Review: LEGO Harry Potter: Years 1-4

Traveller’s Tales and Warner Bros. Interactive bring players another great LEGO game with the recent release of LEGO Harry Potter: Years 1-4.

The game allows players to control various characters from the Harry Potter universe.

Lego Harry Potter places players in the shoes (or bricks?) of LEGO versions of memorable characters from the Harry Potter universe, such as Harry, Ron, Hermonine, and even Hagrid.  The game plays through the plot of the first four Harry Potter books, Sorcerer’s Stone (or Philosopher’s Stone, depending on one’s country), Chamber of Secrets, Prisoner of Azkaban, and Goblet of Fire.  The game plays much like other LEGO games, allowing players to destroy most of the world around them and use the blocks to create new objects to help along the journey.  Not surprisingly, this installment has the addition of magic spells and potions, used to defeat enemies or access new areas.

Other than the addition of magic, the game also features over 160 playable characters, most of which have their own strengths and weaknesses.  For example, Harry is a good broomstick rider and is able to cast spells while flying while other characters can hardly control where he or she is going.  Just like in previous installments of the LEGO series, each character has their own special skill, such as Harry’s Cloak of Invisibility, Hermoine’s use of books to solve riddles, and Ron can unleash his pet rat Scabbers to access hidden areas.

While is game is still fun, it just seems like more of the same at this point.  While the Harry Potter universe is new to the LEGO games, the way it is played is very close to the previous games in the series.  Players still break various LEGO objects and use the pieces to create other objects, beat up enemies who fall apart into various LEGO blocks, and gain new abilities along to the way to access new areas. Graphically, the game is much like any of the other previous games, which is a bit of secondary downfall.

Harry's use of magic is a great addition to the game.

Overall, LEGO: Harry Potter:Years 1-4 is a great game.  While the game is a bit similar to the previous games in the series, it is a still a nice addition to the LEGO franchise.  The inclusion of magical powers is interesting, but most of them are similar to the characteristics other characters have had in the past.  For any fan of the LEGO series, and anyone looking to start playing the LEGO franchise, this is a great game to play.