Jan 9, 3:18pm
From what I gather, the game starts with the player as Gollum in Barad-dûr. You must solve puzzles and overcome other challenges in order to escape. I was originally hoping for a broader scope; perhaps beginning with Gollum leaving the Misty Mountains to pursue Bilbo Baggins.
I haven't heard about that, hmm escaping from Barad-dur? Hehe well now that's daring but minus for lack of book knowledge, nobody escapes from Barad-dur unless they make it clear that Gollum was released or 'allowed to escape' :)
'You speak of what you do not know, when you liken Moria to the stronghold of Sauron,' answered Gandalf. `I alone of you have ever been in the dungeons of the Dark Lord, and only in his older and lesser dwelling in Dol Guldur. Those who pass the gates of Barad-dûr do not return…. '
Hehe jokes aside, the puzzles aspect makes this very intriguing, it's a great idea, a stealth game with solving puzzles. Last game series I played and loved the puzzles was Legacy of Kain particularly Soul Reaver games, but even Defiance had puzzle solving, though those games had no proper stealth mechanic whatsoever. For Gollum it makes sense, he is said to be quite cunning after all, he's a fantastic climber so we can imagine him climbing up walls etc. passing through narrow points and roundabout ways avoiding confrontation and getting caught, maybe opening doors and pathways through some mechanism that you must active mid gameplay, something o the sort. A hard style stealth in a way with getting caught means you're dead.
But indeed the bigger scope would serve better, the Misty Mountains and journey afterwards over Rhovanion wilds, Mirkwood where Gollum was featuring in rumors, doing some nasty things:
‘Light, light of Sun and Moon, he still feared and hated, and he always will, I think; but he was cunning. He found he could hide from daylight and moonshine, and make his way swiftly and softly by dead of night with his pale cold eyes, and catch small frightened or unwary things. He grew stronger and bolder with new food and new air. He found his way into Mirkwood, as one would expect.’
‘Is that where you found him?’ asked Frodo.
‘I saw him there,’ answered Gandalf, ‘but before that he had wandered far, following Bilbo’s trail. It was difficult to learn anything from him for certain, for his talk was constantly interrupted by curses and threats. “What had it got in its pocketses?” he said. “It wouldn’t say, no precious. Little cheat. Not a fair question. It cheated first, it did. It broke the rules. We ought to have squeezed it, yes precious. And we will, precious!”
‘That is a sample of his talk. I don’t suppose you want any more. I had weary days of it. But from hints dropped among the snarls I even gathered that his padding feet had taken him at last to Esgaroth, and even to the streets of Dale, listening secretly and peering. Well, the news of the great events went far and wide in Wilderland, and many had heard Bilbo’s name and knew where he came from. We had made no secret of our return journey to his home in the West. Gollum’s sharp ears would soon learn what he wanted.’
‘Then why didn’t he track Bilbo further?’ asked Frodo. ‘Why didn’t he come to the Shire?’
‘Ah,’ said Gandalf, ‘now we come to it. I think Gollum tried to. He set out and came back westward, as far as the Great River. But then he turned aside. He was not daunted by the distance, I am sure. No, something else drew him away. So my friends think, those that hunted him for me.
‘The Wood-elves tracked him first, an easy task for them, for his trail was still fresh then. Through Mirkwood and back again it led them, though they never caught him. The wood was full of the rumour of him, dreadful tales even among beasts and birds. The Woodmen said that there was some new terror abroad, a ghost that drank blood. It climbed trees to find nests; it crept into holes to find the young; it slipped through windows to find cradles.
‘But at the western edge of Mirkwood the trail turned away. It wandered off southwards and passed out of the Wood-elves’ ken, and was lost.
This stage of his journey is very fascinating and I was hoping we would see some of that. Maybe even some flashbacks to his previous life among the river folk of Gladden. It would make for interesting exploration of his character, if they would go as deep. Gandalf tells a bit about what younger Smeagol did:
‘No one ever found out what had become of Déagol; he was murdered far from home, and his body was cunningly hidden. But Sméagol returned alone; and he found that none of his family could see him, when he was wearing the ring. He was very pleased with his discovery and he concealed it; and he used it to find out secrets, and he put his knowledge to crooked and malicious uses. He became sharp-eyed and keen-eared for all that was hurtful. The ring had given him power according to his stature. It is not to be wondered at that he became very unpopular and was shunned (when visible) by all his relations. They kicked him, and he bit their feet. He took to thieving, and going about muttering to himself, and gurgling in his throat. So they called him Gollum, and cursed him, and told him to go far away; and his grandmother, desiring peace, expelled him from the family and turned him out of her hole.
‘He wandered in loneliness, weeping a little for the hardness of the world, and he journeyed up the River, till he came to a stream that flowed down from the mountains, and he went that way. He caught fish in deep pools with invisible fingers and ate them raw. One day it was very hot, and as he was bending over a pool, he felt a burning on the back of his head) and a dazzling light from the water pained his wet eyes. He wondered at it, for he had almost forgotten about the Sun. Then for the last time he looked up and shook his fist at her.
‘But as he lowered his eyes, he saw far above the tops of the Misty Mountains, out of which the stream came. And he thought suddenly: “It would be cool and shady under those mountains. The Sun could not watch me there. The roots of those mountains must be roots indeed; there must be great secrets buried there which have not been discovered since the beginning.”
‘So he journeyed by night up into the highlands, and he found a little cave out of which the dark stream ran; and he wormed his way like a maggot into the heart of the hills, and vanished out of all knowledge. The Ring went into the shadows with him, and even the maker, when his power had begun to grow again, could learn nothing of it.’
All this is perfect set up.