LEGO Harry Potter: Years 5-7 Review: Should You Buy?

Lego Harry Potter Cover

LEGO Harry Potter: Years 5-7 Review: Should You Buy?

Fans of any previous Lego Harry Potter games will enjoy Lego Harry Potter: Years 5-7. This game was created for PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, PlayStation Vita, PlayStation Portable, Wii, Nintendo DS & 3DS, Microsoft Windows, IOS, and Android. Released in 2011 Lego Harry Potter: Years 5-7 are a combination of loose, forgiving combat and light puzzle solving in a world inhabited by LEGO people and objects. There’s usually a hub world of some kind and the ability to revisit completed levels with your choice of characters, granting access to previously unreachable areas. Now, to ask the question, is this game worth the time and money?

Lego Harry Potter: Years 5-7 Going Beyond

Lego Harry Potter Screenshot
Impressive graphics of Lego Harry Potter: Years 5-7.

The LEGO video game series, at this point, extends well beyond the original scope of the Star Wars franchise that bore it all. That game was an unexpected gem, popping up just in time to cash in on the as-of-yet unreleased third prequel movie, yet containing the content of that film in LEGO-ified form. It begot a sequel, as well as games set in the Indiana Jones continuity and a Batman outing. By the second Indiana Jones entry, though, the formula was starting to wear thin. And a formula it is. LEGO games have unique settings, based on their particular franchise, and the characters change—as do their specialized mechanics.

Immersive Gameplay in Lego Harry Potter: Years 5-7

Lego Harry Potter Potions
Craft potions and spells.

First, the good: Lego Harry Potter: Years 5-7 is a beautiful game. The environments are well-textured, incredibly faithful to the appearance of the movies, with sparkling particle effects and bright colors shooting forth as appropriate. Everything animates smoothly, from the characters to the jumbles of disorganized blocks and the fanciful devices they construct. 

The characters are expressive, too. It’s amazing the amount of personality Traveler’s Tales injects into the onscreen mini-figs. It’s not just their mouths and their eyes, either. All of their body language, from slumping in dejection to Ron’s cowardly shivering when spiders are present, makes it perfectly clear how they’re supposed to be feeling at all times. The mini-figs do communicate with a nonsensical murmuring, but they tend to speak mostly with their actions. You’ll see them flirt with, chastise, and support each other in equal measure.

The audio, too, is wonderful. The spells sound powerful when they shoot out, whether the explosive blast of Reducto or the low thrum of Expecto Patronum. Gathering studs and golden bricks is as addictive as ever specifically because the game rewards you with a satisfying clinking clatter or a booming surge that tells you that you’ve accomplished something. Even destroying the many LEGO objects in the environment feels like you’re actually picking up a handful of the Danish building blocks and letting them tumble onto a hardwood floor.

Take the Good with the Bad

Lego Harry Potter Building Screenshot
Build gardens and buildings in impressive environments.

Now for the bad: LEGO Harry Potter has a terrible difficulty curve. The entire fifth year and most of the sixth consist almost entirely of single-note puzzles, where it feels as though you repeatedly reuse one ability. Moreover, due to all of the teaching sequences between levels in the Hogwarts hub, those years feel interminable. It’s strange when The Deathly Hallows, which is split into two parts, goes by incredibly quickly, in comparison. Late in the sixth year and throughout The Deathly Hallows, the puzzles open up considerably and expect players to figure out more from context, which makes the process of completing levels less like checking items off of a list and more like actually playing a game.

Final Thoughts

Lego Harry Potter: Years 5-7 in all is a wonderful game filled with adventure and fantastical animation. If players are more interested in the puzzle solving style video game, then this is the game to check out. However, players with a more combat oriented gameplay approach may want to give Lego Harry Potter: Years 5-7 a rental or move past it completely. 

To top