The overall rating of a review is different from a simple average of all individual ratings.
Share this review on
My very first experience with the Lego games was with the first Lego Harry Potter game and after receiving the game for Christmas I haven't stopped playing it. Lego Harry Potter Years 5-7 focuses on the last three books and films in the series. I feel it is more reminiscent to the films than the books but this may be because seeing it through game play and on-screen gives you better visuals and makes it easier to notice similarities.
The game kicks off at the very beginning of the Order of The Pheonix where Harry is being tormented by Dudley and his gang. In the evening he is taken alongside Mad Eye and Lupin to Grimauld Place where he is introduced to the rest of the Order - although he already knows most of them. One little extra feature I loved about this opening was the use of the broom which, whilst not exactly limited in the first game, is not quite as advanced as this focused on travelling through the air to get to a location rather than just solving a puzzle. I also really liked the new camera angles as this isn't just side scrolling. The plot then follows Harry going to his trial and nearly being expelled from Hogwarts however he is able to go back with his friends. Another addition I enjoyed was the small journey between The Leaky Cauldron and Kings Cross. Rather than just being transported to Hogwarts you go through the station and when you get to the other side there is a short trip up to the school which just added to the gameplay and gave you more to look at. It didn't add a lot on to the actual game but I felt it was an improvement.
One thing I did find mildly annoying was thanks to the arrival of Delores Umbridge the previous spells are disabled and you are left with a limited few however this just enables you to learn the more advanced spells that Harry and his friends learnt. The player then continues with various scenes highlighted from the fifth book which introduces the abilities of other characters. One of the newest additions to the game was the Weasley boxes which feature certain things like fireworks or sticky shoes which only a Weasley can use. If you like your trophies on the PS3 like I do then there is one to collect which involves opening a box with every Weasley. Much like the first game you unlock characters in Madam Malkins in Diagon Alley once you have found them in either Story or Freeplay mode. Like before there are certain scenes where you are forced to use other characters rather than the heroic threesome such as Dumbledore and Hagrid however you don't really get much use from these characters until you proceed to Freeplay mode as the plot generally focuses on Harry, Ron and Hermione.
Another similarity between the first and the second game is the collectables. You are once again able to collect Red and Gold bricks. The red bricks can then be used to unlock cheats to help you progress easily through the game if you wish to use them. One thing I found was that the very first few red bricks are very easy to find which can not be said for the first game. However this was quite misleading as the rest aren't quite so obvious and require a little more problem solving. There are also the Students in Peril to rescue, the House Crests to collect which unlike the first game are alot less obvious and harder to find until you begin Free play mode and of course there is the Stud collector achievements which give you 'True Wizard' status. The studs are basically the in game currency and different colours mean different amounts. The colours are no different from the first game.
Another feature you learn in the game is the ability to Duel. This is a great addition and is an advantage when it comes to multiplayer. It basically adds in a mini game where you have to match the colour to the enemies weakness to battle them. Duels seem to be more frequent than boss battles. I also found that the structure of boss battles is a lot more complex often involving puzzles to solve throughout the battle rather than just levitating something and hitting them (although you do this quite a bit anyway).
In story mode the game goes on through the sixth book where you are introduced to Slughorn, get to explore Weasleys Joke Shop, have to endure the love potion chocolates (really rather funny) and learn more of the young Voldemort's story. I do quite like the flash back scenes and quite happy that they've added a few more of these in but then again they are key scenes in the books and films. The seventh part 1 and seventh part 2 levels involve various locations such as Malfoy Manor, Gringotts, The Lovegood Residence, Hogwarts, The Ministry of Magic and Hogsmeade as you travel around with Harry, Ron and Hermione trying to solve the puzzle of the Hocruxes and The Deathly Hallows. Once completed Free Play mode becomes considerably easier as you have the spells and characters needed to progress however it is not essential that you complete Free Play mode unless you are seeking 100% game completion.
Graphically the game is attractive and has been clearly updated in this version. Some of the rendering is easier on the eye and a little more realistic however everything still has that lego charm that I've come to love in these games. There is no dialogue, which I believe is a common occurrence in the Lego games (because Lego can not speak...) which I actually find refreshing and the grunts and facial features are self explanatory. It's surprising actually how easy the game is to understand and follow when there is no use of language but then again for the most part there is a ghost that shows you where you need to go and if wasn't for him I would probably still be stuck in the Gryffindor common room. The music is enjoyable and just adds to the light hearted atmosphere.
I really enjoyed playing through story mode and I am still enjoying going over it. Because of my previous experience of the first game I did rush through story mode as I knew I wouldn't be able to unlock everything until I had the money, spells and characters needed which has probably made me miss a few things however it's a game I find myself going back to over and over again and has been well worth playing. I haven't properly experienced the multiplayer features on the game as I have no one to play with (sob) but I did experience them on the first game and found them more of a hinderence, however that is probably because my partner kepts turning me into ice...the actual function of the multplayer mode and ideas behind it are very good but they are not how I like to play games. I also like how they have added in a few extras that only certain characters can operate much like the book puzzles, key vaults and heavy pulling objects there is now the Weasley boxes and the parceltongue cabinets. This has already made my game of the year, mainly because I'm not a very good gamer and this is actually quite easy for me. I enjoy the puzzle challenges and whilst the game is not complex I have spend a few moments running around in circles casting my wand at anything that will blow up and enjoyed it very, very much. I would recommend this for any gamers, new or old, as it really is a great game that's easy to go back to over and over and over again.