To communicate the extreme ambiguity and the split personality of Gollum/Sméagol defining the gaming experience. One more important requirement was to show Gollum differently than in the movies.
Gollum’s existence is a constant and fierce struggle for survival. He’s quite good at it: despite their antagonism, his ‘halves’ can work together towards a common goal, making him a deadly adversary. To underline the duality of the central character, we used the interplay of light and shadow.
The setting (a huge, dimly lit cave) suits this purpose ideally. Plus, the soundscape of the cave adds to the effect: there are no environmental sounds to drown out the internal monologue of Gollum/Sméagol which is in sharp contrast with his/their actions.
This trailer is full CGI, with lots of effort put into facial animation which allowed us multiple close-ups. Gollum’s grimaces and the glint in his eyes really matter as there’s a sort of personal relationship between him and those he kills — he’s not a protagonist of a slasher game who dispatches enemies in droves en passant. Gollum is sneaky, malicious, and inventive and the action taking place in the video illustrates this. We haven’t really seen the best (the worst) of this character in the movies and the trailer hints that this is what you can see in the game.