Why virtualise your NAS environment?
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1 for Xbox 360 was a huge disappointment
- Solid voice acting, passable graphics
- Stiff character animations, awkward combat system, noticeable glitches, shallow side-quests, no heads-up display, recycled soundtrack, Kinect missions can physically hurt due to necessary repetitive motions
As a series, the Harry Potter video games have seen plenty of ups and downs, but Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1 may be the lowest point yet. Unsightly glitches, tedious gameplay, and a carelessly abridged narrative are just a few of the problems that make this game little more than a weak cash-in on the forthcoming film.
Price$ 79.95 (AUD)
In theory, making a Harry Potter game shouldn't be difficult. With the magical world and gripping story already crafted by J. K. Rowling's novels and the adapted films, all that's really left for a video game developer to do is essentially fill in the blanks. Whether that means recreating the Hogwarts experience piece-by-piece or taking a creative leap like LEGO Harry Potter, I can't imagine that it's anywhere near as hard as scripting an original property from scratch. Unfortunately, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows is a new low for cash-in titles timed at upcoming holiday blockbuster schedules. From start to finish, the results are absolutely dreadful.
While I'd like to say that enjoying Deathly Hallows depends on the kind of Harry Potter fan you are, that's simply not the case. Even if you only partake in the film releases and genuinely don't know how the story ends, the first half of Deathly Hallows' engrossing narrative feels haphazardly edited within the actual game. Several cut-scenes are heavily rushed, smashing plot points together without giving them space to flow or develop. Major turns in the story are either glossed over with hurried dialogue, or in some cases, completely ignored. It's more than the game missing important minor characters from the source material -- at the very least, Deathly Hallows would've benefited from some smartly altered exposition. Here, there's only the barest skeleton of a story.
Even worse is the gameplay, which I can only describe as a tedious, glitch-ridden mess. Rather than the usual Harry Potter method of puzzles and mini-games, Deathly Hallows is focused on combat, as several levels are structured around battling legions of Death Eaters and corrupt wizards. Although the action-oriented focus initially looks like a breath of fresh air for the series, it's hampered by noticeable glitches and lazy design. Non-player characters will frequently walk though solid objects (and not as a result of Apparition), various invisible walls will block what look like open paths, and sometimes the enemy A.I. will blatantly fail to see you unless you cross a certain trigger point on the map.
Moreover, the combat is extremely repetitive, despite the wide amount of spells that the game unlocks as Harry levels up through the cookie-cutter missions. Every encounter boils down to spamming the Stunning Spell while ducking behind cover -- and even that becomes a chore early on in the game. When Deathly Hallows gets really glitchy, A.I. partners Ron and Hermione will attack enemies they can't even see on the map, blasting "Expulso" spells at the side of a building. Stealth missions with the Invisibility Cloak aren't much better, as the lack of a proper camera makes it nigh impossible to move around dangerous areas without being spotted. Poor controls make it difficult to dodge foes, and the inability to anticipate erratic random movements of unseen bystanders is counter-intuitive.
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1 also comes with a handful of single-player and two-player Kinect missions, each of which are little more than on-rails shooting galleries pasted over environments from the main campaign. Each mission restricts you to two offensive spells and the Shield Charm, although the Kinect will often misread your hand gestures, no matter how wide and deliberate they are. Eventually, you'll give up trying to cast anything but the Stunning Spell and Disarming Charm, and the repetitive motions of spamming the same attacks will destroy the muscles in your arms. Personally, I consider myself a gamer in very decent shape and my forearm went numb after just the third Kinect level. It's simply not fun -- mimicking repetitive spell motions legitimately hurts, and joining up with a second player doesn't do very much to relieve the amount of spell casting needed to survive each level, let alone achieve a high score.
To put it bluntly, I'm not a developer, and if I'm able to easily point out loads of programming errors and A.I. glitches, it's obvious that Deathly Hallows needed more time in production and a heavy amount of polish. Being able to see so many obvious errors in what's supposed to be a finished product is particularly disturbing, as this isn't even EA Bright Light's first time with the series. If you're looking for a decent adapted Harry Potter experience, try any of the movies, LEGO Harry Potter: Years 1-4, or the Order of the Phoenix game. It doesn't matter if you're a hardcore or casual fan: there's no magic to be seen here.
Join the newsletter!
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Samsung Galaxy S9+ review: A predictably-exellent flagship uplifted by a standout camera
- 2 Panasonic Lumix G9 review: A mirrorless moulded to the needs of still-shooters
- 3 Hisense takes the fight to home entertainment heavyweights with flagship Series 8 and 9 ULED TVs
- 4 D-Link Omna 180 Cam HD DSH-C310 review
- 5 Ring Video Doorbell review
Latest News Articles
- High Court dismisses Valve’s special leave to appeal $3 million fine
- Wargaming signs publishing deal with Mad Head Games
- Serious Sam 4 teased ahead of E3 showcase
- Ballistix Launches Tactical Tracer RGB DDR4 Gaming Memory
- Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six Siege Exceeds 30 Million Players Milestone
PCW Evaluation Team
Touch screen visibility and operation was great and easy to navigate. Each menu and sub-menu was in an understandable order and category
The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use
I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.
It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.
Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.
The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.
- ASUS ROG Zephyrus M review: Leaner and meaner
- Samsung Galaxy S9+ review: A predictably-exellent flagship uplifted by a standout camera
- Picture Perfect: OPPO prepare their boldest smartphone yet
- Which flagship TV is best? Sony 4K HDR Bravia 2016 versus LG 4K HDR OLED 2016
- 10 Blu-ray movies / Best looking Blu-ray movies
- CCHealth & Safety Project OfficerNSW
- CCBusiness Analyst - Start JUNE 18QLD
- FTWebmethods DeveloperOther
- FTUX/UI DesignerQLD
- TPBusiness Intelligence Application Developer/ReporterQLD
- FTProject ManagerOther
- FTStorage Operations ManagerOther
- FTC# .Net Developer | Fintech Products | Market LeaderOther
- FTTechnical Lead UnixOther
- CCBusiness Analyst (Junior - Mid Level)NSW
- CCBusiness AnalystVIC
- FTJava DeveloperOther
- CCSite Support Officer - FIFO - Cape PrestonWA
- FTEnterprise ArchitectOther
- CCSCCM Application Packager - BrisbaneNSW
- FTSecurity DesignerOther
- FTSAP IS-U and SAP EWM Greenfield implemenationVIC
- FTChange & Release ManagerOther
- TPBusiness AnalystQLD
- FTDatabase Systems Specialist - AzureOther
- TPIT Trainer - System ReleaseWA
- FTMid Level UX DesignerOther
- FTProject Administrator/CoordinatorSA
- FTSenior Front End Developer (Urgent)Other
- FTHelp desk Support AnalystOther