What future Lord of the Rings games should learn from past titles

Of the many fictional worlds in media, Tolkien’s Middle-earth is among the most popular alongside mega hits such as star wars and the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Due to the huge success of Peter Jackson’s books and film adaptations of Middle-earth, The Lord of the Rings also made the jump to gambling on more than one occasion.

Whether it’s tie-in adaptations of the aforementioned Jackson films or original ideas like 2014’s Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor, the creatures, places, and lore of this world have been home to many well-received video games over the years. The next step is The Lord of the Rings: Gollum, plus a puzzle/adventure title. It is unclear what future games based on The Lord of the Rings are coming, but developers should look to the past for clues on how to approach each project.

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Tribute to the Lord of the Rings movies


Pippin_Frodo_Sam_Merry_Lord of the Rings

It would be difficult to talk about it The Lord of the Rings franchise and not evoke Peter Jackson’s iconic film trilogy. The visuals, music, and performances all became etched in the imaginations of many fans, becoming the definitive version of this world and its characters. This impact and influence can be seen in many other projects, such as the similar design of Gollum in Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor.

Given how popular these movies are with audiences, it would be wise for developers to keep that in mind when tackling a new game. Still, studios should put a different spin and keep things fresh, despite the subtle nods or visual homages to Peter Jackson films.


Create Lord of the Rings games in multiple genres


The Lord of the Rings The Third Age Gandalf Balrog

The Lord of the Rings The series is based in a fantasy world, so it makes sense to adapt it to game genres that fit the description. Action games like Middle-earth: Shadow of War or RPGs like The Lord of the Rings: The Third Age are clear paths the franchise could venture down. However, as great as these titles are, it’s good for a franchise to experiment and try something outside the box.

Future developers could push this concept even further. A first-person shooter for example, in which players control an elf like Legolas with archery skills similar to the Crysis series, could make for a fun twist. Mobile games are also popular, especially in the puzzle genre, so something using the Hobbits’ clever ability to solve puzzles would make for an interesting take on a the Lord of the Rings Game.


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Make plays on major Lord of the Rings characters


Gandalf by Ian McKellen frowning and holding his staff in The Hobbit

When we talk about characters in The Lord of the Rings franchise that would make great standalone games, fans may be quick to suggest Aragorn, Gandalf, or Legolas. That’s for good reason, as these characters are well-rounded, with intuitive problem-solving skills, combat prowess, and deep knowledge of the world around them.

For that reason, it’s odd that the next major video game installment is The Lord of the Rings: Gollum. No matter how good the upcoming title is, it’s an odd choice for a main character given the assortment of more suitable protagonists. A Gandalf video game in the same style as the witcher, or an Aragorn origin story in the style of Assassin’s Creed, could be appealing to gamers.


Borrow from Shadow of Mordor combat


Shadow of Mordor

Rocksteady has reinvented the wheel with its free-flow battle system in the Batman: Arkham series, something that was later incorporated into Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor. Movement agility, counter-mechanics, and brutal kills have seamlessly shifted from capped crusader play to solitary ranger play in the land of Middle-earth. The hack-and-slash systems of previous games were certainly fun, but this new approach was perfect for taking down swarms of orcs and trolls.

Seeing how well it worked in both Shadow of Mordor and shadow of war, it would be worth including this fighting style in future games. Gandalf would naturally have more magic-based attacks mixed into melee, like the witcher series, while Legolas could place a much deeper focus on long-range attacks similar to what is displayed in the recent grave robber Games.


There are many avenues in which future video games based on The Lord of the Rings can go. This universe is full of beautiful vistas, interesting lore, and terrifying monsters, leaving endless sources of inspiration for the studios to dive into.

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