Game Review: Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows Part 1 (PS3)
Release: November 16th, 2010
Genre: Action/Fantasy/Third Person
Developer: Electronic Arts
Available Platforms: PS3, Xbox 360, Wii, Nintendo DS, PC
ESRB Rating: Teen
Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows: Part 1 the video game is the ninth game of the series to be released (this includes the movie games and Lego Harry Potter: Years 1-4 and the Quidditch video game that was released). This game continues the story of Harry Potter as he continues to search for a way to stop Lord Voldemort, and save the wizarding world once and for all. The game follows closely to the book and more to the movie as well.
In Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows: Part 1, you play as Harry Potter in what seems to be a third person style shooting game. You will be following closely to the book and movie as you hunt down the Horcruxes (objects that contain pieces of Voldemort’s soul) and try to destroy them so that he will lose his power and ultimately be able to be defeated. Throughout the game you will have many styles of gameplay to endure, whether it is stealth style situations where you have to hide under the cloak of invisibility and not be seen (failing means restarting), or having to hold out and defeat waves of enemies. The gameplay is pretty straight forward and other then just doing the regular objectives of each level, there are several different collectibles you can find throughout the game: The Daily Prophet, which is a basically the New York Times for Wizards, and the Quibbler, which is the underground newspaper that informs you of what is really going on in the world. By collecting these you can go into the collectibles menu and actually read the articles that they contain, which gives you more backstory to what is going on in the Harry Potter universe. There are two other collectibles in the game as well that you can find: Potterwatch, which is a radio station that allows you to hear clips of news updates whenever you find them, and lastly the Deathly Hallow symbols, which really don’t do anything other than awarding you with a trophy/achievement if you get them all.
There is more to the Harry Potter game then just playing through the story, though. Every other level, you will get a break from playing through the main story and play 3 side missions, which usually involve either rescuing Muggles (Humans who can’t use magic), a “survive waves of enemies” mini-game, or lastly a mini-game where you have to protect other wizards and fight off enemies. An interesting thing about the side missions you can do is that you can also find the collectibles during those as well, which I found out the hard way when I missed a couple of them. And aside from that there are challenges, ranging from 3 categories of difficulty that you can do and post your records online for your friends who have the game to compare to. The game starts off easy (as do the side missions) and at times later on it gets very difficult if not borderline impossible it seemed. There are tons of enemies familiar to the series, and a few that aren’t, such as evil wizards in street clothes. And it seems that although there is a good 8-10 spells in the game, you really will only use about 2, as well as items you can use, from exploding potions to darkness potions that cover the area in darkness so you can escape and hide. All and all it’s shaping up to be a great game if you can get past a few minor issues with the controls.
Some things about the game that are great and make it worth playing are the voice acting, which is spot on except for a few times when Hermione’s voice sounds a bit off. The environmental detail is great, and the areas are the best I’ve seen in a Harry Potter game yet, as well as the character details; even the smallest details are noticeable in cutscenes and during gameplay. The fact that they put a “lock on” button in the game makes it a lot easier when dealing with bad camera controls and aiming, I would go on to say that it really could be the saving grace of this game for me. And the challenges make the game fun if you are competitive with your friends who are also Harry Potter fans, but at times they can be frustrating.
But, with everything positive about this game there is something negative. Although I do enjoy the gameplay, the controls when aiming your wand are bad, even at times with the lock on being used, you still will have the camera angle badly positioned so you can’t see an enemy as well as the fact that at times the Protego (protection spell) doesn’t really protect you or help at all. As well as the lack of a HUD menu at all makes it so you can’t tell what spell you have equipped or how much health you have, although it is easy to tell when you run out of health because as you take damage the screen starts to go gray. But that’s really all the negative things I can say about the game, even though they are major issues because the issues with the controls really start to affect the fun of the game later on when it gets more difficult. Other then that no other issues that I have found.
So with all those things taken into consideration Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows: Part 1 is a great game for those who are fans of the series and have played the past games. It succeeded in what I got it for, to hold me off until the movie and allow me to immerse myself into the lure and world of Harry Potter even more. For those who haven’t played the game I would say take your time with it and allow yourself to get use to the controls a bit before giving up on it because it is the best game in the Harry Potter series and shouldn’t be passed up