LEGO Harry Potter: Years 1-4 (PC/Steam)

(Review archived from December 5, 2014)

First let me say that this is a great game.  It maintains the classic “collect all the stuff” game play of other Lego titles, as well as the trademark humor and exploration, but it also does a few things differently.  Specifically the spells that you learn throughout the course of the game add a new and interesting layer in terms of opening new areas of the open world of Hogwarts.  I really enjoyed the way that you learn spells via classes which maintain the continuity of the Harry Potter story both in terms of various teachers that teach you as well as the years in which those spells are learned.  This really gets at the heart of some of the clever nature of this game.  The elements of the Harry Potter world have been translated brilliantly to this game.  If you’re a fan of the series, you’re going to find a lot here to enjoy.  Even better the game explores some areas which are not described in depth within the books/movies (such as Hogsmeade and all the various dorms (I thought the Slytherin dorm in particular was very well done).  On the other hand, this game maintains the ‘classic’ Lego game style in which the entire game is wordless, communicating in cut scenes through various giggles, sighs, grunts, etc.  So if you’ve not watched the Harry Potter movies or read the books, you may find your self a bit lost in terms of story (if that sort of thing is important to you).  All told I can recommend this game for fans of the Harry Potter series both young and old.  Having said all of that, on a personal note I perhaps should have waited a bit longer before diving headlong into another Lego game.  I did get 100% completion here, but by the end of it, some of the collection elements were beginning to feel like a bit of a slog.  That’s only a reflection of my own experience though, so if it’s been a while since you’ve delved into the Lego game universe, or if you’ve never played a Lego game before (or you’re just a huge fan), this game is a winner.






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