance technology journalist, and former News & Features Editor for TechRadar, where he specialized in home entertainment gadgets such as TVs, projectors, soundbars, and smart speakers. Other bylines include Edge, T3, iMore, GamesRadar, NBC News, Healthline, and The Times.