The LEGO video games have all been surprising hits thanks to the innovative, quirky, and just plain fun style of gameplay. Typically, characters explore areas made out of LEGOs with their LEGO characters, collecting gold, silver, and blue coins which you use later to unlock new characters and upgrades. As you explore, you destroy everything that you can, releasing these coins and use your LEGO building skills to continue along the way. For example, you may create useful bridges out of a pile of LEGOs by holding down a certain button and watching your character start stacking.
Besides exploring, LEGO games typically also include defeating LEGO enemies with an action style of combat: your LEGO character will punch, shoot, slice, or kick out at whoever is nearby. Special characters have special and amusing ways of taking out enemies, such as ripping their LEGO arms off. The violence is all in good fun, as everything is clearly plastic and smiling no matter what’s going on. LEGO has already created LEGO Starwars, LEGO Batman, LEGO Indiana Jones, and more. Now they return to bring Harry Potter back into the limelight with LEGO Harry Potter: Years 1-4.
So What’s The Deal?
First of all, I think every gamer will be pleased at the idea of combining the first four Harry Potter book plots into one game. Too often Harry Potter fans are disappointed by the slow and childish first book (let’s face it, flipping gnomes gets old) and want to get on to some of the darker adventure (werewolves, dragons, dementors, etc.). The game will take a less fighting based direction than previous LEGO games–instead players will focus more on exploring new areas, using your spells to solve LEGO puzzles. There are some offensive type spells in the game, however, have no fear. Also, with over a hundred different characters to choose from, you can make the Harry Potter story go any way you’d like. Have Voldemort himself solve the mysteries of Hogwarts before acing his potions exam, even. As with all LEGO games, it’s all about the fun.
The hilarious silent cutscenes seen in previous LEGO games are back once again and in beautiful detail for those playing on larger consoles. As you would expect, the DS version of the game has been toned down a bit graphically. Each character that you can play as has different abilities; for example Harry is the best at riding brooms, Hermione has the strongest spells, and Ron has the ability to use Scabbers to access some small areas. The areas in this game are expansive and well designed with plenty of that Harry Potter magic to get a fan going. Have you ever wanted to walk around Diagon Alley? Well now you can . Explore Hogsmeade in the snow and take in that magical air.
The game also makes use of potions that you create. You use them to complete missions or, if made incorrectly, have the effect of turning yourself into a frog. Two player slit screen and online play is also available for PS3 and X-Box 360 players. The game is set to be released June 25th 2010.