In spite of the widely held affection for JK Rowling’s books and the movies, there’s not a lot of love for the assorted videogames that have been spawned by the Harry Potter series. That’s no surprise, though – very little effort seems to have been put into making these Hogwarts-based capers anything but construction kit affairs.
With Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2, it’s far too late to tinker with the formula, and thus Electronic Arts doesn’t bother. Instead, it pulls in an assortment of familiar gaming mechanics, and wraps them around sequences from the film. Most of the game consists of walking along and casting the right spell at the right time, mainly to dispose of a seemingly-unlimited collection of dimwit AI goons. That said, there are a few little extras that tie into key sequences from the movie. But don’t get your hopes up
We suspected things weren’t entirely right with the game when we met Harry for the first time. The game is played in the third person, and Harry simply looked as if he had a perennial bad back. Furthermore, there’s a sluggishness to the controls and the action, which the game never shakes. Granted, visually it’s not bad, and it benefits from having voice talent on hand to lend authenticity. But that’s all layers of gloss – and it doesn’t distract from a very humdrum formula of hiding behind walls, casting spells, and moving on.
Far from spellbinding
To encourage you along the way, you get to hear Harry’s sidekicks Hermione and Ron, complaining and saying “blimey”, respectively. You also get to watch some key moments from the film – so it’s probably best to check that out, before the game spoils it for you.
There is, of course, another way to ensure the film doesn’t get spoilt for you: just skip the game entirely. It isn’t terrible, it’s just a piece of nothing, popped on a disc with a nice Harry Potter cover on it. Dedicated fans? They might like it. Those who prefer playing games? There are better ways to spend your time and money.
- Faithful to the film; good visuals.
- Bland game-design-by-numbers.
It's not the worst Harry Potter game, but the standards are really so low that you shouldn't take that as any meaningful recommendation. Buy LEGO Harry Potter, instead.