Lego Harry Potters Years 5-7 Review
At long last it’s here. It’s been in the making for years. It’s been hyped up to the heavens, where even we’ve been pre-ordering it. Using spells and potions, you must venture through castles, valleys and ye olde lands in a battle against evil while the threat of dragons always lurks at the back of your mind. That’s right, it’s the game even Bethesda couldn’t dare to make – it’s Lego Harry Potter!
You know the drill by now. A puzzle game masquerading as a platformer, the Lego series has been reimagining the likes of Star Wars, Indiana Jones, Batman and so on in blocky form with cutesy cut-scenes for a while now. It’s not even Traveller’s Tales’ first stab at Lego Harry Potter, as the clumsy Years 5-7 subtitle implies.
So what new, dazzling innovations does this second half of Lego Harry Potter bring? Erm, nothing. Picking up the story from Order Of The Phoenix, this game wraps up the rest of the movies, wisely ignoring the undignified scramble for Pottermore keys that marks life after cinema for the young wizard.
The formula is the same as the other Lego games, with environmental puzzles that need to be solved and platforming skills demanded if you want to tick off the many, many hidden item checklists that keep popping up.
There’s no getting away from the completionist side of the game as ‘1/100 gold bricks!’-style messages constantly ping upon discovery of any item. In most games, it would be depressing. In a game as light and breezy as Lego Harry Potter, it’s an incentive to further explore.
It’s about as undemanding as gaming gets, hooking your attention with the huge amount of content on offer. Making up for the fact that Lego Harry Potter won’t be making your 360 stretch its visual muscles is the sheer size of the game, which not only squeezes in an astonishing number of levels but ensures that you want to revisit them. Later characters you unlock have unique abilities, which drive you back to earlier levels to access previously sealed off areas.
The Weasley twins have a more important role this time around.
This won’t be news to Lego videogame veterans. What will be news is how the emphasis is on puzzles over combat while the puzzles themselves are less frustrating, a clear nod by Traveller’s Tales to the younger audience Harry Potter will likely resonate with.
Lego Pirates Of The Caribbean remains the best game in the series while Lego Indiana Jones remains the funniest and most likely to tickle the nostalgia glands of older gamers.
Where that leaves Lego Harry Potter Years 5-7 is that it’s the best for younger hands or sausage-fingered gamers scared by challenge, although it can feel bland and, dare we say it, a little dull in places to truly entertain in the manner we have come to expect from the series.
Blame the source material, blame Lego game fatigue, blame what you will; there’s no denying that, despite being carefree fun, it feels a little too lightweight in places.