Gollum Players Fight For World Records In 2023’s Worst Game

Gollum Players Fight For World Records In 2023’s Worst Game

Whereas The Lord of the Rings: Gollum could also be one of many worst video games of 2023 to date, even dangerous video games might be enjoyable to speedrun. Actually, typically the very issues that make a sport so irritating for regular gamers—issues like bugs and busted controls—can create thrilling alternatives for glitches, stage skips, and different methods for runners to shave break day a run. And in any case, Gollum’s horrible fame hasn’t stopped two speedrunners from setting world data for Daedalic Leisure’s stealth-action platformer.

Learn Extra: Overview: 2023’s Worst Recreation, Gollum, Has Entered The Chat

Gollum has been making headlines ever since its Might 25 launch. It’s been dragged on-line by critics and players alike for all the pieces from its atrocious controls to its bland person interface. This isn’t a superb sport, y’all, as I state in my evaluation. Regardless of its shittiness, streamers EZScape and WrldWideWasteland have lately set world-record speedruns for the sport.

An off-the-cuff’s method to speedrunning

Ian “WrldWideWasteland” Slater is a member of YouTuber Ethan Klein’s comedy podcast The H3 Podcast and a Twitch streamer with practically 20,000 followers. He’s primarily recognized for his response content material within the Simply Chatting class, however he sometimes streams himself taking part in video video games, as was the case along with his June 10 Gollum livestream. This broadcast additionally occurred to be a world file for the sport, since WrldWideWasteland was the primary individual on file to beat it in a little bit beneath eight hours. (For comparability, How Lengthy To Beat says it takes about 13-15.5 hours to complete the sport. I accomplished Gollum in 24 hours.)

WrldWideWasteland VODs

The run itself wasn’t all that exceptional. WrldWideWasteland was simply attempting to get by way of the sport as rapidly as doable, not utilizing superior speedrunning methods, so he didn’t carry out any wild stage skips or something like that, as a substitute simply following the designated path the sport telegraphs with white and yellow markings. He skipped many of the cutscenes, which shaved off a number of seconds right here and there, and spent a lot of the run leaping and sprinting to extend Gollum’s dismal motion velocity. However between the lengthy intervals of ready for issues to occur—enemy pathing, loading screens, environmental puzzle motion, and many others.—and repeatedly dying as a consequence of its cumbersome controls, it’s a miracle he completed the sport in any respect.

“Enjoyable sport?” WrldWideWasteland stated, repeating a query from chat. “I’m not having a nasty time taking part in this [game]. Surprisingly, I’m having fun with myself.”

Hilariously, he died not lengthy after saying this. At any fee, after struggling by way of the remainder of Gollum, he rolled credit at 7 hours and 55 minutes, placing him on the prime of Speedrun.com’s leaderboard. This was solely non permanent, although, as he tweeted on June 29 that the positioning despatched him an electronic mail stating his sub-8-hour speedrun was toppled by Twitch streamer EZScape. “The worst electronic mail I’ve ever acquired,” he deadpanned, above Speedrun.com’s notification that his file had been bested by a minimum of 4 hours and 39 minutes.

The speedrunning professional has stepped up

EZScape is a full-time speedrunning YouTuber who principally focuses on PS2-era console video games comparable to The Simpsons: Hit & Run and Spyro the Dragon. He’s set world data in varied classes for a lot of video games, together with Dragon Ball Z: Sagas, Full Metallic Alchemist 3: The Woman Who Succeeds God, and Tremendous Smash Bros. For Wii U, with Gollum being his newest first-place feat as he set a brand new world file for the sport with a completion time of just below three hours.

No tea, no shade, as once more, WrldWideWasteland didn’t got down to pull off a very high-level speedrun of Gollum, however EZScape’s run was far more skillful. Whereas doing most of the similar issues as WrldWideWasteland—like leaping and sprinting to get round quicker—EZScape additionally employed a handful of full-level skips by glitching by way of partitions and performing difficult platforming to bypass a number of the designated pathways to set a a lot quicker speedrun time. He died fairly a bit, both by way of incorrect button presses or unlucky bug occurrences, however it was nonetheless an entertaining accomplishment, significantly contemplating how depressing Gollum is to play.

“That is such a shit sport, bro,” EZScape stated about midway by way of his speedrun, instantly after falling to his loss of life. “Like, I don’t understand how else to method that [wall run]. Jesus. The fuck else am I purported to do?”

Whereas WrldWideWasteland was sitting fairly on the prime of Speedrun.com’s Gollum leaderboard for a sizzling minute, EZScape got here by way of with a file time of two hours and 53 minutes, shattering the present file. The most effective half right here is that this time was EZScape’s second try at speedrunning Gollum, wherein he shaved off practically 25 minutes from his authentic 3-hour and 16-minute run.

Even ‘dangerous’ video games deserve speedrunning love

In Twitter DMs with Kotaku, WrldWideWasteland, who described himself as an expert time-waster, stated he thought speedrunning Gollum was a good suggestion as a result of the sport appeared like “probably the largest waste of time but.” As such, he didn’t anticipate anybody else to complete Gollum, not to mention beat his world file.

“I used to be blissfully unaware of EZScape, basking in my world file glory till he appeared out of the shadows haunting me just like the wolf from Puss In Boots,” he stated. “I can’t say his identify 3 times or else he’ll climb out of my PC monitor like Candyman and I’ll be speedrunning to my doom. The man isn’t any joke. I don’t need any Sméagol smoke from [EZScape].”

Whereas Gollum is arguably 2023’s worst sport to date, WrldWideWasteland felt in any other case by the point he beat it. Certain, he stated it appeared depressing at first, however after some time, he discovered a “enjoyable high quality” to Gollum’s gameplay loop. He even went as far as to name it a “murals,” applauding the builders for the “visible magic” of constructing Gollum climb and soar for hours with out exhibiting any dick.

“The best way he scuttles on the bottom in a low body fee along with his little bulging grapefruit eyes and Bosley Hair Restoration greased-up cranium is mesmerizing,” he stated. “[You] seize some ineffective object, get stomped out by an orc, seize one other factor, get smacked, soar someplace, glitch out, get stomped out once more—it’s a soothing hypnotic expertise. Like listening to a meditation playlist of calming ocean sounds, besides as a substitute of ocean sounds it’s the screams of misplaced souls trapped in Hellfire and everlasting damnation.”

WrldWideWasteland could also be carried out with Gollum, although he jokingly steered he “can’t await Gollum 2: Sméagol Strikes Again.” Though a sequel might be not within the playing cards for this emo tackle J.R.R. Tolkien’s hobbit, he actually has no intention of speedrunning the sport once more or trying to dethrone EZScape.

“Defeating EzScape’s Gollum speedrun can be like difficult the satan to a fiddle duel,” he stated. “With each new playthrough, a chunk of you dies. The sport file turns into a horcrux. I don’t suppose I can return to it.”

Screenshot: Daedalic Leisure / Kotaku

EZScape advised Kotaku over electronic mail that as a result of his forte is PS2-era video games, significantly licensed ones, speedrunning Gollum appeared acceptable. When researching the sport to arrange for the speedrun, he stated he stumbled upon WrldWideWasteland’s sub-8-hour run and needed to rectify the file actual fast.

“I wasn’t trolling WrldWideWasteland,” EZScape stated. “I spent weeks routing and glitch-hunting Gollum earlier than doing the speedrun (about 125 hours spent researching and practising). I’ve quite a lot of expertise in speedrunning video games and have a basic commonplace and imaginative and prescient for what I need a run to be earlier than I ever start a run. Often, I don’t even submit my runs, however I noticed his run on the leaderboard and didn’t need individuals who have been enthusiastic about speedrunning the sport to suppose it was 8 hours lengthy. So, I submitted for that purpose and to possibly encourage another speedrunners to choose it up and discover new stuff.”

Whereas EZScape has already crushed his earlier Gollum world file of three hours and 16 minutes, his subsequent objective with the sport is to complete it in 2 hours and 40 minutes. However that’s tough, EZScape stated, as a result of you’ll be able to’t reliably “gauge [the distance] between the place you’re standing and the vacation spot and make an informed soar that may in all probability work out effective” on this sport. And by his estimation, Gollum has “dangerous gameplay, a nasty story, and dangerous efficiency.”

However when requested what makes Gollum a tough speedrun, he stated that, greater than the rest, it’s “simply as a result of janky nature of the controls.” EZScape stated. By way of extra particular challenges a runner tackling the sport should deal with, he provided that “Gollum can get glitched simply by swinging off a pole or he can randomly stumble when leaping up cliffs and in the event you mash soar (which you do fairly often within the run) when that happens he can simply let go. There are such a lot of edge instances and nuances with the mechanics, it simply takes some time to get a sense for them.”

The sport could also be dangerous, however that’s no purpose it doesn’t deserve a stable speedrun in his eyes. Simply one other day on the workplace, as EZScape put it. Speedrunning is not only a problem for him, however a method to showcase his abilities. It’s like fixing a puzzle in an unorthodox manner, which he finds each gratifying and satisfying. He’s acquired his eyes set on Pokémon Emerald after ending up Gollum as soon as and for all.

Learn Extra: Gollum Studio Will Cease Creating Video games After Its Dismal Launch

The Lord of the Rings: Gollum simply ain’t the one in my eyes. For me, the sport’s shittiness—in its enemy AI, controls, and puzzle design—would strip away any enjoyment there may be in breaking it aside to search for thrilling glitches and spectacular stage skips. However I respect the efforts of parents like EZScape, who dedicate a whole lot of hours to even the worst video games to search out magnificence and fascination of their awfulness.


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