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Gollum’s Elvish DLC is Pretty Cool

The discussion on DLC is always a bit biased, and it’s been the same for the announcement of Elvish-language DLC for the upcoming Lord of the Rings: Gollum game. I think it’s pretty cool.


Elves in the game speak a bit of their own language, Sindarin. Well, purchasing this DLC adds more of it to the game, which is due at the end of May. It’s optional, included in the special edition and beats a random costume or digital art book.

That doesn’t mean it’s amazing value for money, or shouldn’t have been included in the game in the first place. This kind of DLC always has that tinge to it. But that’s doesn’t necessarily make it a bad deal either.

The developers said the increased cost of the DLC – which will also be available seperately – reflects the fact they had to have voice actors in to record it specially, and that those actors needed to be taught how to say the lines correctly. That makes sense to me. People need paying. Would this exist without the additional cost of DLC? We can’t know.

It’s a pretty cool addition to a game that has not been blowing minds since it was first announced. It has been a long time coming – it was announced in March 2019. As with a lot of games, Covid likely played a part in the delays. Some early previews of Gollum were mixed, although as a Lord of the Rings fan I’m holding off on judging it too harshly. At the very least it’s a new Lord of the Rings video game, and those have been few and far between in recent years.

DLC and Gollum

DLC is always going to be a hard sell. It’s funny, everybody makes huge amounts from downloadable content. It makes up a huge chunk of money for platform holders. That’s why there’s so much of it.

But like low-alcohol beer and vegan food, you’re more likely to hear about the backlash online than about the people buying it. It’s one of the joys of social media.

Gollum is no different. The optional DLC doesn’t take anything away from the base game, and adds something to those who want it. I’d probably skip.

But a lot of fans seem angry that the Gollum DLC even exists. Maybe, I guess, because it has a relatively small appeal to those not interested in the languages of Middle-Earth. It’s one of those “and?” things. There will be people who love it. There will be people who get it as an additional feature in the special edition, creating the feel of value. And there will be people who never know it even exists. Those last ones are my favourite.

The point with any DLC-discussion is to buy it if you want to. And at least the developers behind Gollum have tried to do something original. It would have been easy to include a dozen different skins, and charged $20 for each one. And someone would have bought them.


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blank Mat Growcott has been a long-time member of the gaming press. He's written two books and a web series, and doesn't have nearly enough time to play the games he writes about.

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Twitter: @matgrowcott