With the final installment of the much lauded Harry Potter series now in theaters, gamers are again treated to another licensed game. Another unreasonably awful, obnoxiously bad game. EA Bright Light seems to have truly outdone itself this time. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 is a soulless monstrosity that could only have been birthed from the darkest of incantations.
Gameplay-wise, our review of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1 basically covers it: “Deathly Hallows is more or less an amateur-hour Harry Potter mod for Gears of War.” It didn’t work then and it sure as hell doesn’t work now. You spend the majority of your time squatting behind cover firing off spells at the same three Death Eater character models copy-pasted to infinity. Once again, the spells you use aren’t really spells at all; they’re guns in disguise. Stupefy is your pistol, Expulso is a machine gun, Confringo is a homing missile, etc. Both the friendly and enemy NPCs still display subhuman intellect (both Ron and Hermione will wander aimlessly around the battlefield doing absolutely nothing while the 14 Death Eaters you’re up against will target you and only you) and the game’s miserable auto-lock feature makes it impossible to hit a moving target.
One of the most awkward shortcomings of this game is just how terribly the story is portrayed. You would think that this is one aspect that Deathly Hallows 2 would get right considering it’s a f%&$ing direct adaptation of the movie, but you would be underestimating just how crappy this game is. Unless you’ve read the books or seen the film, you’ll be hard-pressed to understand just what the hell is going on. The game jumps from one cutscene to the next without any sort of narrative cohesion. One minute, you’ll be battling against Snape as Harry; the next, you’ll be defending the bridge into Hogwarts as Professor McGonagall single-handedly. Why’s she there by herself? Where’s everybody else? Why can’t she use different spells from the teenagers she’s been teaching for nearly a decade? Who cares? Likewise, the voice work is lackluster at best. The majority of the voice actors come across as overzealous Harry Potter fans attempting terrible English accents.
Above: “Stupid! Err....Stupefy!”
While the PS3 version still supports Move, the 360’s Kinect compatibility is gone. The shitty stealth sections from Part 1 have also been removed; however, that just means the entire game is played as a confused, half-baked third-person shooter with absolutely nothing to break up the pacing. There’s no added co-op, minigames or anything. There is the addition of a Challenge Mode that’s unlocked by finding hidden collectibles throughout each stage, but each “challenge” is simply a time-trial which tracks player speed runs through each level with online leaderboards.
The total run time of Deathly Hallows Part 2 can last anywhere between four to six hours. We took about five hours only because we ended up taking a nap in the middle of our playthrough. Seriously. We literally fell unconscious during one of the loading screens because we were so bored.
Above: Finally you can play as Mrs. Weasley
The only thing that this travesty gets right is the look of Hogwarts Castle, but that’s not enough. Haunting stone archways and nifty rotating staircases don’t make up for just how lazy this game is. With its tedious gameplay and laughable presentation, playing through Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 is more painful than taking a Cruciatus Curse fired directly from You-Know-Who. This is the absolute nadir of the series. Harry Potter has finally devolved into a total cash-in and we can’t score it low enough. Honestly, if you’re a fan of the movies, avoid this and just go to the theater. Don’t spoil the end for yourself with this half-baked mess.
Jul 22, 2011