Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (video game)

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (video game)

Infobox VG
title = Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince


developer = EA Bright Light Studio
publisher = Electronic Arts
designer =
engine =
released = Summer 2009 [cite web|url=http://www.shacknews.com/onearticle.x/54614|title=Harry Potter Game Delayed Alongside Movie|last=Faylor|first=Chris |date=September 8, 2008|publisher=ShackNews|language=English|accessdate=2008-09-08]
genre = Third-person action-adventure
modes = Single-player and multiplayer
ratings = vgratings|PEGI=12+|ESRB=Everyone 10+
platforms = Mac OS X, Microsoft Windows, Nintendo DS, PlayStation 2, PlayStation 3, PlayStation Portable, Wii, Xbox 360, Mobile
media = DVD, Blu-ray Disc, Wii Optical Disc, Nintendo DS Game Card, UMD
requirements =
input = Gamepad, keyboard and mouse, Wii Remote, stylus

"Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince" is an upcoming video game being developed by EA's Bright Light Studio and published by Electronic Arts. Its release date has officially been pushed back to coincide with the film's new mid-2009 release date. The game will be released on Mac OS X, Microsoft Windows, Nintendo DS, PlayStation 2, PlayStation 3, PlayStation Portable, Wii, Xbox 360, and Mobile platforms. IGN. [http://pc.ign.com/articles/868/868508p1.html EA Announces Half-Blood Prince] "IGN". Accessed 23 April 2008.]

Game features

These are the features that have been confirmed so far Team Xbox. [http://news.teamxbox.com/xbox/16293/EA-Announces-Harry-Potter-and-the-HalfBlood-Prince/ EA Announces Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince] "Team Xbox". Accessed 23 April 2008.] :
* Multiplayer (From the main menu you can choose single player story mode, or two player mode)
* Wizard Duels (one or two players)
* Potion making
* Quidditch
* Hogwarts free-roaming (similar to the previous Harry Potter game, Order of the Phoenix)
* Fully accessible areas including the Horcrux cave
* Four different times of day, allowing missions at night
* Classes
* Ron's love-life
* Online multiplayer

Gameplay

Harry is free to explore the entire grounds of Hogwarts. All the screenshots show this being done from a third-person perspective with a relatively fixed camera, however direct camera control will be available.

Screenshots show familiar areas of Hogwarts from the previous game, such as the Library, but also various new locations outside the castle, the dueling room, the quidditch pitch, and a couple of unknown rooms. Besides Hogwarts, the Horcrux cave is also explorable and has been shown in screenshots.

While exploring you can cast a number of spells to manipulate objects in the environment. Wingardium Leviosa is used very often. Incendio has been announced, and shown in screenshots being used on a "Devil's Snare". Reparo is also included. It was announced that the Nintendo DS version (and perhaps all versions) would have 6 environmental spells, leaving 2 other unknown spells.Reducto will not feature in this game, and Lumos is automatically cast if necessary.

There are plenty of puzzles involving objects around Hogwarts, such as tapestries that must be hit in a certain order to release crests.

Like all previous Harry Potter games there are objects you can collect (unrelated to the plot) as a reward for exploring and an incentive to find everything in the game. But this time Harry must find all the glowing grey Hogwarts crests, which there are 150 of. Some of these crests are obtained using the physics system, by knocking them with other levitated objects. The crests can also be smashed using physics, for example, in order to move the pieces through a locked gate, and then reconstituted on the other side by casting Reparo. Crest pieces can be found inside various objects, which need to be shaken to release their crest piece. Collecting crests allows you to unlock extra characters for dueling. There are also 30 achievement badges which can be earned, similar to the trophies in Order of the Phoenix.

Unlike Order of the Phoenix, which allowed the player to choose the level of difficulty, Half-Blood Prince automatically adjusts the level of difficulty based on the skill of the player.

Harry can also attend classes, play quidditch, mix potions, and duel against other students in the dueling room.

In Quidditch you play as the Seeker, Harry Potter, who is now Griffindor quidditch captain. Which means your job is to chase and catch the golden snitch. You do that by flying through star-shaped hoops which give you speed bonuses.

In dueling, you can move and dodge, and you can cast spells including Protego, Stupefy (with various levels of charging), Expelliarmus, Levicorpus, and Petrificus Totalus. It was earlier reported that 12 combat spells were available in the Nintendo DS version. Each student has their health bar shown in the form of orbs below them. A dueling match is best two out of three.

In Potions, you pour vials and bottles of ingredients into a cauldron, stir it, fan smoke out of the way, and add ingredients such as leeches, rat spleens, worms, and caterpillars. You must be careful to do just the right amount, and must do it within a time limit.

Unlike earlier games in the series, which only loosely followed the story, sometimes explained the plot poorly, and sometimes included many artificial challenges and monsters not from the book, this game promises to follow the plot of the story closely, and to tell the story better than the movie does. Although the player will still be able to roam freely around Hogwarts, exploring at their leisure, before completing each plot element.

Wii

The Wii version is the primary development target, with other platform versions being ported from the Wii. All controls are first designed for the Wii Remote.

Unlike Order of the Phoenix, while exploring Hogwarts, the Wii Remote pointer/sensor bar can be used for direct camera control by holding down the B button.

Spell controls are different. Wingardium Leviosa is now cast by holding the B button and drawing the Wii Remote towards you. Levitated objects are controlled by moving the nunchuk analogue stick.

The game will utilise the Wii Remote features as it did in the "Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix" video game.IGN. [http://au.pc.ign.com/articles/868/868508p1.html/ EA Announces Half-Blood Prince] "IGN". Accessed 23 April 2008.] .

Unlike the previous game, players can now also use the motion sensing and vibration features to brew potions. Potion brewing involves following a complex recipe, represented by symbols floating up the right hand side of the screen, one step at a time. The steps include picking up vials or bottles of liquid with Wingardium Leviosa (by holding the A button), shaking them (by shaking the Wii Remote) until they froth, and tipping the Wii Remote sideways to pour it into the mixture, being very careful not to pour in too much. Another possible step is stirring the mixture with the Wii Remote until it changes color. If it starts vibrating, that is the sign to move away before it blows up.videogamer.com. [http://www.videogamer.com/xbox360/harry_potter_and_the_halfblood_prince/preview-881.html Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince Hands-on] "videogamer.com". Accessed 26 April 2008.] You might also need to fan the flames, or fan black smoke away, by moving the Nunchuk and Wii Remote up and down. Caterpillars, leeches, worms and rat spleens are also added using the A button to just drop them in. It is timed, and your precision is ranked.

Harry Potter can duel against other students, including Draco Malfoy, in a Duelling Room with a long platform, similar to the one seen in the second film, but wider to allow dodging of spells. Moving is done with the Nunchuk Control Stick, and the A Button allows you to dodge. Casting spells is done with Wii Remote and Nunchuk gestures. Combat spells include: Protego, cast by crossing the Wii Remote and Nunchuk across your chest. Stupefy, cast by quickly shaking the Wii Remote, although it can also be charged by raising your remote for longer, making it more powerful, but leaving you undefended. Expelliarmus, which knocks your opponent onto their bottom (rather than disarming them), is cast by thrusting both controllers downward. Levicorpus is cast by swinging both controllers upward. And the non-canon Glacius from previous games (or possibly Petrificus Totalus) is cast by swinging both controllers left to your hip. videogamer.com. [http://www.videogamer.com/xbox360/harry_potter_and_the_halfblood_prince/preview-881.html Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince Hands-on] "videogamer.com". Accessed 26 April 2008.] [http://kotaku.com/5020302/i-beat-harry-potters-executive-producer-in-a-wand-duel] When you are hit, shaking the Wiimote will bring you out of Petrificus Totalus and Levicorpus states. [http://au.wii.ign.com/dor/objects/14248950/harry-potter-and-the-half-blood-prince/videos/hp6_demo_082008.html] With a Wii Remote and Nunchuk each, two players can duel against each other. [http://au.wii.ign.com/articles/898/898639p2.html]

All that is known about the Wii quidditch controls are that they are smooth, and without flailing and extreme flicking.

Nintendo DS

In the Nintendo DS version of the game, the Stylus will be used, once again, for spells as well as mini-games such as Gobstones, squashing magic beans for potions, and Exploding Snap Pocket Gamer. [http://www.pocketgamer.co.uk/r/DS/Harry+Potter+and+the+Half-Blood+Prince/news.asp?c=6609 Hands on with Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince DS] "Pocket Gamer". Accessed 24 April 2008.] . The DS version of the game will have 6 "environmental" spells including Accio and Incendio and 12 combat spells. The game will be free roaming with mini quests as well as following the story linePocket Gamer. [http://www.pocketgamer.co.uk/r/DS/Harry+Potter+and+the+Half-Blood+Prince/news.asp?c=6609 Hands on with Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince DS] "Pocket Gamer". Accessed 24 April 2008.] .

PlayStation 3

The game will use SIXAXIS controls or the right analog stick just like the previous game, but this time it will include DUALSHOCK 3 vibration capability.

PlayStation 2

The PS2 version will utilize analog controls just like in the previous games

Xbox 360

Spells are cast with the control stick just like the previous game.

PC

A keyboard and mouse will be used just like the previous game.

Development team

The executive producer is Jonathan Bunney and the producer is Justin Manning. [http://kotaku.com/5020302/i-beat-harry-potters-executive-producer-in-a-wand-duel]

Harry Potter fan-site The Leaky Cauldron reported in July 2008 that James Hannigan, composer of the Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix game soundtrack, would be returning to compose for Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince.

James and Oliver Phelps, who play the Weasley twins Fred and George, have been promoting the game for the media and conferences, in particular the two-player dueling.

References

External links

* [http://www.harrypotter.ea.com Official game website]
* [http://pc.ign.com/articles/868/868508p1.html Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince press release]


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