Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows Part 2 review: And so it comes to an end. EA's long-lasting series of Harry Potter games which started all the way back in 2001 is finally over with this, the game of the movie of the second part of the last book. But while Harry's gaming series has been a long journey with more ups and downs than a mine cart at Gringotts, Deathly Hallows Part 2 is over surprisingly quickly.
The game takes the same approach as Part 1 by offering a series of Gears Of War-style levels in which you have to duck behind cover then pop out every now and then to fire some bulle... um, cast some magic at other soldi... ahem, Death Eaters. It's generally satisfying - pointing with the Remote makes you feel like you're actually using a wand and the different types of spell are conveniently available through D-Pad presses.
While the hiding-then-shooting format undoubtedly works well though, it's a bit uninspired to base the entire game round it. After a while it starts to feel like every level was originally conceived with the question "right, what can Harry hide behind next?".
Granted, EA Bright Light has done everything in its power to try and make things feel at least a little different. Each stage presents minor variations of the main gameplay - one sees you destroying spiders as Ron tries to open a door (easily the dullest section of the game, unfortunately), and there are very occasional short scenes where you have to run into the screen while some sort of big calamity is chasing after you.
Gears Of Horcrux
Things are also livened up a little with the ability to play as various different characters throughout the game. One minute you're fighting Snape as Professor McGonagall, the next you're controlling Seamus Finnigan as he plants explosives under a bridge (no, we don't remember that bit either). It's fun not playing as Harry all the time, even though it becomes quickly apparent they all have an unusual fondness for hiding behind things and shooting.
Naturally, your "weapons" come in the form of various spells which are added to your inventory as you play through the game. They're not very well-balanced though. Once you get the rapid-fire Expulso, you're never going to use the single-shot Stupefy again, for example.
Combat strategy is also very basic (fire whatever you want at them unless they're using Protego, in which case use Expelliarmus once and then fire whatever you want) and doesn't change much throughout.
By far the most disappointing aspect of Deathly Hallows Part 2 however is its length. When a game is only a little longer than the movie it's based on there's a problem, and with a bit of practice you can have this one licked in around three hours or so. Many fans who have followed Harry Potter since its beginnings are in their late teens and early 20's now, and for those this is a breeze to saunter through.
As entertaining and visually impressive as Deathly Hallows Part 2 is, we just can't recommend paying full price for it. Go and see the film instead, and get this when it inevitably drops down to a tenner online in six months' time.
This is an edited version of a review that will appear in the September issue of Official Nintendo Magazine which is out on 4 August. If you want to receive a future issue before it reaches the shops, subscribe here.