Lego Harry Potter: Years 1-4 Hands-On

Forget spells and magic wands, we get the job done by playing as Hagrid's dog Fang.


The last time we ventured through the lively halls of Hogwarts, we got a glimpse of what the stars of the Harry Potter series could do with a little class time and practice. At the 2010 Game Developers Conference, we played Lego Harry Potter: Years 1-4 for the first time and found that it can be just as fun to play as Hagrid's drooling puppy Fang or Hermione's fat cat Crookshanks. Granted, they can't cast spells to ward off dementors or get through devil's snare, but they come with their own unique abilities to help you get where you need to go.

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Our first stop was Hagrid's house where he would eventually take the young wizards to the Forbidden Forest. After a few goofy cutscenes where Hagrid was airing out some dirty laundry and tending to a sick unicorn, we were on our way through the mysterious woods. Because Harry is not always alone on his adventures, you can easily rotate among the members of your party, including the nonhuman ones. One particular handy party member was Fang because he could dig in areas that were highlighted by paw prints, giving us access to secret areas. He could also pounce and attack giant wasps that were otherwise in our way.

Hagrid may come well equipped with a crossbow, but Fang can bark, beg, climb ladders, and even play dead. Not too shabby for a big dopey dog. And you can play as other pets--not just as Fang. By using the right bumper to rotate through your arsenal of spells, Hermione can bring out her fluffy cat Crookshanks, and you can control the cat temporarily to help you dig. The forest is full of strange critters and out of control plants, so it's fun to see what kind of animations are triggered when you put the right pieces into place. It's important to interact with anything that you can because you never know what will happen if you water the plants or put a particular brick back where it belongs.

We jumped ahead to year three to watch a scene where Harry goes for a ride on Buckbeak with Hermione and they get dropped off on the rooftop of Hogwarts. Like previous Lego games, there's still a lot of teamwork involved, which is what makes the games more fun to play with a friend. As we made our way across the roof, we realized that we needed to rely on Harry to cast expecto patronum to keep the dementors at bay and that Hermione was most useful by keeping the devil's snare in check. Friendly fire is usually off when you're playing with someone, but when you're partnered up with the computer, some funny things will happen--like enlarged faces--if you mistakenly zap your fellow wizards.

There's a lot to discover at Hogwarts…like plungers.
There's a lot to discover at Hogwarts…like plungers.

For our final stop, we moved onto year four, jumping head first in the Triwizard Tournament. Some liberties were taken so that you won't be facing a giant fire-breathing dragon alone, so just know that Hermione has got your back when it comes time to face the trials. The game becomes more intense as the years go by, which makes sense as the series gets darker as more time passes. After fending off dementors in year three, we were hopping around by year four trying to track down vital potion ingredients for a strength formula all while dodging the dragon's flames coming from the background. It's chaotic but fun, and it'll be sure to keep you on your toes.

Little details and new objects are continuously being added so we'll have more updates when we get a chance to play with a build of our own in the near future. The game looks good so far and can be played cooperatively offline across all consoles, as well as online for the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3. Lego Harry Potter: Years 1-4 will be released on the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, PlayStation Portable, Nintendo DS, Nintendo Wii, and PC later this year.

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Avatar image for gropez

Im getting this FIRST day it comes out! Looks Awesome!

Avatar image for Jak_Napier


Avatar image for pet_art33

Where did you hear of a LEGO Lord of the Rings? When does it come out?

Avatar image for maroon111

Good job:)

Avatar image for THOMJOHN3

I can't wait for all of that work nabbing every LEGO to finally equal TROPHIES!!!

Avatar image for luccaface

Still waiting for Lego Lord of the Rings

Avatar image for Goods_Merchant

The magic is very, very reminiscent of Lego Star Wars...

Avatar image for Fatmanfatman123

Lego games were great until Lego Indiana Jones up to Lego Batman. Indiana Jones 2 was OK but i hope this is more like Star Wars: The Complete Saga.

Avatar image for cedric01094

Oh I never image that Lego will make Harry Potter game, this make me feel excited and I wish I could play it right now. I will definitely play as Harry Potter and my girlfriend will be my side-kick Hermione Granger, hahaha :)

Avatar image for MOwens9512

I'm actually suprised it took this long for a Lego Harry Potter to hit the radar. Love the Lego series. Can't wait til they decide to do others. Would be real cool if they took an existing video game character and made a Lego game out of them. Lego God of War perhaps? LOL

Avatar image for A4477

it looks fuun cant wait.. I am a big fan of HP will love it....know its gonna be hilarious and am not a kid

Avatar image for 7h3_h4x3r

Never understood why anyone plays Lego games...unless of course these games are made for young players or kids.

Avatar image for Gelugon_baat

" can control the cat temporarily to help you dig..." Cats? Dig? They would sooner jump into muddy water than dirty themselves digging. I don't recall Hermione ever having such an obedient Crookshanks.

Avatar image for ruttyrutty

I've never played any of the lego games before. But this does look pretty sweet. I may have to try it out

Avatar image for tigertechie

Oh for heaven's sake, you do know anything here? You know what? forget it, agruing with people like you is like hitting yourself with a brick. And I am not christian. And a pentagram is a bad symbol. At least Stephen King says so! Just forget it!

Avatar image for Mysterywriter

good grief....I'm sticking with the actual subject which is THE GAME!!! I am looking forward to another installment of a LEGO game. I have all the others and they are just as fun and challenging as Dante's Inferno, Halo 3, FF13 and some others I could name. They just show that u can play a great game without using other things just to get a Teen or Mature rating so they can sell it.

Avatar image for ZeerusX

Wow... Is Tiger actually one of those jesus freaks that thinks Harry Potter is "devil work"? Not only that, is he REALLY that ignorant to think the pentagram is a satanic symbol? It's pagan you nitwit. Go to school, PLEASE, you inbred brainwashed "christian" (Hint: Your not really a christian, because instead of going by the words of jesus, which was pretty much just "love everyone" you instead pervert his words to further your own irrational, paranoid agenda's.)

Avatar image for Nero3347

i like lego its pretty cool haha

Avatar image for aseer-432

hate the lego its so ugly

Avatar image for jonzilla_basic

Dud let it go. You said your peace over and over and over. You have a GS Blog use that instead of constantly promoting your personal views on kids games here.

Avatar image for tigertechie

@ itsTolkien_time Are you trying to make me sound like I'm the sort of person who needs to be caged or strapped to a table or wall?

Avatar image for jonzilla_basic

...oh and over 140 Characters WHOLEY BEEEEEEP!!! That's awesome!

Avatar image for jonzilla_basic

As the majority of these comments are non sense I can't wait for this lego game. I think the lego series is great and I hope they continue to put out great ones. Just picked up Lego Indiana Jones AGAIN just to go through it. Lots of fun. I hope we can see Lego LOTR some day!!!!!

Avatar image for tigertechie

I can't go in a cage. More like a metal wall or table with wrist and ankle restraints, that suits me better. And in the mean time, why don't you crave a pentagram above your bed? If you even know what that means.

Avatar image for itsTolkien_time

Oh whoops. Did it escape again? Don't worry folks. Come here, tigertechie. Well put you back in your nice safe cage now. Dont worry, everyone. The problem is under control. Anyways, I'm quite looking forward to this game, and, of course :roll: I'm also really looking forward to all that fun Satanic worship I'm doing tonight, all because Harry Potter showed me that it was right. But seriously, the game is shaping up pretty well. I'm hopeful they equal the original Star Wars game.

Avatar image for a_wubba_wompa

@tigertechi Haha you said, Satan, the devil....nice clarification While I agree that HP endorses witchcraft, who gives a s**t? Hail Satan

Avatar image for Du_Hast_Mich

@tigertechie Just because i read a book i have no sanity? that makes no f****** sense you know that right. does reading this article about the game or about final fantasy or god of war make me not sane as well? and another thing witchcraft isn't real you moron. and the person who experimented with them is a moron too because all of that stuff is made up for our entertainment. so you really are f****** retarded if you believe that stuff exists

Avatar image for soulfulDAGGER

Love these Lego games. Great stuff always fun and exciting to try these.

Avatar image for tigertechie

Who said I was christan? I said that because you read HP you have no sanity. Anyway, all the spells, chants, potions, everything is real witchcraft. I know this for a fact, because I know someone who experimented with those things, and he says it is real

Avatar image for Du_Hast_Mich

@tigertechie and because i read a book, you say i have no sanity? that doesn't seem very christian to me criticizing people like that.

Avatar image for Du_Hast_Mich

@tigertechie how does it have teachings of the occult? because they make feathers float? or because they make potions. first of all how do you know what the occult is? apparently you know what it is so you must have read about it, and that is actually satanic.

Avatar image for Jay_Tew_2003

I can't wait for this game! I'm a huge fan of the HP series, and people who think it's satanic really haven't read it and shouldn't have an opinion on it.

Avatar image for Du_Hast_Mich

@tigertechie you are stupid, if harry potter is satanic, then so is twilight, or pretty much everything else people read nowadays. Plus its a book, you don't go satanic from reading a book, you go satanic because your a nutcase who is severely messed up in the head, not because of a book

Avatar image for NishGuy

I think the Lego games really show that you don't need violence and foul language to make a good game. Sometimes some good ole fasioned clean fun is all you need. Not to say I don't love me some violence and cursing!

Avatar image for tigertechie

I never said it would make people go Satanic, i just said it had a minor influence. Also, so many churches have told people never to read Harry Potter because of the witchcraft, and reviewers all said it goes have them, and people who are into the occult read it, and say it does have it!

Avatar image for Jack_n_Coke07

@tigertechie You are a dimwit. This is witchcraft, and it is against God, but it's not necessarily going to make people go Satanic for no apparent reason.

Avatar image for blazing_quilava

Okay harry ptter has nothing to do with god or the devil. Besides lets say it does. (warning there is a seventh book spoiler here) Voldermort who is the most hated charectar and would be the closest thing to satin is killed by hary potter. why would a book about devil worship kill the devil? Also J.K. Rowling never made a comment about it being about sating worship she said it had nothing to do with him at all and should not be assciated with any religion. now shut up and go away.

Avatar image for jefferson1964

Looks like fun even if i dont get into Harry Potter

Avatar image for neowolph

YAY@!Q Satanism in it's coolest form! Lego Harry Potter is the key to rise of the ANTI-CHRIST! Muah-ha-ha-ha-hah!

Avatar image for Briggins14
Briggins14 how many more comments u gonna post about the same thing over and over?

Avatar image for pukmok

Tigertechie was making a joke people. You know, haha?

Avatar image for bodylotion

The lego games all are very cute.

Avatar image for VidGamAnonymous

I hope they'll be able to top LEGO Indiana Jones: The original adventures

Avatar image for SibirskiyTigr

I'm getting this game regardless, I'm a Harry Potter fan, and I've been waiting for a good game come out for these book series, while there have been in the past, all of them were way to serious of a game play. Lego Harry Potter will be more fun play rather than serious :)

Avatar image for robdar602

My family and I are big Harry Potter fans. It looks like we'll finally get a good HP game. If it's as good as the Lego Star Wars games, then it will be a winner!

Avatar image for mvpski

So excited!!!

Avatar image for converse

Yay !!! I love Lego games, I don't care that they are supposed to be for children. I'll do 3 hours of Bad Company 2 and then an hour of this to cool off. I'd love to see a Lego Aliens Trilogy or X-men, a little lego Wolverine would be great !!!

Avatar image for J-man45

Im pretty psyched for the game at this point. Huge fan of HP and im sure the lego version will be way better than the games based on the movies. :P

Avatar image for zipnut5

looks like a sweet game for kids, the upgrade spell thingy could work real well.

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