Harry’s high jinks lose their magic

Sunday Tasmanian - Tassie Living - - Tech - MIKE WIL­COX mike@ hy­per­ac­tiveg­ames. com

HARRY Pot­ter And The Deathly

Hallows Part 2 may well have been a fit­ting fi­nale to one of the most suc­cess­ful movie fran­chises of all time, but if his­tory has shown us any­thing about movie tie-in video games, they’ve en­dured a pretty dire past, and this game isn’t about to re­but the tra­di­tion.

Fol­low­ing in the foot­steps of the pre­vi­ous game this is an­other third­per­son style, cover-based shooter, which may sound odd for a game all about wiz­ards and magic. How­ever, the shoot­ing me­chan­ics turn out to be a de­cent fit for cast­ing spells and dodg­ing fire-breath­ing dragons.

Aim­ing to address the crit­i­cism hurled at the pre­vi­ous game, the de­vel­oper has en­sured there are no graph­i­cal glitches, and pro­vide a tighter con­trol sys­tem.

One ma­jor flaw still re­mains though, and that’s the overly short length of the game, which can be com­pleted in un­der five hours. On the pos­i­tive side, the com­bat se­quences are in­tense, the over­all vi­su­als are sharp and the tweaked spell cast­ing sys­tem al­lows for greater va­ri­ety in bat­tles and of­fers the free­dom to switch be­tween them more eas­ily than be­fore.

The story in the game plays out like a con­densed ver­sion of the film, ob­vi­ously with a fo­cus on the mem­o­rable bat­tle se­quences. This re­sults in quite a bit of skim­ming over story el­e­ments, and since I haven’t watched or read this fi­nal chap­ter in the Pot­ter saga, it came across as dis­jointed in places.

As men­tioned though, the main cam­paign is in­ex­cus­ably short and lin­ear, which isn’t helped by the re­moval of the ran­dom side mis­sions of the pre­vi­ous game, as dis­tract­ing as they were. These have been re­placed with op­tional chal­lenges in­spired by sec­tions of the main game, which can be un­locked by lo­cat­ing hid­den ob­jects around the lev­els.

Fans will no doubt en­joy dish­ing out magic spells as their favourite Hog­warts’ wizard, at least while the fun lasts, though for the rest of us mug­gles, no amount of magic can save this game from be­ing any­thing but av­er­age.

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