Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1 - quick play preview

EA is really trying to whip up a frenzy with this one. When the title was announced at Gamescom they managed to get James and Oliver Phelps up on stage to big it up. Whaddya mean you don't know who they are? They're Hollywood royalty - they play the Weasley twins in the Harry Potter films. Come on, even a muggle knows that.

Name

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1

What platform is it on?

Xbox 360

When's it due out?

16 November 2010

What other game is it like?

The other Harry Potter games, but with a twist.

Does it use any new tech?

Microsoft Kinect for Xbox 360

The pitch

The Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1 videogame is packed from start to finish with action and combat. Players will be on the run, fighting for survival on a desperate and dangerous quest to locate and destroy Voldemort’s Horcruxes, engaging with Death Eaters and Snatchers in epic battle sequences at every turn. To amplify the action, players will encounter ferocious creatures from the previous films in addition to the adversaries Harry faces in the seventh film. They will need to muster their most powerful magic against relentless assaults from all sides. There are no more lessons, no more training. This time the danger is real. It’s time for players to fight for their lives.

The storyline

Well, Harry Potter thought he was just an ordinary boy. That is until he was visited on his 11th birthday by a half-giant called Hagrid who had travelled under Dumbledore's orders to fetch the boy for Hogwarts.

Actually, this could take a while, get the books on Amazon if you're not familiar.

Our first impressions

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1 is the first game (well, first to be announced at least) that combines traditional Xbox controls with Kinect levels as well.

The chap from the Xbox team who explained the controls to Pocket-lint told us that there would be various Kinect challenges interwoven within the main game. We tried out one of those levels, with Harry in the middle of a battle with death eaters and snatchers.

First up, we have to say that it was a little bit disappointing not to be able to control anything but Harry's wand during the gameplay. There's no walking or running to be done Kinect-stylee - this is all done for you, so basically you're just casting spells.

The spells are pretty cool though - especially if you're a fan of the books. On the level we tried out we were able to use Stupefy to stun our enemies and Protego, which is a shield charm to protect ourselves. We were also able to use the hadouken-like Confringo special move which basically blew the death eaters to bits. We were told that there would be more spells available on different levels as well.

The spell conjuring really shows off just how clever Kinect is - the way it is able to determine your spell from different hand gestures is simply astonishing.

Unfortunately though, the gameplay in this Harry Potter title didn't really do the tech justice. You could only do one spell at a time, with no combos. So for example, when using Protego to stop the death-eaters killing Harry, you have to drop this stance before you can do a new one, giving the baddies ample chance to get you in between.

The aiming was also a bit off as well, with Harry often looking in completely the wrong direction to get at your enemies.

And Daniel Radcliffe's voice got a bit annoying after a while as well. But hey, if you a D-Rad (that's what the kids call him apparently) then you'll probably love it.

In short it has potential, but needs a good polish before it hits the shops.

Please note

Gamescom is a fantastic chance to see the latest games due out over the coming year, letting us get a glimpse into what are going to be the big titles and the ones to avoid like the plague.

The big problem however, is that for most of the titles that glimpse is, well, just that. At the show you'll get to play a level here or a multiplayer map there.

So with that in mind we present you with our Quick Play.

What we've done is broken down the key facts you need to know and then given you our first impressions based on around 15 minutes of gaming. For us that 15 minutes isn't enough to do a First Look review. How can you rate a game that offers over 30 hours of gaming on just 15 minutes of play? However, it should hopefully give you an idea, a feeling, a notion, of what to expect come launch day.