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Why Critics Think The Lord Of The Rings: Gollum Is The Worst Game Of 2023 So Far

As "The Lord of the Rings" makes a splash in pop culture once again, thanks to Amazon's critically acclaimed "The Rings of Power" and a new film series on the horizon, fans should have plenty of reasons to celebrate for the foreseeable future. Even video games aren't able to hide from the all-seeing Eye of Sauron. Originally scheduled for release in 2021, "The Lord of the Rings: Gollum" is a third-person action-adventure game from Daedalic Studios that follows the story of the titular hobbit-turned-monster, Gollum.

After multiple delays, "The Lord of the Rings: Gollum" has finally hit shelves, but things aren't looking good. Gamers may think a title based on a beloved franchise and character is a surefire home run, right? Well, apparently not, as critics and fans of the series aren't happy with the finished product. In fact, as seen from the abysmal Metacritic ranking, critics have apparently landed on "The Lord of the Rings: Gollum" as the worst game of 2023 so far. But what makes the game so bad? According to reviewers, "Gollum" is full of technical issues and uninspired gameplay — but its most egregious sin is that it's apparently quite boring.

It's boring and riddled with technical issues

The Guardian's Nic Reuben gave "The Lord of the Rings: Gollum" a 1/5, calling it a "technical disaster." Reuben wrote that the gameplay pulls from "Uncharted," featuring similar parkour and stealth mechanics, but felt that "The Lord of the Rings: Gollum" fails to create its own identity. "If you've played a third-person action-adventure game in the past decade, you've played 'Gollum,'" Reuben wrote. Although he believed the game to be mostly unoriginal, he did mention that he enjoyed the animation work of Gollum. That's something, at least.

However, as noted by a number of critics and players online, the final product looks very little like the game that was originally advertised, sporting downgraded graphics and a hideous UI:

Sam Pape at Gamespot awarded "The Lord of the Rings: Gollum" a score of 2/5, calling the game repetitive and dull. Pape also criticized the graphics, arguing that the game looks dated and belongs on last-gen hardware. Like other reviewers, Pape noted multiple technical issues that hindered them from enjoying the little amount of fun the game has to offer. Meanwhile, IGN's Justin Koreis slapped "The Lord of the Rings: Gollum" with a 4/10, likewise stating that the game is "filled with dull stealth, bad platforming, and a pointless story, and does little to justify why anyone should take the time to play it." 

Among the other technical issues seen in the game are broken puzzles and autosaves, which often force players into a soft lock and mean they must restart entire sections of the game to try to move forward. Unfortunately, it looks like the delays for "The Lord of the Rings: Gollum" did not save the game.