|System: PS3, X360, Wii|
|Dev: Bright Light|
|Pub: Electronic Arts|
|Release: November 16, 2010|
|Screen Resolution: 480p-1080p||Fantasy Violence|
There is one area though where Deathly Hallows does outshine its predecessor: visuals. While character models were a little too simplistic and environments a little too bland before, the visuals in this entry in the series improve on nearly every aspect of the original. Character models in particular are highly detailed, and Harry Potter and Co. look extremely good. The different environments also sport a good amount of detail, although NPCs and enemies sometimes have a jarring amount of repetitive design elements. However, this is a small quibble, as the visual design overall is impressive.
But despite the game's good looks, the other production values do suffer in Deathly Hallows. The sound in particular is one area that could have definitely used some help. Though the game's cast of original actors and sound-alikes seem to try hard, the game features some really wooden performances, and chatty NPCs have a tendency to repeat the same stock phrases over and over, which grates on the nerves quickly.
You can expect to get about three to four hours of play time from the game's main story mode. Although that sounds a little short, it is around the average for movie-licensed games, so there's no real surprise there. The game does try to beef up its contents with a challenge mode that has you participating in small mini-quests that are scored and ranked, but these challenges are largely forgettable, and without a multiplayer component (beyond the leaderboard), there's no real reason to play through them.
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1 looked to change up the series and provide some innovation with the new wand-based combat mechanic. However, boring implementation of the mechanic, uninspired level design, and some poor production values (with the exception of the visuals) sink this game into a poor representation of the Harry Potter franchise. If you want a good Harry Potter game, you are better off playing last year's Half-Blood Prince. Sure, it doesn't look as smart, and it was far from perfect, but it was a much more enjoyable experience at the end of the day, and one I think the team who worked on Deathly Hallows can learn from. If you must experience Deathly Hallows' video game component, this one is only worth a rental at best, as you won't get more than a few hours' play time from it.
Amanda L. Kondolojy
CCC Senior Staff Contributor