Lego Harry Potter Years 1 – 4 signals the return of another super studded adventure from the Lego series but wrapped in spells, potions and all sorts of geometric magic.
Harry, Ron and Hermione are your leads but just like the past Traveller’s Tales’ titles you will get an array of characters to play as and most will be found in secret areas, unlocked after challenges or bought in the Diagon Alley – the market. There’s another pile of studs to discover on your own or with a friend, if you’re a Potter fan you should be satisfied with the amount of transferred character’s and creature’s from the films and if you’re a series fan you’ll find a few new vibes and iconic scenes quite refreshing.
This game is basically set-out exactly the same as its predecessors and in keeping with the brand-new Harry Potter theme you’ll get the chance to learn and use most of the spells and incantations you saw or read about originally. You will get to wield many of these spells and get to create some bizarre but fun ways to solve some solid geometric puzzles and bosses situated throughout the game, along with a side helping of that slap-stick humour along the way. There’s also an array of silly interactive objects that co-inside in design with the films and books – you can give life to almost anything lying around and this can push madness into all sorts of random objects when these Lego characters and bricks are concerned. Potions are placed in certain levels and grant temporary abilities that Harry and the others will need to progress but you’ll need ingredients to combine in the cauldron to activate it – Lego games are full of faint tutorials and these, this time round, are incorporated into little story challenges where you’ll need to pass the class room lesson then go on to use them in the bigger, more open areas to unlock other open areas or secret rooms full of booty. This means LHP is accesable to just about everybody and the tutorials aren’t thick and fast enough to annoy you if you don’t need them. Doing this will help you towards that 100% completion mark, which is stupidly hard to resist as collecting Gold Bricks, Studs, Potions, Spells, Characters, Outfits… it’s just hard to say no as a gamer who hordes.
Take all that weaving of magical structure and foundation’s then add all those mad little vehicles, silly stunts and larger buildable objects and you get even more simple enjoyable fun. Griffins, Trolls… there’s so many tiny little interactive representations from the films it raises the overall gameplay standard of this Lego title, especially when you get past 30% collection. This nulls the repetitive streak you get from the first section of the game and your experience becomes more lively and multi-optional (To proceed through the story or stop and explore and collect). This is a good thing however, it switches when you hit a slow point or snag when too many things are going on on-screen or you’re put in abit of an awkward position with a bad camera angle. With all these spells you would have needed an automatic option anyway for when you’re fighting as there’s alot of spells to cycle through. When you target something to move, activate, ECT with the Wingardium Leviosa spell (which is the one you’ll use most often) it can, most often or not, miss the purple target you where sure you just saw glow a second ago. This means abit of shuffling around to get into the right position and after compensating for that you can still hit your buddies with spells, locking onto them instead of other things. Hilariously if you hit a teacher or another pupil with a spell they might just throw one back, leaving you in cased in Lego ice – it’s really not funny after the 200th time of wiggling yourself free with the analogue stick after just wanting to light a Lego torch.
As Lego games progress they always open up many paths to explore and features unravel well at the same time feeding you enough gameplay and challenges to keep you occupied and under its spell till the end. What Lego titles also offer up as standard is a healthy Co-op experience and in LHP it’s even more accessible to adults and children alike. It’s unbeatable for it balanced Co-op play and there’s nothing more rewarding than sharing your Lego’s with a friends, or if you never shared your toys, you can always zap them with a spell to keep them of your studs. You can have your bud jump into the action at anytime and the game’s storyline plays the same so it’s not like sharing will cost you anything or will grant you any extra rewards other than a few cheevs.
Overall there’s a good size improvement in the gameplays quality thanks to the Harry Potter theme and the array of items and object associated with this magical world is a plenty and filled with life and movement, so you end up with a game that beats its predecessors in the right way if you’re a fan of the series or Harry Potters world. However there’s a bit of a gray line if you didn’t quite enjoy the past titles for what they where and this title may put you off them for good as you will notice the same gameplay patterns from past titles more often, I suggest leaving one or two off your want list – Otherwise it’s another very enjoyable experience by Traveller’s Tales.