Gollum, 2023’s Worst Game, Just Got A Pretty Big Patch

Gollum stares at baby bird in his cupped hands.

Image: Daedalic Entertainment

The Lord of the Rings: Gollum, one of this year’s worst games, received a massive update on July 27 that addressed multiple issues across all platforms.

Developer Daedalic Entertainment shared the update on the game’s Steam store page, thanking everyone for their patience. Some of the headlining fixes of update 2.2 revolve around performance issues when deep learning super sampling (DLSS), a video rendering technique powered by AI, was turned off. This has been set to “auto” by default to prevent stuttering, primarily on PC. Other big problems included quest markers that would randomly disappear and interactable objects suddenly becoming non-interactable. Both of these issues have been fixed in the patch.

Read More: Review: 2023’s Worst Game, Gollum, Has Entered The Chat

There were plenty of other problems with Gollum, too. The camera, for instance, would get stuck on walls or inside Gollum himself, spin around the environment endlessly, or shake nonstop after certain enemy encounters—all of which have been addressed with update 2.2. Missing environments were put back in place, unfortunate progress blockers—such as one that killed Gollum during the beetle conflict early in the game—were ironed out, “required checkpoints” that weren’t there have been established, and localization issues were fixed. All in all, update 2.2 appears to make Gollum a more playable experience.

Kotaku reached out to Daedalic Entertainment for comment.

Read More: Gollum Studio Will Stop Developing Games After Its Dismal Release

This is all great news. Gollum was universally dragged when it launched on May 25. From its abysmal controls to its bland UI, the game was so derided for all its problems that Daedalic Entertainment not only apologized for the “underwhelming experience” Gollum presented and promised to address the issues, but the development arm of the German studio shut down on June 30, telling German news magazine GamesWirtschaft—and confirming to Kotaku in an email—that 25 of its over 90-person team had been impacted.

The Lord of the Rings: Gollum Update 2.2 Patch Notes

  • Adjusted DLSS default mode from “off” to “auto” to prevent stuttering and performance issues when playing with RTX without DLSS.
  • Resolved a low reproducibility bug where parts of the environment could be missing.
  • Fixed an issue where quest markers could disappear after continuing from the main menu.
  • Fixed an issue where interactable objects become non interactable after restarting.
  • Fixed Bugs in the checkpoint system to improve the titles stability and clear annoying gameplay bugs
  • Corrected the issue of the Bird losing the player’s chosen color in the breeding mission.
  • Fixed the Bell in “Thranduil’s Halls – Cellars” being placed before the player placed it.
  • Resolved a malfunctioning interactable object in “Thranduil’s Halls – Cellars.”
  • Fixed a conditional blocker that caused Gollum to die if restarting during the beetle conflict.
  • Fixed an unresponsive situation where the Pause Menu overlapped with a Game Over screen.
  • Addressed the issue of losing mouse focus when opening settings.
  • Fixed a blocker in the tower of light where the guard could see the player after spawning.
  • Increased the chase radius for the “Cruel Woman” chase to prevent save games where the player cannot keep up anymore.
  • Fixed a locked camera issue in the cart sequence in the “Sewers.”
  • Improved Bird Training Spy Mission and Morning Visits, fixing several bugs.
  • Resolved missing environment issues in “Tower of Light.”
  • Fixed cog wheels spinning in random directions.
  • Fixed nervous hands achievement behavior.
  • Adjusting DLSS mode and sharpness when loading a save from a previous version.
  • Fixed background sequence causing blocker behavior in Sewers.
  • Overall fixes for background sequences.
  • Fixed a Game Over screen in the tutorial when restarting from the main menu during the chase sequence.
  • Fixed a possible bypass in Tower of Light Day 6 that caused a blocker.
  • Fixed a softlock in Shadow Mountains when jumping off a cliff during a checkpoint.
  • Added required checkpoint to Great Halls Low Day 1.
  • Fixed malfunctioning trigger in Beast Pits Day 3.
  • Fixed unresponsive menu issue after quitting from Gamma settings.
  • Unloaded sublevel issue in the Black Pits cart mission fixed.
  • Halls of Grond & Execution chambers – fixed and adjusted rotating wheels.
  • Fixed extra camera shakes.
  • Gollum Groom is now covered correctly by translucency while still respecting DOF and refraction.
  • Fixed possibility to end the Sewers without killing both orcs.
  • Fixed some localization issues.
  • Fix excessive camera rotation during frame drops.
  • Solved the issue of no sound in the cutscene of Cook’s death.
  • Fixed KingsGrove missing sublevel when the escape orcs quest started.
  • Resolved tutorial checkpoint issue in the chase mission.
  • Fixed German conflict menu choice being displayed as French.
  • Fixed several VO subtitle inconsistencies.
  • Fixed Pause Menu malfunctioning after initial load of the game.
  • Refresh animation state when Gollum is pushed by another character in crouch mode.
  • Added missing “Hold” to Food tutorial in German and both traditional and simplified Chinese.
  • Fixed a blocker in Mines Day 2 where the environment would unload before reaching the 3rd tunnel.
  • Redundant collectibles removed for ending levels.
  • Fixed unresponsive puzzle door in Ruins Outside when loading from Main Menu.
  • Fixed blocked progress after the throttle tutorial when restarting from a checkpoint.
  • Fixed Gollum floating at the beginning for Chapter 2.
  • Fixed a softlock in Outer Gardens where Gollum would be detected immediately after spawning.
  • Resolved Gollum staying in the shadow form even after exiting the shadow volume.
  • Fixed softlock in “Queen Cascades” where it’s possible to avoid quest dialog when loading checkpoint.
  • Fixed missing Mell water spot VFX when loading checkpoint.
  • Fixed missing Grashneg lantern issue when loading checkpoints in Shelob’s Lair.
  • Fixed unresponsive map / collectible screen when spamming open / close buttons.
  • Improved NPC navigation around Gollum.
  • Fixed a conditional blocker when returning from haze in Haze Gate.
  • Kings Grove – fixed incorrect quest marker when loading checkpoint.
  • Fixed wrong spawn location, direction, and missing quest marker on a specific checkpoint in the Finale.
  • Fix for wall running not always triggering correctly.
  • Riverpath fixed invisible 2 elves’ issue at the end of the level.
  • NorthTower flying platform room improved visual effects.
  • Fixed a conditional blocker in Breeding Hills when the spymission NPC group became immobile.
  • Added a missing intuition path and relocated a wrongly placed intuition path in Riverpath.
  • Fixed malfunctioning door hole in Ruins Outside when transitioning from the Main Menu.
  • Fixed incorrect visit number in Cells when returning with the lights to the cook.
  • Fixed NPCs in Tower of Light Day 9 not being aware of Gollum when returning from the Main Menu.
  • Fixed punctuation in Lore Compendium.
  • Resolved the issue of input hints flickering.
  • Fixed the title remaining unresponsive when opening the Pause Menu while selecting Gollum or Sméagol before the inner debate.
  • Synced data for DLSS Support, setting Fidelity fx2 to 0 when DLSS Support is false.
  • Fixed blockers in North Tower when reloading a checkpoint and trying to interact with the winch.
  • Added missing localization files.
  • Fixed fluctuating groom when the game is paused.
  • Fixed an issue in Bird Breeding where the inquisitor wouldn’t move or play the dialogue when reloading a checkpoint.
  • Resolved an unresponsive door puzzle dialog blocker in Ruins Outside.
  • Fixed the issue where falling due to stamina loss while turning on a bar prevented Gollum from climbing afterward.
  • Fixed missing environment issue in Kings Garden on the 2nd visit.
  • Fixed misplaced damage volume in Kings Garden.
  • Discarded input when the controller disconnects.
  • Added an input to close the message window of the disconnected device.
  • Fixed the bush not restoring its state after reloading a checkpoint.
  • Resolved missing environment in Mirkwood Chase when loading a checkpoint.
  • Fixed a conditional blocker in Mines when restarting after picking up the last tag.
  • Fixed the delivery bridge environment in Sewers when reloading.
  • Adjusted the wrong Grashneg scale in Sewers.
  • Fixed infinite Game Over screen in Construction Low when sweeping through a specific checkpoint.
  • Fixed the wrong state of the door when transitioning from Tower of Light to Bird Breeding.
  • Resolved incorrect camera spline in Shelob’s Lair during the 2nd chase.

Fortnite Has An FFXIV-Style Raid Boss, And It Looks Pretty Wild

Fortnite isn’t the same battle royale it was when the game first introduced the mode in 2017, having gradually become home to a plethora of pop culture crossovers and empowering editing tools for creators. Now, one of those creators has transformed the popular game into an MMO—like with serious Final Fantasy XIV vibes, complete with multiple classes and a huge raid boss.

Read More: Veteran FPS Devs Form New Studio To Make Games Inside Fortnite

Creator Sigirs uploaded a boss battle map to Fortnite on August 9 that you can access by punching in a special island code. The “Doomsday” encounter pits you and up to five other players against a massive, armor-plated God known as “A-283 – ‘The god of exiles’” that’s giving Necron from Final Fantasy IX. It’s an intimidating but cool-looking fight, and you get to select one of three available classes to take it on: Assault, Support, and Vanguard.


As you can see in Fortnite YouTuber RoyalMishMash’s video above, The God of Exiles has a relatively large moveset centered around big area-of-effect (AOE) attacks and laser beams, all coming from its fists. Talk about throwing hands. RoyalMishMash died here and there while taking the boss on solo, but death isn’t the end. According to the boss battle map’s description on Fortnite’s website, you can retry from a checkpoint, though The God of Exiles does replenish its health every time.

Selecting the Assault class—which comes with two rifles—RoyalMishMash hopped in to duke it out with The God of Exiles. After a couple of deaths, RoyalMishMash’s video came to an end, so they didn’t get to see the conclusion of the boss battle. However, Twitter user Mlick—who challenged A-283 with a full team of six—posted what they claimed is the “world’s first recorded Fortnite Doomsday raid clear.”

In Twitter DMs with Kotaku, Mlick said it took him and his friends about nine tries and “a lot of revives” to take The God of Exiles down because they aren’t too used to raiding and the boss was challenging.

“Usually, those large warnings MMOs have to warn players of attacks are useful from a top-down view, but from third person, it led to us finding ourselves confused. We memorized most of its attacks later on,” Mlick said. “Also, there was a bug that prevented a full party from finishing the boss if anyone died. We either had the choice of doing a no-death run or resetting whenever somebody screwed up. Was that a bug? Or is that the raid life?”

While those questions linger in Mlick’s mind, he was quick to point out that the raid boss was quite enjoyable despite some minor issues.

“[One of my friends raiding with me] was the one to find the creative map and we gave it a shot on a whim and had a lot of [fun with] it,” Mlick said. “You can hear me freaking out in the original video because I was caught off guard by its quality. I wouldn’t change much, other than player collision; we kept on running into each other when trying to rotate. We could tell that the creator [Sigirs] has a lot of love for the genre, and used their talent to show it.”

In Twitter DMs with Kotaku, Sigirs, a Japanese indie game maker using AI for translations, said they use Unreal Engine in their freelance work and are also building their own high-speed 3D action game, Link: The Unleashed Nexus RH. This experience helped them create The God of Exiles boss fight which, Sigirs said, took about a month to conceptualize and finalize.

“I tried to use pre-existing effect assets, but I couldn’t transfer them to [Unreal Editor for Fortnite] properly,” Sigirs said. “It was a bit of a hassle, so I decided to learn about UEFN’s effect feature, ‘Niagara,’ and create my own. I then spent some time implementing effects and revising features. So really, it was the same as my regular game development process. I used Blender to create the boss’s model and animations and built the logic in UEFN. I’ve dabbled a bit in [desktop music], so I tried making the [background music] myself. I relied heavily on sample materials, though! Still, it was fun since it’s a genre I don’t usually work on. I’ve made it so that different [musical] phrases play depending on the boss’s phase.”

Sigirs said The God of Exiles’ punishing difficulty was a result of them “solo test playing” too much, with them admitting that the continuous punches in the latter phase “might have been a bit too much.” While this raid is their first Fortnite creator map, Sigirs took inspiration from more than just Final Fantasy XIV and has plans to create more in the future.

“I’ve played a lot of FFXIV and have dabbled in Destiny 2,” Sigirs said. “I love the feeling of cooperating with friends in raids. I’ve also seen such raid battles in [user-generated content] like VRChat and Roblox. I thought that people would appreciate having such serious PvE in Fortnite, so I’m really happy that many people get to see my content! I’ve come up with various genre ideas, and I want to keep creating maps in the future—including a sequel to this raid battle.”

Read More: Fortnite’s New Unreal Editor Has Limits On What Fans Can Make, Monetize

While The God of Exiles just dissolving in the end may make for an anticlimactic finish, the hype in Mlick’s video is palpable. There’s overlapping chatter, screaming, disbelief that they finished it, and celebratory shouts of “yes!” as the boss’ body fizzled into nothingness. It’s glorious to witness, recalling raids from other MMOs like Black Desert Online and Final Fantasy XIV in which the tension of these boss encounters can be all-consuming. It’s just one more way in which it’s wild to see what Fortnite has become as of late.

Update: Added comments from The God of Exiles Fortnite map creator Sigirs.

This John Wick-Inspired Killer Bean Game Looks Pretty Cool

There’s a trailer taking X, formerly Twitter, by storm of a coffee bean armed with two pistols engaging in acrobatic shootouts that’s giving Max Payne meets Just Cause with a bit of GTA sprinkled in, and I’m totally obsessed.

Dubbed Killer Bean, the game is billed as a first-/third-person shooter with procedurally generated elements that affect everything from the characters to the story itself. Based on the Steam description, the project sounds ambitious.

“You are Killer Bean, a rogue assassin who takes out the trash in this world, one bullet at a time. The procedurally generated story changes every time you start a new campaign in this first-person/third-person, roguelike shooter,” the description reads.

Killer Bean

Playing as Jack “Killer” Bean, you were betrayed by the Shadow Agency. Thirsting for revenge, you set out to murk the people who backstabbed you, employing bullets, punches and kicks, and acrobatic slow-motion moves to get your vengeance. It’s like John Wick, but instead of playing as Keanu Reeves, you’re…Keanu Bean. Pun aside, Killer Bean uses procedural generation in an exciting way: Everything changes when you play, according to its description.

“Every time you start a new single-player campaign, everything changes. The locations change, the missions change, the characters change, the bosses change, and most of all, the story changes. Characters who you trusted before, may turn against you. Enemies who tried to kill you, may end up helping you. Simple missions can turn into deadly traps. No two campaigns are the same.”

That sounds fascinating if it’s executed well, especially considering its GTA/Max Payne/Just Cause vibes. I mean, watch that above trailer one more time. Killer Bean starts by butterfly twisting into a James Bond-looking sports car and immediately finds himself in a shootout with motorcycle-riding beans before jumping out in slow-motion to blast up another bean. It’s amazingly ridiculous, especially as you watch Killer Bean windmill to dodge bullets then take control of an attack helicopter to destroy some industrial-looking bridge. I’m not totally sure what’s happening here, but I’m all for it regardless.

While this may be the first big-budget Killer Bean game, it isn’t the first to come out. Based on two short animations from 1996 and 2000, as well as a feature-length film from 2008, the franchise saw the side-scrolling action platformer Killer Bean: Unleashed release in 2012 for Android and iOS devices. I played a little bit of it, and yeah, it’s pretty ridiculous. It’s got in-app purchases (that you can circumvent by watching ads), clunky touchscreen controls, and a plethora of levels to shoot through. It isn’t exactly an enjoyable experience, but it does provide a semblance of an idea of what the big Killer Bean game might play like.

Killer Bean doesn’t have a release date, but you can wishlist it on Steam now.


Diablo 4’s Next Season Looks Pretty Gruesome In New Trailer

A demon gets its head hacked off in Diablo IV's Season of Blood announcement trailer.

Screenshot: Blizzard / Kotaku

During Gamescom’s Opening Night Live presentation, Blizzard took to the stage alongside host Geoff Keighley to announce that Diablo IV’s next update, Season of Blood, will start on October 17—just in time for Halloween.

Much like Diablo IV’s current update, Season of the Malignant, Season 2 will introduce five new and returning endgame bosses, and will also come with changes to renown rewards, gem and stash storage, and resistance and status effects. While the studio didn’t divulge details on what those updates will be just yet, Blizzard came through with a new trailer showing off what to expect come this October.


Read More: There Are Officially Too Many Video Games Launching In October 2023

If you thought that looked kinda gruesome, well, I’m right there with you. With vampire hunter Erys at your side, it’ll be up to the two of you to put an end to a new threat roaming the lands of Sanctuary. Erys is voiced by Gemma Chan, who you might recognize from Captain Marvel (Minn-Erva), Raya and the Last Dragon (Namaari), Crazy Rich Asians (Astrid), and Eternals (Sersi), among other films and TV shows. Revealing that this is her first video game performance, Chan, alongside Diablo general manager Rod Fergusson, briefly talked about the “badass warrior companion” Erys, some “cool vampiric powers” at your disposal, and a “big bad vampire lord” you’ll face at Season of Blood’s end.

Read More: Diablo IV Is About To Make Loot Way Better For New Characters

But that’s not until October 17. For now, Season of the Malignant is still going on, and unfortunately, things haven’t been going well. After a controversial change to player power level, the studio addressed the community by promising to not make classes weaker, which Blizzard is aware leads to a “not fun” experience overall. Here’s hoping things go better with Season of Blood.


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