Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 1 - Xbox 360

Game Description: Just like the movies, the final installment of the Harry Potter saga, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1, is being broken into two games. Part 1 is a radical shift in gameplay from previous Potters, as it more resembles a cover-based shooter. The Kinect feature allows you to cast spells at death eaters.
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E3 2010: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 1 Hands-On

E3 2010: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 1 Hands-On

By Patrick Klepek - Posted Jun 02, 2010

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 1

If Electronic Arts was hoping to generate some headlines and shocking double-takes with their new Harry Potter adaptation, they've wildly succeeded. Whether they've been able to produce the Harry Potter game that fans have been waiting for since they signed onto the series remains an open question. Regardless of quality, however, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 1 looks and plays unlike any Harry Potter game you've ever seen. It plays like...well, Gears of War.

As a huge fan of the series, I've played through the last few Harry Potter games produced by EA to interact with J.K. Rowling's fleshed-out world, not because they're particularly great games. When I sat down with Deathly Hallows at EA's pre-E3 event in Los Angeles a few weeks back, my mouth immediately dropped when one of the game's producers complimented the other developer guiding Harry around on executing a great "head shot" against a Death Eater. Head shots in a Harry Potte game? Clearly, EA is going for a grown-up audience with this one.

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 1

The direction reflects the maturation of the audiences, EA told me. The kids who got into the series with Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone may have been 9 or 10-years old then, but have grown up with the series as Rowling's wizarding tales have become darker and darker. Those very same kids are now looking at Call of Duty and Gears of War for their gaming fun, not participating in another year of Hogwarts mini-games. Thus, the stark change in design direction.

EA let me play through a tiny slice of a single stage in Deathly Hallows during the event. The game will feel immediately comfortable to anyone who's played a modern third-person-shooter. Harry can hide behind the destructible environment with the game's cover system, swap between spells with a radial weapon menu brought up with one of the bumper buttons, and the spells themselves have been modified to act more like traditional video game weapons, including high-powered pistols, machine guns, shields and, of course, wall-destroying bazookas.

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 1

The experience was incredibly awkward, partially fueled by the early-development feel -- Deathly Hallows definitely feels like a team's first attempt at a cover shooter -- and the surrealist nature of engaging in endless combat that channeled more Cliff Bleszinski than J.K. Rowling. Much of that stemmed from EA describing Deathly Hallows using "head shots" and other shooter norms. Such terminology may make it easier for non-Potter fans to understand what the equivalents are in the Harry Potter universe, but machine gun comparisons gave an off-putting first impression.

Getting gamers excited about yet another Harry Potter game has been a challenging task for EA. While I have reservations about the direction of Deathly Hallows, if EA's goal was to change the conversation about expectations for their next Harry Potter game, they've already done that.

Comments are Closed

  • Spardyman

    The only one game out of the Harry Potter series that I have liked, is the third one. This may be my nostalgia talking here because I was like 14 when I played it, but is was fun and played alot like Zelda with all its dungeons and puzzles and I loved the free roam thing around Hogwarts. If you ask me, that's the kind of game they should keep making.

    Posted: June 2, 2010 9:31 PM
  • Halogun

    i can already see it now. gears of war with wands. god that sounds strange next thing you know for part two they will attach chainsaws on the wands a you can cut dudes in half now that is a game i would give a try.

    Posted: June 2, 2010 8:48 PM
  • shyguy

    HA! This is what I like to see from a movie game. Go for it!

    Posted: June 2, 2010 8:40 PM

    Awesome, I just hope they bring back all the exploration and wonder the first couple of game had, back on the old gamecube.

    Posted: June 2, 2010 8:29 PM
  • JarmenKell700

    Harry gears of potter war? is that what i just heard out of this preview? I am interested

    Posted: June 2, 2010 8:12 PM
  • kayderek18

    wow, this could be good.

    Posted: June 2, 2010 8:00 PM
  • power-o-pwn

    Cool I liked the books and movies but the games seemed always to suck for me.

    Posted: June 2, 2010 6:46 PM
  • chazmaster2000

    wands of war then.

    Posted: June 2, 2010 6:20 PM
  • jungleman67

    ive always wanted it to be like this

    Posted: June 2, 2010 5:54 PM
  • Boogie1188

    Sounds interesting. I believe the best Potter game was definitely Chamber of Secrets. It had all sorts of awesome stuff: free roam around Hogwarts, ride your broom around the grounds, fun story, etc. Sorcerer's Stone on the PS1 was fun, PoA was great, GoF was complete crap, and the last two games were only good for the ability to free roam in a 3D Hogwarts that looked and felt like the movies.

    Posted: June 2, 2010 5:46 PM
  • ZBlaster700

    This has potential

    Posted: June 2, 2010 5:28 PM
  • Hallowethe

    I consider myself excited. Hopefully the game is, well, good. At least as good as they're making it seem. I also hope it's as authentic as the past two Potter games have been, just in a different way.

    Posted: June 2, 2010 5:07 PM
  • UrbanInfection

    Finally they have done the series justice. Finally.

    Posted: June 2, 2010 4:51 PM
  • dilpcase

    Does this game use unreal engine?

    Posted: June 2, 2010 4:40 PM
  • Captain Anarchy

    i actually enjoyed the Chamber of Secrets back on the gamecube...

    Posted: June 2, 2010 4:19 PM
  • mcthor

    Yes the game is getting and upgrade.

    Posted: June 2, 2010 3:01 PM
  • turret_awesome

    Hopefully it's as good as it seems.

    Posted: June 2, 2010 2:50 PM
  • dolphers

    I'm intrigued. I'll also keep a close eye on this

    Posted: June 2, 2010 2:41 PM
  • cmdluke

    interesting. i'll have to check it out at E3 this year.

    Posted: June 2, 2010 2:35 PM