Oh boy did this game have a lot of controversy around it. So that just made me want to play it more. The game was decent and worth a play however it may not have fully lived up to the hype it got.
I think the first thing every Harry Potter game needs to get right is how fun and immersive the spells you cast will be. The game did make the fighting quite fluid one this one, I could shoot spells off faster than my life regrets. The spells also can mix nicely leading to some sweet combos. However it's greatest strength was also it's biggest weakness. This made the game a little TOO EASY.
Once you nail juggling in mid air, and realise certain spells do wayyy more damage than others. You really only need to stick to about 4-5 spells during battle and then everyone faces the pure carnage that is Eggy and his wand of death. Maybe I'm just a pro? or maybe it's just too easy. Enemies only had a variation of 3 colours to break through and once you did well it was goodbye goodbye.
That being said it was addictive. For some reason I loved just ripping through people. When you unlock the death spells like avada kedavra the game became cake. Specially because you can use these death spells on things like trolls and they lose almost 80% of their health instantly so that was a bit of an easy hack.
One of the most fun things about the game was something I didn't expect. It was catching the magical creatures and raising them on your little farm. It was pretty cool being able to breed them and my wife couldn't help but scream and squeel whenever she saw the adorable faces of a mooncalf. Of course my wife also scolded me when I sent one flying in the air with a spell....woops...but who can resist?
Unfortunately there was only 13 animals to collect. To be honest If they made a side game of only the animal hunting, like a Magical Beasts edition of the game I would definitely buy it. As a game designer I can tell you there's a lot of potential there.
That might be the cutest in game animal I have ever seen in my life
The whole controversy around this game was that it was "transphobic" but none of this really holds any water due to the fact J.K Rowling had no direct involvement on the games development and there was a trans character featured in the game as a bartender.
The main point above all this, is the game overall is just a basic open world game. If you take away the Harry Potter skin, then the game does not have anything actually remarkable about it. It's kinda basic compared to other games in the same genre. It's just a re-skinned open world quest game.
This was funny in the fact, the people that boycotted the game said hah see it's getting low scores because our boycott worked! and see Baulders Gate 3 has a higher rating haha we win! The irony they don't realise is that if they just left the game, it would have got the exact same rating since it's very generic. The boycott and the raging downvoting etc had no impact on the games score whatsoever.
The game is just an average game and probably got more attention from the controversy then without it. It's like of course BG3 got a higher score, because it's a groundbreaking new game. Funny how that works huh?
The game description I can give you is no different than any other game. You perform quests, you solve puzzles, you kill enemies and bosses. You unlock spells, gear and items. It was fun dressing your wizard up to be as ridiculous as possible. It was kinda fun unlocking broom upgrades and playing the mini-games.
I wouldn't say this game performs extremely well in any area. It just does everything at an acceptable level.
This means the game is technically the best Harry Potter game ever finished. But it's one of the most average open world games ever made.
So if you are a fan you will enjoy the game, if you are more of a gamer than you will just have a little fun while noticing the game doesn't break any new ground in any area of game development unfortunately. Also the puzzles in the game can get very tedious and are not always clear on which spells to use. Some spells don't work in situations you would expect them too resulting in a bit of a jarring gameplay experience at times.
It's a game worth playing on the list of things to do, but it's not going to be that memorable. Also the ending boss was a little easy and not as epic as you would imagine for a HP game. The storyline also felt a little forced and slow at times.
It's worth it for the world and story. However a mediocre gaming experience.
As a score I would give this game a 6.5 out of 10 eggs