Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 – The PS3 Attitude Review
Harry Potter is a franchise that is worth over $15 billion. 7 books with a number of translations exceeded by only the bible, and 8 films that grossed nearly $7 billion alone and a game franchise that revolutionised the gaming industry from the ground up.
Well, maybe that last part isn’t so true.
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 is the final game in the series and was developed by EA Bright Light. The gameplay was designed with complaints about Part 1 in mind. The game is linear, has no side missions and is 100% combat all the way through.
As a result, the linear story and repetitive gameplay combine to emphasise the lack of spells which interact with the environment. Effectively, this game is just a stylised 3rd person cover shooter; all spells are simply different weapons.
The advantage of setting a game in a magical universe is the ability to create unusual combat; much like the duels featured in Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. EA Bright Lights choice to make all the spells into guns is lazy and we’re frankly astonished that the decision ever got made.
From stupefy as a pistol, to impedimenta as rockets, the spells are as unimaginative as the hoards of faceless Death Eaters and Snatchers which block your way to the next hoard of faceless Death Eaters and Snatchers.
That’s all the levels consist of, and in a desperate attempt to stretch the game out, the missions last far too long, ensuring that you’ll be bored of it about halfway through.
Every so often the levels culminate in a boss battle with increasingly recognisable characters, featuring exactly the same gameplay as the rest of the game; except against one person with a bar of health.
There are also collectible Deathly Hallows symbols and Prophecy Orbs to collect throughout, which unlock playable characters and challenge environments for the Challenge Mode. However, the placement is obvious and unimaginative, and they only serve to slightly break up the heavy focus on combat in the game.
To demonstrate the capabilities of the Move in this game, take a look at this short video:
We think you’ll agree; not even the Move could save this game.
If you’re hoping that the story might save this game, then you’re out of luck. Things just don’t seem to make sense in this game.
To begin with, the spells don’t do what they do in the books, or even the films. Expelliarmus is supposed to knock an opponent’s wand out of their hand, disarming them. Here, it blasts through an enemy’s Protego shield.
In one level, you play as Seamus Finnegan travelling under the Wooden Bridge, placing magical charges to blow it up. Magical charges simply don’t make sense, and it serves to demonstrate the developer’s lack of attention to story. It may be one of the most well-known in the world, but that’s still no excuse.
Apparation, on the other hand, is a handy feature during gameplay. Allowing you to seamlessly transition into cover, it’s a crying shame that most of it takes place inside Hogwarts. Where one cannot apparate.
The cutscenes don’t give justice to any of the characters either, with story elements, dialogue and character development almost none-existent. What the game loses from bad gameplay, isn’t helped by an incomprehensible story.
The bottom line is; whether you’re a Harry Potter fan or not, you probably don’t need to play this game unless you’re a fan of repetitive gameplay and a story that doesn’t make sense even to the most seasoned fan, or you simply want to complete your collection.
It’s a shame that a franchise with the such potential had to end this way, but now that the main story is complete, it leaves room for games outside the timeline of the books. And if Harry Potter: Quidditch World Cup could get made, who knows what the future could hold?