Game Preview, LEGO Harry Potter: Years 5-7

I met with members of the LEGO video game team from Warner Bros. Interactive yesterday to get a look at the new (and I’m guessing final) LEGO Harry Potter game, LEGO Harry Potter: Years 5-7, and boy howdy was I impressed!

I spent a large chunk of my July 4th weekend playing LEGO Harry Potter: Years 1-4 with my nephew so I’m very familiar with that game and figured that WB was going to show me a game that was just a continuation of Years 1-4. I was wrong. Technically, Years 1-5 is a continuation of Years 1-4 in that it takes the player through the last three Harry Potter books and final four films.  However, the game’s creators didn’t just churn out an indistinguishable game that felt like it was simply a part two to the first one but rather created a game that greatly improves upon the first.

The basic game-play is the same and players play through the action of the Harry Potter movies and books with tons of characters from the series as playable figures. The figures and settings are all recreated in that recognizable LEGO brick look and the humor that has come to differentiate the LEGO video games is on great display once again. What surprised me most of all about Years 5-7 is that it plays like an independent game created as if there had never been a first one. All the elements that made the first game are back but loads of new features and game-play make it apparent that the game developers wanted to end this series on a super high note. One level in particular that I was shown tells the story of the three brothers who possessed the Deathly Hallows artifacts – the Elder Wand, Resurrection Stone, and the Cloak of Invisibility. The developers did an amazing job of setting this level apart from the rest of the game by creating a unique look and game-style that recreates the way in which the story was told in the movie.

During my entire meeting yesterday, I kept thinking how much my nephew is going to love this LEGO Harry Potter game and I’m really looking forward to playing it with him over the Christmas break.

LEGO Harry Potter: Years 5-7 is due in stores this November. The game will be rated E10+ and available for Xbox 360, Wii, PlayStation 3, Nintendo 3DS, Nintendo DS, PSP and Games for Windows PC.

I’ll have a full review of the game when available.

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