Skip navigation

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1


Itís amazing to me that the people in charge of licensing Harry Potterís world continue to turn to Electronic Arts for production of a timed game release with the next Harry Potter film. Electronic Arts has consistently botched the majority of the releases and only Warner Brothers has published a truly engaging Harry Potter title. (Lego Harry Potter: Year 1-4). For Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1, EA has turned to the internal development team, EA Bright Light. Considering EA's rumored stressful workplace environments, I wouldnít put it past them to only give Bright Light but a few months to put a game together. Itís either that or Bright Light is staffed by a pack of drunk buffoons that enjoy throwing garbage at any Harry Potter fanatic that has the misfortune of playing this game. I was waiting for Ashton to leap out from behind my TV wearing a Harry Potter robe, point a wand at me and yell "Punkedify!" while I labored through this nightmare.

harry potter deathly hallows playstation 3 expelliarmus

If that didnít scare you away, allow me to expound why this is one of the worst Playstation 3 games of the year. But first, some spoilers to set the stage. The game follows the events of the movie or roughly the first half of the last book in the series. Harry, Ron and Hermione are off the destroy Voldemortís remaining lifelines to their world after Dumbledore was killed. They are searching for several horcruxes, a magically-infused item that contains a piece of Voldemortís soul. To destroy He Who Shall Not Be Named (oops, I already did), they must throw all of the Horcruxes into the fires of Mount Doom before taking on Hans Gruber and Mr. Evil No-Nose for killing their Headmaster.

Sadly, I just treated the source material with more respect than the developer did as there are several instances of action scenes in the game that never actually took place in the book or movie. Bright Lightís bright idea was to turn the game into half third-person shooter, the wand obviously taking place of a firearm, and half stealth game; hello invisibility cloak. However, they didnít succeed on either front. The stupefy spell takes center stage and becomes the crutch, I mean, go-to spell. Everyone knows that a badass like a Death Eater can get picked off with spells that Harry learned in his second or third year at Hogwarts. Harry does gain access to other spells during the game, but rapid firing Stupefy actually works for the vast majority of the game. Hilariously, the only difficult part of the combat is caused by restrictive aiming as well as the terrible cover system. You canít aim too high to fire off spells because Harry much be in a neck brace or something. I hope heís suing EA for placing him in harms way in such a terrible game.

harry potter deathly hallows playstation 3 purple spell

While you arenít shooting sparks out of your wand, you are hiding underneath the invisibility cloak trying to avoid the walking paths of dark wizards. But guess what? The most powerful cloak in the wizarding community requires recharging constantly. That means you get to stand around going nothing while waiting for whatever solar powered invisible batteries that are powering the cloak to recharge. You can also evade all dark wizards in this thing and can traverse most levels without every having to lift your wand; amazingly boring. If you do get bumped by a wizard, the cloak disappears and Harry is gunned down by everyone around him. (Quick note for Xbox 360 owners: thereís a nasty bug that makes you slide around while invisible. It supposedly makes the gameís stealth missions almost unplayable. I didnít experience this on the PS3.)

Getting back to combat, other spells do come in handy at times, Expecto Patronum for instance. Just donít expect to see a great white stag. That must have been too tough for the developers to create. Petrificus Totalus was also a fun one, freezing enemies in place. Harry also has access to potions during battle and for restoring health after taking damage. Unfortunately, thereís no storage system in place for the boosting potions and you have to hope for random health drops during battles more often than not. In an effort to stretch out the game, there are missions popping up in Harryís head while he sleeps that force you to take on an army of death eaters or rescue a poor, kidnapped Muggle. They really donít fit with the progression of the story and the presentation is really all over the place. Itís tough to knock the developer on story progression though as the first half of the seventh book is a bit slow.

If you are into collectibles, you can look for issues of the Daily Prophet and Quibbler lying around, but thereís little bonus material to be found within them. You can also collect Potterwatch passwords. The included trophies with the PS3 version are mostly related to skill level, story progression or collection tasks. There are also trophies for completing the game on tougher skill levels, but Iíd be shocked if anyone wanted to finish this game on a single skill level. There are no multiplayer modes included with the game.

harry potter deathly hallows playstation 3 hiding from death eaters

Graphics

Bright Light seriously mangled most of the character models (Ron got the worst of it) and their lip syncing to the voiceovers. It reminded me of Terrance and Phillip from South Park rather than actual facial expressions. The game environments looked very strange, as if a layer of filth covered the areas. My guess is that they were going for a darker look for the last game. The environments are extremely linear, so donít assume you can wander off and explore the entire Wizarding world. The majority of the textures were muddy and low resolution as well. Overall, itís a fairly ugly game, basically wasting the power of the Playstation 3.

Audio

Kudos to the London Philharmonic and their musical score as itís probably the only bright spot of this game. I canít really credit the developer for that as it was probably provided by the movie studio. The voiceovers are simply ok, but listening to Harry scream out spells gets old incredibly fast. The sound effects are passable, nothing that really got my surround sound system pumping though.

Conclusion

Seriously, EA?! Why do you insist in crapping all over the franchise during its final hours? The game takes about 5 to 7 hours to complete, but frustration kicks in after the first 20 minutes of play. Strangely, all the Harry Potter elements to make a fantastic game are included in the release. Itís just woefully absent of smart execution and EA made the game a chore to play rather than a joy. Iíve read every single Harry Potter book, seen all 6 of the previous films and have played at least half of the Harry Potter games over the years. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1 is, without a doubt, the worst Harry Potter game of all time and any respectable developer should be ashamed to be part of this mess. Stay far away from this game, especially if you have any love for the Potter series.



Discuss This Game on Our Official VGT Forum