Lego Harry Potter: Years 5-7 was released across all gaming formats at the end of last year and is a follow up game to the Lego original. I loved the first game and played it for hours on end in attempt to complete it so had great expectations from the sequel and having received the game as a Christmas gift last year I couldn't wait to get stuck into the action once again.
I own an Xbox 360 so my review of the game is specifically for this particular format and one again the game is split into 3 separate instalments which cover key moments from the final 3 Harry Potter books; The Order of the Phoenix, The Half Blood Prince and The Deathly Hallows.
Game Play in Story Mode
Playing as either Harry himself or one of the many characters in the HP universe you are presented with a series of levels that have to be completed in order to progress through the game. The Order of the Phoenix is the first instalment and acts as an introduction to how the game is played, the early levels establish how your character can be controlled and what they are capable of and being a game that is all about magic you soon learn that there are various spells that can be used to help you on your way. Harry is of course the main character and he is the most used although there are times when you need someone who is stronger or more powerful and you are able to switch to someone else who can help you achieve the objectives of each level. The levels themselves represent significant moments of each book and there are various items that you need to collect or unlock to be able to move forward through the story and once you get to the end of each level you are one step closer to completing the game.
The levels get progressively trickier the further you progress but aren't that hard that they become frustrating, the fluid control of the characters makes the game feel instinctive rather than challenging and as usual for a Lego game it is great fun. You are able to blast apart the things that are around you and collect hidden coins and tokens and a great deal of time is spent running around collecting the things that you need, you have various spells at your disposal that you can use and these reference the spells used in the books.
There are spells that return from the previous game plus a number of new ones which have been added here and you have to learn them and then practice them before they can be put to use. Selecting which spell you want to use can be a little bit awkward at first as they are presented in a wheel on-screen which you need to scroll through to select, sometimes the action can be a little bit full on and you need to be quick in choosing the right spell but you do pick up speed once you have done it a few times and it soon becomes second nature. Each spell results in a different outcome, some will make things fall apart others will put things back together and a lot of the fun of the game is trying out each one and putting them to use, anyone familiar with the books or films of Harry Potter will recognise the names of the spells and what they can do so its nice to see them represented in the game and they are great fun.