Games Review: LEGO Harry Potter Years 5-7
(Travellers’ Tales Games, �34.15, tested on PS3)
IT says something when the most comprehensive, in-depth imagining of JK Rowling’s magical world is actually in a video game involving brick-building stylised simulacra of her cast of characters.
But when you think about it, we’ve come to expect nothing less from TT Games, who have consistently delivered a level of quality in their LEGO releases which puts many of the characters featured on a pedestal often lacking from more “serious” adaptations of licensed franchises.
The whimsical nature of the cut-scenes, as usual devoid of dialogue, is evident here as expected, and as always it’s much more fun if you’re playing with a friend, especially with the improved camera management system, which really helps when splitting the screen is necessary to complete a task.
There’s little here which is any different from the dozens of other LEGO games in terms of the basic platforming and puzzle-solving, but then would you really want it to be? Choose your character, and then take your time exploring the entire landscape of each specific world, destroying and building as you go, and making sure you collect as many goodies (usually LEGO studs) as possible en route.
Following on from the first LEGO Potter, here we explore the events of the last three books in the saga (or the final four films, if you will) following the resurrection of Voldemort, including the search for the seven hidden Horcruxes which the Dark Lord’s soul is made of.
One of the major differences in this adventure is the ability to cast a spell without aiming for a specific target, which is very useful, and some new magical skills at your disposal, including Aguamenti (extinguish small fires and make plants grow) and Legilimens (ready characters’ minds to see what you need to do next).
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Other new features including flying over London on broomsticks, walking up walls with suction-cup shoes, and duelling with adversaries using a mix of defensive tactics and the right sort of attacks.
Will it make much sense to anyone who hasn’t seen all the movies or read the books? Perhaps not, but you shouldn’t feel you’re really missing out on too much as there’s still plenty to be enjoyed here in the basic gameplay.
As perhaps a final hurrah for the Harry Potter multi-media experience, this game is a perfect way to enjoy one last visit to the world of the boy wizard, and acts as a fitting farewell to the series.