Harry Potter: Order of the Phoenix Preview
More movie titles are on their way to us, but unlike the rest of the pack (Shrek, Spidey, Pirates) the Harry Potter games have come out more good than bad. Electronic Arts has been generally good with the way they've treated the series. Order of the Phoenix marks the fifth Harry Potter game and movie, and hopefully also the best. Theoretically, the Nintendo Wii version will benefit tremendously from wand-waving, but the next-gen versions will have that visual pull that'll make the two Harry Potter titles look like night and day. Additionally, we may likely see some nifty usage of the Sixaxis.
If the screenshot that EA's been showing off really are any indication of what's in store for us, then consider me very intrigued. Visually, Order of the Phoenix just looks right. The details on each of the characters is very sharp and instantly recognizable. Each character is rendered with not just accurate facial details, but also the proper physical proportions of the real actors. There's some solid texture work to look at, with some nice lighting. After all, what would a videogame about wizardry be without good lighting? The one thing that's in the back of our head is that the game's important facet is under control: the framerate. The framerate has already severely plagued two other high-profile titles, and it'll be very disappointing to see it claim a third. Hopefully, EA ensures us title that renders smoothly.
With the return of Voldemort gripping the fears of everyone at Hogwarts, the trio of wizards (Harry, Ron and Hermione) assemble Dumbledor's Army, and form an entire legion of fellow young Hogwarts attendees to help aid them in the fight against Voldemort and his Death Eaters. The game will have a good emphasis on wand work, and we're holding out for some quirky uses of the Sixaxis when pulling off spells.
EA claims that much of the environment will be fully interactive, complete with magical objects, ghosts, portraits in all of the rooms,corridors and courtyards. The developers are clearly aiming to deliver the proper Harry Potter experience, and we hope that it comes out enjoyable. Now, as a quasi-commander of an army, you'll be allowed to recruit fellow wizards and train them by teaching them Defense Against the Dark Arts. So already, the game has a facet that gives you depth.
Not only do you get to play as the trio of young wizards, but also as the two most powerful wizards of Hogwarts: Sirius and Dumbledore, allowing you to fight off Lucius, Bellatrix and Voldemort in the Ministry of Magic. And epic battles will be another highlight of the game - so prepare yourself for an adventure. Harry Potter: The Order of the Phoenix is set to debut on June 25th.
6/25/2007 Arnold Katayev