Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix Impressions

EA shows off the latest build of its upcoming Harry Potter adventure.

Earlier today, at its Summer Preview event in San Francisco, Electronic Arts showed off the latest Nintendo Wii version of Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. It was only a few weeks ago that we last saw the game in action, but today's presentation still afforded us an opportunity to check out some new stuff and to see that progress has been made.

Unlike the build of Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix that we saw last time, this one didn't feature any of the usual cheats and debug options that are used to show off later areas, and so the Hogwarts that we were shown looked much as it will the first time you play the game. The school didn't look radically different, but there were a large number of locked doors with signs on them that, while not particularly pleasing to the eye, will save you the bother of trying and failing to get through them. We also noticed that most of the animated portraits, which we previously learned will offer quests and unlock shortcuts for you, were asleep, perhaps because you'll only be able to use their shortcuts to get to areas that you've already visited using more conventional means.

As we mentioned in our previous preview, Hogwarts is a large and confusing building that will certainly take a while for you to learn your way around. The promised navigation assistance option that will let you follow footprints to your chosen destination has now been implemented, and we're pleased to report that it appears to do its job both admirably and unobtrusively. After setting your destination, you'll notice a set of five or six dark footprints appearing at your feet and pointing you in the right direction--they vanish when you walk the right way but reappear anytime you stray from the most direct route to where you want to be.

We got to see a number of Harry's "charm" spells (as opposed to combat spells) being used during today's presentation, including accio (pull), depulso (push), reparo (repair), reducto (blast), wingardium leviosa (object levitation), and incendio (fire). Additional spells will be unlocked as you progress through the game, and we learned tonight that the pause menu will feature an option that reminds you which gestures you need to make to cast them. None of the gestures that we saw today were complicated--reparo is performed by making a clockwise circle motion, for example--but it's good to know that trial and error won't be your only option if you forget which gestures do what.

Our presentation came to an end in the area of Hogwarts known as the transfiguration courtyard, where Harry challenged a student from a rival house to a game of gobstones. A lot like marbles, gobstones challenges you to knock colored stones out of a chalk circle while keeping yours inside it. On the Wii, gobstones will be played simply by positioning the camera so that it's pointing in the direction that you want to roll your stone and then flicking the Wii Remote while holding and then releasing the B button. The minigame--which is one of three, the others being exploding snap and wizard chess--looked like it will make for a fun distraction from the regular game, and we're looking forward to checking the other minigames and bringing you more information on Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix just as soon as we get our hands on a copy.

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40 comments
abeed_cool
abeed_cool

not very good game i hope harry potter 6 will be good

Dill-Man
Dill-Man

i agree with the comment that they should make good spin-offs, like KOTOR or such, maybe an MMO, that'd be awesome

Dwaaskie
Dwaaskie

Yeoman25 buy it for the 360. the one for the wii is probably buggy AND with poor graphics. I'm fine with my 360 controller AND the quality graphics

Yeoman25
Yeoman25

i have a 360 and a wii but im not sure which to get it on. I want it on 360 for the graphics and wii for the wand movements. what do you guys think?

lamdaica
lamdaica

i like the graphics of this game , the magical world is very exciting

bunty_007
bunty_007

Expecting a good taste this time :)

benleslie5
benleslie5

Hope this game will be alot better the The Goblet Of Fore I thought it was disapointing, but The Order of the Phoenix will be amazing to play hopefully.

hpfan32
hpfan32

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix on the Nintendo Wii looks amazing. I bought my Nintendo Wii this past sunday night and it is amazing. Harry Potter has to be amazing on the Wii. I am psyched to see the movie and by the game.

Carterman00
Carterman00

I wish that lucasarts would get the rights to harry potter, have a ton of spin offs of a wizard world ie the jedi world. where it wouldn't be harry potter, but a young rizard, like KOTOR you choose to be bad or good and have an array of wizarding attacks, and then the jedi academy games, where you are trained at hogwarts at first, then you go out on your own and do missions else where and hunt people as a wizard... just some ideas. Harry Potter is HUGE, billion dollar franchise, so where is the spin offs, and adventure games.

gamegirl55
gamegirl55

I'll be buying this game to play on the PC. I'd like to hear some impressions about the PC version of the HP&tOotP game. Just out of curiosity, how could the HP games be improved?

woofiny
woofiny

Meh, I'm A Big Fan Of Harry OPottter The Games Are Just Too Easy Really. If It Comes Out For The 360 I'll Get It. But Even now I Haven't Played Goblet Of Fire?

ash1966
ash1966

This looks okay might give it a try, cant wait for the movie and the new book

imperial_agent
imperial_agent

the previous ones were terrible. I don't know how they racked up scores in the 7's on gamespot. If this one doesn't get an "8" and is more than $49.99, then FORGET IT.

caleythia
caleythia

Well, the graphics certainly looked improved from earlier HP games. Hopefully, the gameplay has improved as well. After the disaster that was the last game (Goblet of Fire), I don't hold very high hopes for the future of this gaming franchise. Unfortunately, they will keep putting out bad games because so many fans of the book will buy anything with the Potter name on it, regardless of quality.

dundee85
dundee85

This looks okay might give it a try, cant wait for the movie and the new book

rogermao
rogermao

looks ok, all the rest were ones that looked like it should be played by a 5 year old, and just simply sucked

Vampire_Turtle
Vampire_Turtle

The Games of Harry Potter have been very... very bad. However this one looks okay graphically/gameplay. I prefer the books to the games anyhow. ^^

imperial_agent
imperial_agent

i like Potter, but the games have been really, really bad. i hope this one gets at least 7.1 If it is a GTA styled (Bully, but only in Hogwarts), I'd totally get it.

Ir_Rana
Ir_Rana

It has pottential, perhaps the best harry potter game ever(not such a feat though)

DepressionMoon
DepressionMoon

To KillaHalo2o9 Then why the hell did you look at this article!?

cobrax80
cobrax80

probably will be an average game.

Boy_Man07
Boy_Man07

hope it's a 10hours, 15 hours game. i think i'll get it to PS3, but first i'll see the ratings. did not enjoy HP4 very much(the game). besides, i'll be busy reading HP7! =D P.S.: i (still) don't have a Wii, but this game looks interesting and very fun to play on the Wii!

kemar7856
kemar7856

i dont care 4 the games but the movies are pretty good

Eloy
Eloy

Never had a Harry Potter game, this one it's gonna change that

hpfan32
hpfan32

This game will be amazing on the Nintendo Wii Console. I can't wait.

AceCometh
AceCometh

I recommend that everyone steer clear of the Harry Potter games. Just read the books! Those are actually good.

Vyce3
Vyce3

This better not be another 5 hour long game.

Bratpack002
Bratpack002

This looks great! I am going to need foodtprints to help me navigate Hogwarts? Awesome! I can't wait to own this game!

PackersRock
PackersRock

Every time they release one of these games a kitten dies. Seriously, I hate how they base the story in the game off the movies and not the books, and then don't even get that right. Not that it really matters to me anymore, I gave up on this series about two years ago.

Makhdoom82
Makhdoom82

Since it's coming on PS3 I'm happy !!! :D

monkkito
monkkito

I hope they get this game right on the Wii, it would just feel more realistic when casting spells.

ash1966
ash1966

can't wait look really good