Deathly Hallows Part 2 Review by rudien087


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									Deathly Hallows Part 2 Review
Question: When is a wand no longer wand? Answer: When it's a gun. And that's the
biggest problem with Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2: It's conceptually
ludicrous. As with last year's installment, developer EA Bright Light has envisioned the
wands of Harry and his friends as guns--but instead of switching between weapons, you
switch between spells. Stupefy isn't a stunning spell in this game: It's a pistol. Expulso
isn't an exploding spell: It's a rapid-fire machine gun. Confringo isn't a blasting curse: It's
a grenade launcher. And forget everything you know about apparating, which you
probably never imagined as a short-range teleport. Perhaps this disrespectful take on
the beloved Harry Potter license wouldn't be so disastrous if the resulting game were
fun, but for the most part, it just isn't. Switching between spells provides some welcome
variety in the second half of this unusually short cover-based shooter. Otherwise,
Deathly Hallows Part 2 is tedious and dumb, failing both as a game and as a licensed

Deathly Hallows Part 2 takes events from the final Harry Potter film (and the
second half of the book that spawned it) and shoehorns shooter tropes into them
that make the proceedings as nonsensical as Luna Lovegood's ramblings. One
such trope: the defend mission. In various levels, you must protect Hermione from
enemies while she casts alohomora, the lock-opening spell. And each time, you'll
be appalled at the ridiculousness of the entire idea. Since when does alohomora
take five minutes to cast? What is Hermione doing all that time? How is it that
doors within the super-secure Gringott's Bank can be opened with such an
elementary spell? Another trope: the explosive-planting mission. In a particular
chapter, you take control of Seamus Finnigan and plant charges of some sort
around covered bridge in Hogwarts. What are these, magical C4 charges? This
silly task is followed by an incongruous sniping mission that will make you
wonder how far away you are from equipping an ACOG scope and having to
reload your wand.

These issues constantly invade your mind as you move from one mission to the
next, given how inappropriate these third-person shooter standards are in this
magical universe. The game plays like a typical cover shooter: You take cover
behind rubble and other objects neatly arranged in helpful patterns and then peek
above or lean out to fire. You begin with stupefy, but you gradually unlock new
spells, none of which function as they do in the novels. An authentic expelliarmus
spell should knock a wand out of an opponent's hand, for example, but here, it's
used to break an opponent's protego shield. Impedimenta is an immobilizing jinx
in the novels, but in the game, it's a homing missile launcher. These may seem
like nerdy nitpicks, but they raise the question: Who was this game made for?
Certainly not for Harry Potter fans, who will cringe at such preposterousness.
Fans will at least encounter a few saving graces, however. Considering the novel's
Harry-specific point of view, it's nice to embody characters like Ginny Weasley
and Professor McGonagall and see events like the Battle of Hogwarts from their
points of view.

So Deathly Hallows Part 2 isn't for Harry Potter fans--but it isn't for shooter fans,
either. You shoot the same nameless generic enemies time and again, and then
you move down a narrow path so you can take some cover and shoot more clones.
You occasionally break free of this predictability, only to find yourself having
even less fun than before. Perhaps the aforementioned sniping section might have
provided a brief spot of variety, but once you finish sniping one set of baddies,
you're directed to another group--and then another. Even more boring is your trek
into the chamber of secrets where, as Hermione, you shoot spiders while Ron
takes his sweet time opening more doors. Most of this level doesn't involve
shooting, however; you just follow Ron through dark caverns. The bright eyes
peering through the darkness are a nice touch, but while this level might have
been meant to create tension, the only emotion it generates is boredom. There's an
early moment in which the trio rescues a fire-breathing beast, and you might get
momentarily excited by the possibility of taking to the skies. But no. The most
interesting possibilities are confined to cutscenes, while you carry out all the
drudgery with your gun-wand.

Amid the tedium are some bright sparks worth celebrating. One is a battle
between McGonagall and a hulking giant, in which you use your impedimenta
homing missiles to knock the big guy off balance while fending off teleporting
death eaters. You can't cast the same spell too many times in a row because doing
so leads to inaccurate aiming. Thus, you must stave off these meanies by
switching between spells. The giant battle is fun because it demands such
switching, and it even requires you to use the protego shield to protect yourself
from boulders the giant flings. A few sequences have you sprinting toward the
camera as you fend off an oncoming apparition or destroying flaming debris as it
hurdles toward you. These sequences are done well because they convey
something the rest of the game lacks: a sense of urgency. Even on its hardest
difficulty (unlocked after you finish the game), Deathly Hallows Part 2 isn't
challenging, though you could suffer one or two cheap deaths when, for example,
Ron stands between you and the only available cover spot and refuses to budge.
Or you may perhaps find yourself in a poorly designed sequence in which a
narrow doorway into a room loaded with enemies acts as a frustrating chokepoint.

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