Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows: Part 1 – Review

Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows: Part 1 - Review

by David Scarborough |
Published on

The boy wizard’s last academic year starts off in rollicking style, as Harry and Hagrid blast across the skies, desperately escaping the clutches of the pursuing Death Eaters. It’s a breakneck pace that’s maintained throughout Deathly Hallows: Part 1, with the action barely giving the Chosen One a moment to exhale.

EA has embraced the darker nature and action of the latest cinematic instalment, turning the wand-waving exploits of Harry and his wizardry chums into a kid-friendly third-person shooter. In theory, it’s the perfect fit for the story; in execution, the combination of fumbled mechanics and a severe lack of variety fail to ignite any real spark.

With a fairly slim selection of spells to cast (most of which can be slotted into gun-like categories: Stupify = rifle; Confundo = sniper rifle), you’ll find yourself falling back onto the same method of attack throughout. More worryingly for a cover-based shooter is the fundamental failing in the act of taking cover. A simple tap of X attaches you to the nearest obstacle, often leaving some appendage open to continued assault. However, the spawning of enemies makes the point of covering in the first place nigh-on pointless, with most encounters involving a 360 degree attack.

The action occasionally shifts to first-person stealth, with Potter making use of his invisibility cloak, but these are often ham-fisted in their execution. These sections, along with the rest of the poorly washed-over chapters, contain little context, while the side missions also fail to illuminate any sense of cohesion within the larger story arc (why is Harry running away from dragons?).

What little enjoyment comes from the Xbox 360’s exclusive Kinect features, boasting some on-rails minigames that places the wand in the player’s hand. It’s an intuitive and welcome inclusion but doesn’t excuse the rest of the game from being so carelessly devoid of magic.

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