Lego Harry Potter Years 1-4 – Good

The first Harry Potter game in the Lego collection featured the first four movie stories. As it was a fairly early Lego game it was structured as six levels per movie. The story followed impressively closely to the movies, at times going into an incredible amount of detail that would really please a Harry Potter fan.

Like with most Lego games the different characters have different abilities based on what their identity is about (Harry has an invisibility cloak where Ron has a pet). Ideas like explosives or other unique effects are spread over many characters but the player can only access them as Harry after he’s been to a sort of mini-level in the hub world which is a spell class, this is a brilliant method of progression that’d work in a non-Lego game as it works so naturally by the idea of a schoolchild. There’s also a potions class that grants access to extra abilities such as strength or old age, the free roam character swap is even based on a well known Potter potion.

Lego Potter gets an amazing hub world. Starting with the Leaky Cauldron pub, the player can explore Knockturn Alley, Diagon Alley and Hogwarts Castle. Hogwarts seems fairly standard upon first glance with classrooms and corridors as well as the famous moving stairs that you’d expect, however as I got closer to full completion hunting all collectibles I started finding so many hidden rooms or areas that made the castle feel like it really had secrets. Hogwarts in Lego started becoming truly magical as I’d constantly be finding something new in an area I believed to be fully explored, add in a bit of time travel and it just kept going. I’m not a big Potter fan but this was one of the best hub worlds I’ve seen in Lego.

The collectibles I mentioned before are character tokens, red bricks and gold bricks. As usual with Lego everything is needed for completion and there was a lot of puzzle solving to get there including eleven extra challenge levels including Voldemort in London. During levels we get four house crest pieces rather than the usual ten Lego mini kits.

Although I could throw so much praise at this game for it being truly great, it does have some major flaws. I got four back-to-dashboard crashes with the odd graphic issue. Arguably the biggest problem was when I played co-op near full completion and seven achievements were awarded to the player 2 profile, the game believed I got the achievements but my profile didn’t (this could be an Xbox issue but it’s soul crushingly terrible for completionists.

Overall, this is a top tier Lego game which is likely to be even better if you like Harry Potter. It’s a good mix of simple gameplay and a complex map that works incredibly well for anyone that persists with it. The huge issues I had with the game has soured my opinion of it, otherwise it’s great.


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