Yet another installment of a LEGO game from developers Travellers Tales, who seem to be the masters of and known for their LEGO game adaptations. If you’re familiar with previous LEGO games, then you’ll know what to expect from this game. If you’re new to these then you’re in for a treat, especially if you’re a Harry Potter fan. This installment will take you through the adventures Harry and his friends have from events in the first four Harry Potter films, all in one exciting package.
If you have either read the books or watched the movies, then you’ll know exactly what is happening and going to happen with the story. Otherwise you might be confused as the story from the books/movies is extremely condensed to fit inside this game. On top of that, there is no dialogue in the game aside from grunts, and mimicking of actions. Although like with previous LEGO games, the humor is still very much intact and one of the highlights of these games. The game has a great charm and it’s a treat being able to play as some of your favorite characters from the Harry Potter universe.
The way the story is handled in the game is rather interesting, but can get tiresome towards the end of the game. Generally you’ll need to take a lesson so you can learn a new spell before beginning the story level. While fun at first, it becomes annoying in the later half of the game and found myself just wanting to get to the actual story level. You start out with only a couple basic spells in Year One and by Year Four you’ll have a wide range of spells to help you along your journey. The free roam aspect of the game will let you wander around Hogwart’s at your leisure. I must say that this part of the game is massive and the castle can get a little confusing at times trying to find your way around. It can become a headache when you’re trying to go back to find all the collectibles and end up lost and confused.
As a veteran LEGO game player the gameplay will be very familiar as you make your way through the story mode. Like with previous games you generally smash everything in sight until you find a path through or a puzzle you have to complete. Puzzles can be fun this time around as you’ll complete them with your different spells equipped. But there are a few times where you might find yourself stuck and have no idea how to progress only to find out you missed a tiny object the first time. One thing to mention that could happen in your playthrough is glitches. I only encountered one towards the end of the game and it kept me from triggering a cutscene to end the level. So I ended up having to replay the level three times before it didn’t glitch on me. So fair warning that this could happen to you as well, and being a five-year old game now Travellers Tales haven’t bothered to fix it.
If you’re going to try and go for 100% completion on the game, well then prepared for a long haul. Just completing the story mode you’ll only be around 50% finished. After that comes the grind to finish up getting all the purchase-able characters in Diagon Alley, Students in Peril, Gold Bricks, Red Bricks and House Crests. Most of these things will be scattered about Hogwart’s Castle in free roam and some others you might have to replay the story levels to get them. By the end I was burnt out, but there’s a satisfying feeling when you finally get that 100% completion.
The graphics in the game look pretty good, especially for the animation. Textures are crisp and clean throughout the game with the cutscenes looking the best and the character models look cute in their LEGO format. The delight of seeing all the fantastic set pieces from the Harry Potter universe all “lego–fied” is a joy to take in. I never noticed any issues with framerate while playing through the game, then again it’s not a very demanding game when it comes to graphics. The audio though is probably one of the highlights for the game. The classic Harry Potter theme is great to hear again, while the sound effects you experience and “voice-acting” sound wonderful as well.
LEGO Harry Potter is a rather fantastic installment of another LEGO adaptation and improves on aspects in prior games. By keeping the repetitive combat to a minimum and the wonky platforming aspect, Travellers Tales have managed to make a gem of a game and a fun experience that will last around 6-7 hours depending on playstyle. While it’s no perfect game and does have it’s flaws it’s still a great game and I look forward to continuing the story with Years 5-7 and furthering myself in the Harry Potter LEGO universe.
- Funny, quirky and charming
- Variety and replay value
- Hogwart’s exploration
- Random glitches
- Annoying camera angles
- Inconsistent partner AI at times