Video Game of the Week: Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince
Harry has returned to Hogwarts for a sixth year and faces new threats and challenges from some familiar characters. Voldemort is tightening his grip on both the Muggle and wizarding worlds and Hogwarts is no longer the safe haven it was once assumed to be. Harry works with Dumbledore to find the key to unlock Voldemort’s defenses and prepare for the final battle that they know is fast approaching.
Harry is also eager to learn the origin of his secret benefactor, The Half-Blood Prince, who has filled Harry’s hand-me-down textbook with helpful hints and spells.
Like earlier video game releases in the Harry Potter franchise, the action in Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince revolves around the exploration of Hogwarts and what you manage to uncover. The game features both single player and local multiplayer modes, as well as some brand new features. Players will have a chance to engage in wizard duels, mix and brew magical ingredients in a potions class, and take to the air to lead the Gryffindor Quidditch team to victory.
As you progress through the game, you collect crests and earn badges, which in turn open up other areas to explore. If you get lost, you can always summon Nearly Headless Nick to get you back on the right path!
If there is one criticism of the video game, it is probably its limited ambition. Players must navigate the same three mini-games several times and the repetitive gameplay might quickly lose its appeal.
The characters, graphics and even the music of the video game faithfully follow the Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince movie, which is scheduled to be released July 15. While there are some reservations over the video game, early indications suggest that the legions of Harry Potter fans will not be disappointed by the movie!
(Rated Everyone 10+ for “depictions of non-realistic violence towards human-like or animal-like characters.”)
Publisher: EA Games
Platforms: Xbox 360, Nintendo Wii, PS2, PS3, PC
RRP: $29.99 (PS2, PS2); $49.99 (Xbox 360, Wii, PS3)
ESRB Rating: “E 10+” – Everyone 10+