Review: Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows – Part 2
Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows - Part 2 is the final game in the series based on the books and movies. Is it one to write home about, or is it another cash-in?
- Worth The Time?No, not even to devoted Harry Potter fans.
- Things LovedThe soundtrack.
- Things HatedThe immense repetitiveness, limited spells, lack of enemy types, stupid friendly and enemy AI, weak boss fights, huge lack of variety, seriously bad voice acting and rushed story and dialogue, the extremely short length of the game, the lazy and rushed feel to the game.
- RecommendationTry as hard as I can, I can't think of a single reason to buy or play this game. Read the book, watch the movie, and forget that this exists.
- Name: Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows - Part 2
- Genre: Third Person Shooter
- Players: 1
- Multiplayer: N/A
- Platforms: PC, PS3, Xbox 360, Wii, DS
- Developer: EA Bright Light Studios
- Publisher: Electronic Arts
- Price: R317-350 (PC), R554-599 (PS3, 360)
- Reviewed On: PS3
The time has now come at last to say goodbye to Harry Potter, with the final book now loaded with dust on your shelves and the movie having recently been released and most likely watched by all of you people already. Of course, there’s the final game too, but no matter what kind of Harry Potter fan or hater you are, it’s easy to say right off the bat that it would be in your best interests to stay as far away from this game as you can. To be said in as little words and explained as clearly as possible, the game is just painfully bad. I guess no one was really expecting a triumphant game after experiencing the previous one in the series, but at least one can be relieved by the fact that completing this game, if you’re daring enough to get it, doesn’t take all that long, as you’ll in all likelihood see the credits roll after one short, lazy afternoon with this game, which doesn’t give it a great value for money – and that’s a really bad start in this context. However, as we all know, my job is to tell you why this game is supposedly bad, so let’s get down to it for the last time with Harry Potter.
When it comes to Harry Potter, there’s not much to say about the plot that the world doesn’t already know. Like it goes in the movie and book, Harry, Ron and Hermione continue their journey to destroy the remaining Horcruxes in order to weaken Lord Voldemort. Things are also gearing up for the grand conclusion, as Harry must face Voldemort for the last time and defeat him. Now, the story is all well and good in the book and movies, but the game handles it extremely badly to say the absolute least. Firstly, this game is riddled with bad voice acting and it’s entirely evident that the story in the game was rushed, as dialogue seems to happen at breakneck speed and scenes from the movie, even important scenes, are hurried through making them lose all effect and end up almost seeming silly. It can be understood that there is already both a complete book and movie telling the story, and those after the game simply want to play it all, but that shouldn’t be an excuse for making the plot look plain bad and so rushed, as if the least amount of care was put into it.
In hindsight, it wouldn’t even be outrageous to claim that the story would have been better in the game if it had been told through large amounts of text rather than cutscenes. But my main point is that while I sympathise with the developers that there is already a complete book and solid movie telling this story, it’s definitely not alright to rush the story and make it look this bad. Throughout the game you’ll play as various characters depending on your progress, including Harry, Hermione, Professor McGonagall and even the likes of randoms such as Neville and Ginny. Now while this is all well and good for the sake of fan service, the grand kicker in the nuts and unforgivable problem with this is that every single character you play as is exactly the same. All characters have the same spells, moves and, no jokes, even identical animations. Essentially, all there is to a different character is a new model and voice. For a game that is already in desperate need of more variety, this is a real eyebrow raiser, even though it fits the bill for these kinds of licensed games.
If you’re hoping that Harry Potter redeems itself with its gameplay, then unfortunately you’re going to be sorely disappointed. Just like the last game, this is an action-based third person shooter that is hugely repetitive and extremely basic. The greater majority of the game is made up of restricted linear corridor shootouts that are nearly all identical. All you’ll have to do really is duck behind cover and rapidly fire off your spells, from a very limited arsenal, at enemies until they die. There aren’t that many spells in the game, even less enemy types and not much happens to give the player a larger sense of variety. All in all this is a painfully lacking action game that gets boring well before you’ve gotten past the first hour, doesn’t ever change or deliver anything fresh beyond that and ultimately ends in a very forgettable fashion after just one lazy afternoon. There’s really no substance or depth to the gameplay, and because of this, coupled together with the story presentation, there isn’t much enjoyment to get out of this experience even when the game is going through your favourite scenes from the movie. It’s really a lackluster and dull game that feels like a dragged out chore to get through.
Over and above there being very little enemy types in the game, the AI, both friendly and enemy, is really horrible. There doesn’t even seem to be AI present in the game to be honest. For the most part the enemies just stand around and let you kill them, while your allies are even worse. They either hang around without a care and get shot or duck behind cover and do absolutely nothing of value. While I was playing I don’t recall seeing one of my allies kill a single enemy or help me in any way throughout the entire game. But in all honesty you don’t really need help, because the game is extremely easy, even on the harder difficulties. With very little enemy types and poor AI, the only change of tactics you’ll need, aside from just spamming all your spells, is when you’ll need to dissolve an enemies’ shield with Expelliarmus or, well, that’s about it. I was really not expecting a revolution here, but honestly, being a licensed game doesn’t make it okay to be crap, especially since this game isn’t cheap and only provides roughly five hours of gameplay time, which is unacceptable.
Aside from the single player campaign, you can unlock some fan content and character trophies to stare at, as well as replay levels from the campaign in order to finish them in the fastest times possible. Why you’d want to do this I honestly don’t know, but the option is there. There’s not much else to say about the gameplay at this point really, and there definitely isn’t much else to talk about regarding the already limited content and features, other than that the PlayStation 3 version includes Move support. However, while it does work, it doesn’t necessarily make the game any better, and really just ends up making it more of a hassle to play. It takes quite a bit of getting used to, initially feeling quite awkward, and there isn’t much reward in trying to play the game this way. Then again, there isn’t a whole lot of reward to be had in playing this game at all, so there’s certainly no sense in bashing it for its implementation of motion control.
The game’s graphics are overall pretty average. While the environments are somewhat good-looking and the character models look a bit better than last time, animations are stiff and the visuals are very bland, lacking depth and quality and not bringing out the best in Harry Potter. Fortunately, the soundtrack is great, but this is brought down by the voice acting being awful and the lip syncing poor. The original voice actors weren’t really used for the game, and while some provide decent to good impersonations of the characters, other replacement voice actors stick out like a sore thumb, especially with the likes of Snape and Voldemort. At least it can be said that the game functions, and apart from some enemies going through objects here and there you won’t encounter many technical flaws. However, there are a lot of short loading screens littered around the game and the cover system can often be clunky and the level design drab and repetitive.
In closing, while the final movie and book can go out with a bang and enjoy the joint appreciation of all its fans, the game of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 2 is unfortunately a bad one and simply doesn’t do the source material any justice. It’s a painfully repetitive and boring experience that fails to encapsulate the last movie in any significant way, and as a result it definitely isn’t worth the time or money, and would be best left avoided.