Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows part 2
With Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 the long series of Harry Potter games from EA comes to an end. Covering the events of the book and movie some-what true to the story, this game builds on what Part 1 had already started. While other Harry Potter games have shown a puzzle style game, the most challenging decision you are faced with here, is where do I duck and shoot from next?
Time Crisis play style – Harry Potter setting and story.
The different missions guide you through the story of the movie and book, where you mostly control Harry and his wand. With the wand equipped you switch between the spells available and aim to shoot the Death Eaters. As you advance through the game more and more spells become available, and towards the end you have somewhat of an arsenal to choose between. The well-known spells have, however, been revamped a bit to suit the play style of the game. On several occasions Harry is required to provide cover for Hermione while she casts alohomora – which by the way is now a spell which takes nearly 5 minutes to cast and can open any door you can imagine. This kills the magic for me, if the designers were adamant that these sort of events needed to be in the game, they could have made them more realistic and true to the story and universe. Other missions are played as gauntlet missions, where you are running from evil things chasing you. These are frustrating to say the least, with the Wii handling maneuvering left and right quickly while having to also control your aim and shoot behind you – is really challenging. While I chose the word challenging, I do think it’s down to poor game design; it shouldn’t be elements like this that define the difficulty of the game. I remember thinking to myself while playing this rated 12 game – could a 12 year old actually play this?
Waving your wand about firing magic bolts at Death Eaters is quite fun at first, but due to how little creativity there has been put into designing the mission, you quickly realize it’s the same thing over and over – just a different setting. One thing I did like about the game was how you were able to play different characters. While it mostly didn’t make sense what the characters were doing in the missions, it was still a nice break to get to play characters like Professor McGonagall or Seamus Finnigan. It provides an attempt at displaying the story from their point of view, which isn’t included in the books. While skeptic of how true to the story some of it is, I actually found it quite interesting. The gameplay sadly doesn’t alternate with the different characters, it’s still mostly duck and cover and the gauntlet style. One mission really stood out to me as shocking; you play Seamus Finnigan planting explosives under a bridge to stop the Death Eaters from intruding during the big Battle of Hogwarts. In what magical world do wizards and the likes need to plant explosives? Why does Seamus have to manually run around and plant each of them? None of this has any resemblance to the world which the Harry Potter books and films portray.
At its original price of €36 I find it shocking that you get 4 hours of game play out of this at the very most. The 4 hours is obviously including cut scene events and waiting around for your AI teammates to catch up, so in reality you might have 3 and a half hours of actual game play for €36 – appalling.
What’s next? FPS Harry Potter?
While a PC FPS of Harry Potter actually doesn’t sound that bad, I always thought that if these games were to evolve from the puzzle style, next step would definitely be an MMO of some sort. I guess you could argue that EA have tried to think outside the box and take a new approach to this iconic telling. If that is the case, they have failed – or should have put a lot more effort into the design of the game.
The game doesn’t capture that magic feeling of the Harry Potter universe at all; none of the spells are as you remember them from the books and movies, random events have been added for no apparent reason other than “oh we need something other than duck behind random object and shoot”.
The words on the back of the case read “Wield powerful magic and engage in epic battles in your quest to destroy the Horcruxes and Voldemort himself” – I think the people at EA have completely misunderstood what the word “epic” means. This game lacks everything that defines the Harry Potter world; creativity, atmosphere and magic.
As a vivid fan of the Harry Potter books and movies, this game is almost insulting to the magical world created by JK Rowling. Part 2, as well as Part 1, seems like a far-fetched, half-assed attempt to milk whatever profit is left in the Harry Potter brand.
I had the opportunity to play the Ps3 version – while I didn’t use the Move functionality, I liked how the game played out. I agree with a lot of pointers, like;
+ Switching characters
- Puzzle element missing
- Too much FPS like
- Lack of playhours
My rating; 7/10