A Harry Potter Shooter?


That’s right, instead of sticking to the action-adventure genre that the past six games have focused on, the developers at EA Bright Light (who developed Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince) have recognized that the same format simply won't work with Harry’s final story.

While the first six books put Harry, Ron ans Hermione in the “safe” confines of Hogwarts, Deathly Hallows thrusts the trio into the real world where they are constantly chased by Voldemort’s lackeys on the search for the pieces of the Dark Lord’s soul contained in horcruxes. As a result, the previous model of gameplay simply doesn’t fit.

At the Harry Potter kiosk in EA’s booth, the developers put together a mission to show just how powerful Harry’s magic will be, and to show just how well the third-person shooter style will work for the game. Instead of providing an actual mission from the game, the demo has Harry running around a small level trying to take down the various Death Eaters and Snatchers that come after him. This demo showed off several spells like Confundus, Accio and Expelliarmus, while also showing Harry’s built-in cover-system, Protego, the shield charm. Meanwhile the opposing forces are, of course, using deadlier attacks like Avada Kedavra. Another interesting spell that is at Harry’s disposal is the Four-Points Spell which will show Harry the direction of his objective.

In the fast-paced level, it became readily apparent that all of these spells would have to be used in order to survive. Not only does Expelliarmus make a good aggressive blast attack, but Confundus works well to temporarily turn an enemy into an ally and Accio will have to be used often to move obstacles from Harry’s path. I also liked the fact that you could use Harry’s Accio spell to move or throw the objects wherever you like, making the move akin to a Force Push or Force Pull from Star Wars: The Force Unleashed.

While the demo only showed Harry, the game will also have to have Ron and Hermione at his side (during the parts of the story where these characters appear, of course). When I asked how their roles would be handled, it was explained that they would appear as A.I.-driven squad mates, and while it is unclear if you have any control over them, it will be nice to have them at your side ... provided they don’t simply get in the way, of course.

As you might expect, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows - Part 1 will only follow the events of the first Deathly Hallows film, and it will be released on November 9th in North America, 10 days prior to the film’s release. While little word has been announced about Part 2, it should be safe to assume it will use the same system as this game and be released around the July 2011 date of the second film’s release.

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows - Part 1
EA Games