The Lord of the Rings: Gollum could have ushered in a new era of The Lord of the Rings-based games. One that had the daring to fill in Tolkien’s gaps, but still showed respect for the source material. The Lord of the Rings: Gollum isn’t that game. While the story is compelling with a great performance from Smeagol/Gollum, the remainder of the game is a woeful mess. While Daedalic’s vision for Middle-earth is filled with artistic beauty, it’s altogether let down by a terrible technical presentation that’s far behind today’s standards. Ultimately, though, it’s the lack of polish and jankiness that is its undoing. From the myriad gameplay issues that bog down the simple mechanics to the mind-numbing crashes capable of hampering progression, there is little about The Lord of the Rings: Gollum that’s polished or enjoyable. The Lord of the Rings: Gollum crafts a compelling story around Gollum and Smeagol, but it fails to craft a polished, stable or enjoyable gameplay experience. Unfortunately, The Lord of the Rings: Gollum isn’t the Precious we’ve been searching for.
Strand is fabulous, some of the campaign missions are truly masterful, and the game remains genuinely fun, but these can’t offset Destiny 2: Lightfall’s shortcomings. Destiny 2: Lightfall is just another filler expansion on the pathway to the final showdown.
God of War Ragnarök is to God of War (2018) as God of War II was to God of War. God of War II may not have changed much mechanically, but it made nuanced improvements to gameplay, story and level design, all while injecting much-needed variety into the enemies and environments.
The Last of Us Part I’s real problem is that The Last of Us Remastered exists and doesn’t provide a substantial reason to choose it over Remastered given its pricing and missing content. The Last of Us remains a timeless classic, but The Last of Us Part I isn’t quite the must-have definitive version of the title.
Destiny 2: The Witch Queen is a good expansion, combining an excellent campaign and raid with a decent content offering, even though not much of it feels exactly new. Destiny 2: The Witch Queen may not be the best overall expansion in Destiny history, but this queen sure does put on a good show while it lasts.