Despite the obvious plug for the titular products, the LEGO series of games has always nonetheless been defined by quality and respect for the intelligence of its young target audience. It has also provided a fair bit of entertainment value for ‘kids at heart’ such as myself. LEGO Harry Potter: Years 5-7 looks to continue that trend, capping off its light-hearted parody of my personal favourite book series of all time.
Be warned: Slight spoilers lie ahead if you haven’t read the books or seen the latest movie.
My E3 demo took place in Godric’s Hollow, former home to James and Lily Potter. Specifically, it was during the graveyard scene from Deathly Hallows, where Harry and Hermione must find the grave of Godric Gryffindor. Unfortunately, it has become impossible to discern one gravestone from another, as they are covered in snow. The puzzle here revolves around finding various ways to remove the snow from each one. This is all done in trademark ridiculous LEGO fashion, such as building a giant hair dryer and using Wingardium Leviosa to float it around and have it suck up the snow. Some puzzles were a little trickier, requiring Hermione to stand on special pads that allowed her to pluck an item from her trademark beaded handbag (which, of course, has room for everything in the world).
Eventually (and through a rather humorous cutscene), I found Gryffindor’s grave. Series fans know what happens next, as the characters were beckoned to enter the house of Bathilda Bagshot. As series fans already know, the real Bathilda is dead, and Voldemort’s snake is controlling her body. This made for some funny shenanigans where it almost revealed its true identity. A large pile of books fell over, preventing me from following her upstairs. It took a while (this was a really contrived puzzle), but I eventually realized that I needed to knock some LEGO parts out of a desk that was obscured by the camera angle, then put them together. Doing so created a machine that was all too happy to eat the books I levitated it toward.
After going up the stairs, the snake (Nagini) revealed its true form, and a boss battle ensued. While avoiding her strikes, I had to use magic to fling objects into her open mouth. Once she swallowed it, I could then levitate it while it was inside her in order to fling her backwards. Eventually, I knocked her through a hole in the floor and Harry and Hermione were able to escape, thus ending my demo.
You already know what to expect, graphically, from a LEGO game. All the characters and objects are made up of LEGO blocks, with exaggerated animations and plenty of special effects. Everything looks very clean, and it is easy to identify all the major characters. The best part for me, though, is when everyone explodes in a thousand pieces when they die—makes me laugh every time.
Lego Harry Potter: Years 5-7 should be a fun, silly experience for all kids (big and little) when it launches later this year.