Fly från Saurons fängelse som Smeagol.

I mars förra året annonserade äventyrsmakarna Daedelic att de skulle göra ett spel baserat på Sagan om Ringen, med Gollum som huvudperson. Och lika snabbt som vi blev överraskade glömdes titeln bort, mest för att skaparna själva la locket på. Det pryder dock omslaget på Edge och vänliga själar på internet har sammanfattat informationen från artikeln.

Spelet utspelar sig då Gollum ska fly från Saurons underjordisa fängelse där han fängslades och torterades för att avslöja var mästarringen tagit vägen. Precis som i vissa scener i filmatiseringen slits han mellan Gollums och Smeagol personligheter och spelarna ska kunna påverka vilken röst de väljer att lyssna på. Vid vissa tillfällen ska dessa val vara avgörande för hur spelet fortsätter.

Att smyga och undvika faror ligger i fokus då Gollum inte kan konfrontera vakterna själv och det ska finnas flera vägar genom banorna men det beskrivs samtidigt inte som open world. Artikeln innehåller mest konceptbilder och ingen porträttering av Gollum själv, utvecklarna säger själva att man försökt hitta sin egen stil som inte baseras på filmerna.

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Finished the article earlier. I'm excited for the team and the game sounds cool but a few aspects gave me pause.

  • it's a stealth action adventure. Sounds like Uncharted's mobility and platforming mixed with TLOU's stealth

  • implied there's no active combat but there is stealth, stealth kills etc. Wouldn't be surprised if this is mixed up somehow

  • no RPG elements. Gollum/Smeagol have been around for three hundred years, the team felt his skillset/abilities are pretty well locked in

  • targeting AAA animation quality. Gollum alone has hundreds of animations

  • seemingly has multiple paths through levels

  • very narrative driven. Not an open world thing or a big sandbox thing - it's more a tight, nuanced journey through a world

  • we will be able to engage with characters (from randos trying to escape the prison, to side characters from the novels and some series classics - unsure if we can engage with the latter)

  • takes place in Sauron's massive underground prison fortress, opens with Gollum trying to escape it. I forget all the names

  • you have to escape and survive, possibly with the help of other prisoners you encounter

  • Gollum's character is very important - more importantly the friction between Gollum and Smeagol, who are like two entities in the one body. They will both be talking simultaneously, arguing - and the gameplay, choices and story will reflect how the two of them are in conflict but also symbiotically supporting each other

  • the game has many "branching points" in the middle of gameplay where there are two options (e.g. ambush an unsuspecting orc or go past him and make a run for it) and the game has some kind of strange QTE minigame where you try to follow either what Gollum would do (predatory/animalistic) or Smeagol would do (cowardly but more human(e)). It's something akin to "drawing a card from a deck, the cards being slid around a table in front of you". This one I'm not sure about.

  • seems to be split into multiple chapters/acts, each with several big conflicts/tension points

Context:

  • the Middle Earth IP owners were impressed that the team came to them not with An Orc Slaying Game but with A Cool Story Bro, and this fact alone got their foot in the door. But negotiations still took years

  • it's a bit of a departure for Daedelic but they've brought a bunch of new staff on board. The article is mostly an interview - they seem very self-assured about the game and their process

Visuals:

  • visually, it's a new stylistic interpretation of the universe and characters. Not based on the films or cartoons - trying to break free of the film's shackles. It's based on the literature and early post-novel illustrations, combined with modern fantasy art/styl sensibilities

  • tons of concept art in the article - literally no screens except very rough renders.

  • They aren't showing off Gollum yet, but say he's not too like the movie and is more recognisably human. Talk about how bizarre he was in the early illustrations because there was no size reference in the books - he could technically be a giant

  • in terms of next-gen elements, they say it's most exciting in terms of allowing the level designers to keep environments visually open and vertical - no need to funnel players into tiny spaces/roadblocks to load the next area from the HDD

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