EA Bright Light now has a history with the Harry Potter franchise, this being their third shot at it. Considering this is the final chapter in the series, EA bright light have to be feeling the pressure mounting from the ever growing J.K. Rowling army.
Before we go further, let’s all understand spoilers may follow. If you are one of the few that have yet to find out how the series ends, you’ve been given fair warning.
Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows Part 2 is a 3rd person wand shooter, relying heavily on duck and cover mechanics. The actual gameplay mechanics feels like Mass Effect or Gears Of War, however instead of firing a gun or rifle, I’m using a wand. The games graphics stand up, with great lighting effects and detailed environments. The Characters are recognizable, albeit Harry and Ron look a little off. The way the characters run looks rather genuine, and they did a great job at capturing the look and feel of the movies in the game.
There are 2 main modes: Story mode and Challenges. The story mode is where you’ll spend a majority of your time. The game kicks off exactly where Part 1 left off, Voldemort taking the elder wand, with Harry, Ron and Hermione still on a quest to destroy the Horcruxes. You first incarnate Harry as the group heads to Gringotts Wizarding Bank to get Helga Hufflepuff’s cup, the 4th Horcrux. Throughout the rest of the game, you get to play as most of the fan favourites; everyone from Ron and Hermione to Molly Weasley and Seamus Finnigan. The games plot takes liberties upon the source material, however this may have been done to reflect the movie.
The first spell you start off with is “Stupefy”, every time you fire your wand, your crosshair widens into a larger radius, and makes your shots more inaccurate. Something I found more tedious than interesting. The fact that the further you are from your target the less damage you inflict added to the irritation. Aside from this spell, through the duration of the game, you’ll add 6 more spells to your inventory; 5 offense, 1 defense. The defensive spell is the most useless of the bunch, having only really used it when first introduced because I was forced too. There’s a lag to it, it takes a few seconds for the shield to deploy, and by then, the enemy’s energy bolts have already had the time to hit you and damage you.
I actually really enjoyed the way you switch from weapon to weapon, pressing the x,y,b buttons, and double clicking them for the stronger spells. I did at times get lost in the amount of clicks during the more intense battles, and finding myself casting a disarm spell, as opposed to the explosive spell I was expecting. The enemy AI is really good at times, making for intense battles, and then at other times, it completely falls apart. You can watch someone think they are in cover when they are in plain sight.
The most frustrating part of the game comes in the form of chase scenes, where whichever hero you are playing has to run away from an explosion, or a wizard. You also have to avoid objects, while shooting at the wizard. I found these parts to be the most frustrating, having to start over and over again, because of the previously mentioned widening crossfire, as well as it wasn’t always clear exactly what I had to shoot at, or what exactly it was accomplishing. There’s one instant in particular, where you don’t have to shoot at the pursuer at all, as you’d expect to, because that’s what you had to do every other time. I started this part over about 10 times, until I by chance hit an empty suit of armor, watched it fall, and noticed I progressed further than I had earlier. I shot at other furniture and things on the wall, and then figured it out. But nothing ever indicated me to shoot at the stuff on the walls, and to make it even more confusing, the wizard is impossible to spot in the smoke, and every once in a while your aim will turn red to mark an enemy.
As the game progresses the cut scenes get shorter and shorter, and the game sort of starts lacking on the story. I’m not sure if this was done on purpose, or just the sign of a rushed production. It could have been done because Warner wanted to keep most of the scenes fresh for the movie that opens 3 days after the North American release of the game, or because they had less than a year to throw this game together. This would certainly explain the lackluster final boss, it’s a joke really. You keep your crossfire centered on Voldemort for a few seconds, and eventually you win, a 15 second epilogue, and credits roll. The game is also short, lasting a disappointing 5 hours.
The challenge modes are just broken down segments of the game to a timer. Set the best time, and go to the leaderboards to see where you match up. Something to try and keep you a little busy with this game after you finish the campaign. But if you’re not a big fan of leaderboards, then there’s not a whole lot to come back for.
The lack of Multiplayer is staggering. It’s such a missed opportunity to not have given an online multiplayer, a mock Horde mode with a harry potter flavouring could have been really fun. This is another indication that they may have rushed out the title to meet a deadline.
You’d think that with EA Bright Light’s third shot at a harry potter game, they would have learnt from their mistakes, and service the fans with the conclusion they deserved. They made a few improvements, but overall the game falls short of all expectations. The short campaign with the lack of emphasis on story is disenchanting. If the game had a multiplayer mode, it would almost be worth shelling over the cash for the game, without it though; it remains a rental at best.
Release date : 2011-07-11
Publisher : EA Games
Developer : EA Bright Light
Gameplay : Shooter
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