With the massive failure of Lord of the Rings: Gollum, video games for the Lord of the Rings universe are not in an amazing place. However, there is a light at the end of the tunnel with the announcement of Lord of the Rings: Return to Moria, which should release sometime in 2023. While both games bring separate experiences to the table and are hard to compare, for Lord of the Rings and video game fans alike, almost anything will be a better experience than Gollum. Based on everything we know about Return to Moria, it seems that the new Lord of the Rings game will more than make up for the sour taste that Gollum left in players’ mouths.
As many critics and fans alike have already stated, Lord of the Rings: Gollum was a subpar game. Despite generating some fairly high levels of hype, many players were unimpressed by the game’s boring gameplay loop, linear choices, and many awful bugs. To make matters even worse, as many reviews have stated, Lord of the Rings: Gollum’s many binary choices fail to capture the complexity of such an interesting character. This wouldn’t be a massive issue either if the game were fun, In almost every way, including story, gameplay, and fan appeal, Lord of the Rings: Gollum falls flat on its face.
What Is Lord of the Rings: Return to Moria?
Lord of the Rings: Return to Moria is an upcoming survival-crafting game where players must reclaim the procedural-generated mines of Moria. Familiar faces are here as well, as players are led in their quest by Gimli, the dwarf. This game also takes place after the events of the Lord of the Rings, in the Fourth Age of Middle-Earth. In the game, players will need to explore mines to find resources that will help them build stronger tools and weapons, as well as survive in the harsh environment. On top of this, orcs and trolls lurk in the darkness and will attack if the player makes too much noise.
A Change In Gameplay Might Help Lord of the Rings Video Games
One of the most refreshing aspects of Return to Moria over Gollum is a shift of focus from gameplay to story elements. Primarily, Gollum functioned as a character piece, trying to explore the depth of Gollum’s character and his relations to the universe. However, when playing the game, it’s obvious that gameplay was lower on the list of priorities than telling a story about Gollum. Return to Moria, however, seems like it is already placing focus on both story and gameplay. The survival and exploration-based gameplay of Return to Moria seems like it has more depth than the shallow stealth gameplay of Gollum. Although it’s hard to tell before release, it’s safe to say that Return to Moria will have superior gameplay over Gollum.
Lord of the Rings: Return to Moria Features More Interesting Story Devices
Though the story is often less of a focus in survival games, Return to Moria promises to deliver some lore and history of the dwarves in the Lord of the Rings universe. While Gollum’s genre presented more story and character development opportunities, a survival game will be perfect for world-building and subtle lore drops. Rather than presenting a linear story that players must follow, allowing players to explore Moria at their own pace as they slowly uncover the lost history of the dwarves will create a much more satisfying story overall. Additionally, players will feel like they earned their story progressions in Return to Moria, adding to the sense of discovery.
In the end, Lord of the Rings: Gollum has caused some of the most stalwart Lord of the Rings fans to lose faith in the franchise’s video game series. With amazing games in the past, many people were hoping for some higher quality than what Gollum had to offer. Although it’s impossible to tell before Return to Moria releases, the new Lord of the Rings game seems to be on the right track. Not only that, but hopefully, Return to Moria can learn some lessons from Gollum about what they should and shouldn’t do. As it stands, however, the future of Lord of the Ring’s games may start looking bright and full of exploration and survival-crafting throughout Moria