Friday, December 2, 2011

Lego Harry Potter: Years 5-7 Impressions

I don't know about everyone else out there but I'm a little tired of seeing a new Lego video game come out every year, whether it's Batman, Indiana Jones, Harry Potter or Star Wars. The last one I actually enjoyed enough to consider buying it was the last Lego Star Wars, The Clone Wars, but there are so many. The developer who has done the majority of these games is Traveller's Tales and they have done a fine job in general, just not great. People generally enjoy the games just not enough to buy them or really get interested, especially since there was four Lego video games that came out in this last year alone! Anyways, the newest one has a demo on PC, Xbox 360 and PS3. It came out on November 11th for damn near every platform and it got pretty decent reviews, most seem to agree that it's generally fun.

Lego Harry Potter: Years 5-7 takes after the last section of the Harry Potter books/movies, but it doesn't seem to be 100% based on them. They do take liberties and seem to loosely follow the preconceived storylines. The demo shows off a section from The Deathly Hallows, part 1, that is all about the Lovegoods house and the storybook about the three items of power. In typical Lego fashion there isn't any actual dialogue just dialogue noises that sound like they could be made by some squirrels, but it makes clear that the game is about other things than the story. There is quite a bit to find and build around the house and in the small area outside of it. There are many secrets as well, most of which you can find with the three characters they give you, Harry, Ron and Hermoine, but like most Lego games you need to unlock other characters to find everything. You have a big selection of spells in the demo to choose from for each character and it's a bit annoying to deal with. They don't have any explanations or names for any of the spells, only pictures for you to figure out what they might do. Some of them are simple enough, water spell for instance, but there are others that I never quite figured out or had to use. Thankfully when you need to use a spell for some particular challenge it lightly highlights the spell in your selection wheel.

The first portion of the demo had to do with the house, which was good fun but nothing new compared to previous games, while the second portion gives you control of the three brothers from the book of the Deathly Hallows. This portion of the demo starts out promising, stripping your characters of spells and giving them each one unique ability based on whether they are the brother with the Elder Wand, Cloak of Invisibility or Resurrection Stone. The whole time the brothers are trying to evade Death for as long as they can with their unique items of power. Unfortunately after the first encounter with Death the level becomes very repetitive. You essentially do the same thing three or four times in a row in order to avoid getting killing by Death, ending with all of the brothers eventually dieing and the game returning to our three heroes. That's where the demo ends, it's pretty short, lasting about thirty minutes if you take your time. Graphically speaking the game looks pretty good, probably the best looking Harry Potter I've seen, specifically the second section with Death.

If you are looking to see what the newest Lego Harry Potter is all about then check out the demo on Xbox 360, PS3 or PC. Just like every other Lego video game in the last couple years it looks to be solid and fun singleplayer, and coop, but it really doesn't seem to do anything new or exciting. One good thing about these games is that they are often on sale and generally cost $40 new. For more check out the main website and demo page. Thanks for reading.
Main Website:
PC Demo Page

If you feel like watching the demo, here is a good chunk 

-Written by Sean Cargle


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