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The Lord of the Rings: Gollum is now the worst-rated game of 2023, according to review aggregation sites Metacritic and OpenCritic.
Following several delays, co-publishers Nacon and Daedalic Entertainment released the game today for PC, PlayStation and Xbox consoles, with a Nintendo Switch version scheduled to follow later this year.
Metacritic’s best games of 2023 rankings include 296 titles released so far this year.
Lord of the Rings: Gollum’s developer says it “deeply regrets” delivering an “underwhelming experience” and pledged to improve the game.
The PC version of The Lord of the Rings: Gollum currently sits at No.295 with a Metascore of 43, one place behind Clive ‘N’ Wrench, which has a Metascore of 50.
Other versions of the game aren’t included in Maetacritic’s rankings, which exclude titles with fewer than seven critic reviews.
Gollum also ranks bottom of OpenCritic’s list of eligible games released this year, at No.213 with a score of 40.
Taking place in parallel to the events described in The Fellowship of the Ring, Gollum is a fantasy action adventure game in which players embark on a quest to retrieve the One Ring.
It has an original story that takes players to several regions of Middle-earth and features familiar faces from J.R.R. Tolkien’s books.
The Guardian’s review labelled Gollum “a derivative, uninteresting and fundamentally broken stealth action adventure that fails to capture anything interesting about Tolkien’s fiction.”
“The Lord of the Rings: Gollum is a broken mess of a game… with outrageously dated level design, clunky controls, a severe lack of polish, muddy and unimpressive graphics, and a dull story”, according to Push Square.
And PCGamesN said: “From exhausting, repetitive gameplay to a poorly constructed narrative, this is a piece of Middle-earth you should never explore.”