If you don’t load up Harry Potter: Years 5-7 expecting any kind of surprise, then rest assured, there’s no chance of a rug being pulled on you. The LEGO games have, for many years, worked to a core formula, and the fact that this particular title follows on from the earlier Harry Potter Years 1-4 release means that deviations from the norm are not on the agenda.
What you get is, instead, what you were expecting: a fun, family game, that works well in multiplayer (on the same machine, no less), and isn’t short on chuckles.
Leaning closer to the films than the books, it takes the story from Order Of The Phoenix through to Deathly Hallows, and, as always, the characters and locations are impressively rendered in LEGO form. It’s wonderfully faithful to the source material, and comfortably the best attempt yet to transfer the Harry Potter franchise to a videogame (outside of Years 1-4).
Furthermore, where Years 5-7 does improve matters is in its graphics (aided by the darker places the story heads this time around), which are notably smartened up on Years 1-4. And there’s also been an effort made to throw in a few new spells and such like, to keep things fresh. It’s been a constant criticism in recent times that LEGO games are too risk-averse, and there’s at least been an attempt to address that here.
The effort is partly successful, but there’s still no getting away from the fact that most of the game is spent wandering around, doing the same kind of things that we’ve been doing in LEGO games for years.
There’s a charm to it, certainly, and it’s the very epitome of a family-friendly piece of entertainment. The puzzles are solid, there’s a lot to explore, and it’s got a nice layer of polish to it. But it’s so familiar now, that surely, something has to give soon. As it stands, LEGO: Harry Potter Years 5-7 is good, but taking us just a little for granted.
Company: Warner Bros Interactive
- A genuinely entertaining game with broad appeal
- The formula really is beginning to creak
There's a charm to it, certainly, and it's the very epitome of a family-friendly piece of entertainment. The puzzles are solid, there's a lot to explore, and it's got a nice layer of polish to it. But it's so familiar now, that surely, something has to give soon. As it stands, LEGO: Harry Potter Years 5-7 is good, but taking us just a little for granted.