A new game set in JRR Tolkien’s “Lord of the Rings” universe launched on Thursday, and it’s been suffering a rough critical reception. “The Lord of the Rings: Gollum” currently holds a 36 (out of 100) on Metacriticmaking it one of the lowest-rated games of the year.
While critics acknowledged there was merit to the game’s overarching story and characterization of Gollum, that was more or less where the compliments ended. According to Metacritic, there hasn’t been a single mainstream positive review, with the cheeriest writeup being a “mixed” review by GamingTrend that emphasized the narrative’s efforts to balance out the game’s many middle aspects.
Other critics derived the title’s dated mechanics, stale design choices, lack of identity and lack of technical polish.
While most of those previously mentioned qualms’ roots are baked into the DNA of the game and are unable to be altered post-launch, Daedalic Entertainment did take the time to share an apology for its product’s shortcomings to Twitter.
“We acknowledge and deeply regret that the game did not meet the expectations we set for ourselves or for our dedicated community,” the post reads. “Please accept our sincere apologies for any disappointment this may have caused.”
It goes on to state the developers are already toiling away at patches to improve the game’s technical performance, though the post omits any reference to post-launch design pivots that would retool the title’s fundamental shortcomings, as defined by players.
In reply to Daedalic’s tweet, one Twitter user posted a collection of many other developers and publishers’ recent apologies for poor game launches.
As the user’s tweet illustrates, Daedalic is not the only game company to release a product in sub-par condition. Just in 2023 alone, high-profile titles such as “Star Wars Jedi: Survivor” and “RedFall” have suffered the same fate. And few gamers can forget the infamous launch of “Cyberpunk 2077” back in 2020.
Despite Daedalic’s unsavory position following the launch of the widely panned “Gollum” game, it’s reported the company is still set to move forward with another Tolkien-based title that will be utilizing over $2 million in grant funds from the German government (via GamesWirtschaft).
Daedalic Entertainment did not respond to a request for comment in time for publication.