The lights are on
What new ideas the game brings to the table and how well old ideas are presented.
How good a game looks, taking into account any flaws such as bad collision or pop-up.
Does the game’s music and sound effects get you involved or do they make you resolve to always play with the volume down?
Basically, the controller to human interface. The less you think about the hunk of plastic in your hands, the better the playability.
Flat out, just how fun the game is to play. The most important factor in rating a game.
Traveller’s Tales tried to break out of its LEGO formula with
Indiana Jones 2, and the results weren’t that great. The studio has
returned to the classic structure for LEGO Harry Potter. For the most
part, it works.
Wizard powers are quite similar to the Force, so
you’ll float pieces into place without stretching the fiction too far.
The game leans on this mechanic frequently, so prepare yourself for
plenty of exploration and “puzzle solving.” The reason for those sassy
quotation marks? Outside of a few challenging rooms, most puzzles
consist of breaking everything, holding down a button, watching a
structure build itself, and then using said structure to jump to a
higher platform. I turned my brain on autopilot for most of the game.
doesn’t spend a lot of time battling minions in the books. It’s more
about discovering the wonder of Hogwarts and maybe taking on a school
rival or evil wizard. To stay true to the material, combat is scaled
back considerably from previous LEGO titles. The only real battles in
the entirety of the Year 1 section are against the bathroom troll,
Professor Quirrell, and some wasps in the forest. Combat picks up later
on, but if your favorite part of LEGO games is cutting down an endless
flow of stormtroopers with a lightsaber, this may not be the one for
Despite these setbacks, it’s hard to not be charmed by LEGO
Harry Potter. Traveller’s Tales maintains its reputation for amusingly
silly interpretations of characters and story points, and I found
myself constantly looking forward to how the team would handle the next
thing around the corner. The constant flow of unlocks in Gringotts Bank
and shopping along Daigon Alley stirred up old feelings of addiction I
had playing the Star Wars titles. While Harry Potter doesn’t offer much
innovation for the LEGO franchise, it at least puts it back on track.
Email the author Bryan Vore, or follow on Twitter, and Game Informer.