It’s nearly ten years since Harry and his friends made their first video game appearance in LEGO form. Now the entire scope of their adventures are available for the current console generation. Revisit an epic tale of friendship and wizardry with The LEGO Harry Potter Collection.
LEGO Harry Potter Collection Details
Platform: Nintendo Switch, Xbox One, PlayStation 4
Developer: Traveller’s Tales
Publisher: Warner Bros. Interactive
Modes: Single player, multi-player
ESRB Rating: E (Everyone)
An epic series-spanning collection
The LEGO Harry Potter Collection brings together two previous titles. Firstly LEGO Harry Potter: Years 1 – 4, which encompasses the first four books/films in the series. Secondly, LEGO Harry Potter: Years 5 – 7 tacks on the last three books/four films. That’s the entire Harry Potter epic now put together in one tidy package.
If this is your first time enjoying these games, having the entire story in one place is definitely a plus. The Harry Potter series is one that many fans like to revisit—be it through a supplemental reading of the novels or a movie marathon. Playing through the entire series through the LEGO Harry Potter Collection feels like another way to enjoy the story over again, but in a brand new and more interactive way.
I presume you’ve heard this one before?
The game follows all the main story beats of every volume of Harry’s saga quite faithfully. Of course the lack of voice acting (outside of grunts and other noises) means a lot of the context is visual. So if you aren’t familiar with either the books or the films, you probably aren’t going to know what’s going on a lot of the time.
The LEGO Harry Potter Collection absolutely presumes that you have at least some familiarity with the source material. Of course in most cases it’s probably a safe assumption to make. It’s hard to imagine that someone went all this time without joining in on the Harry Potter fandom, only to finally dip their toe in the pool with the video game adaptation.
That said, there are always exceptions. As much fun as I believe the LEGO Harry Potter Collection is to play, I can’t say that it does a good job of telling Harry’s story in the vacuum of its own existence. This game is very much meant for fans with an existing investment in its magical universe.
So if you are that one person who has been hiding under a rock since the year 2000, make sure you crack a book or a DVD prior to playing if you want the fullest enjoyment. Oh, and one more small warning to you as well, my formerly-isolated friend. You should probably know that you won’t be able to catch up by grabbing the DVD’s at Blockbuster Video!
A bit older, but worth kicking the dust off
The LEGO series of games has come a long way. They consistently but out solid titles that are faithful adaptations of some of pop cultures most lovable franchises. Furthermore, they’ve been getting better with every iteration.
So it’s worth noting that the LEGO Harry Potter Collection contains some of the older games in the LEGO franchise. That definitely doesn’t mean they are no longer good though. To the contrary I’d say that some of the early LEGO games continue to hold up very well over time, not unlike LEGO itself.
However, fans of the LEGO series may naturally notice some minor annoyances that have been improved in later LEGO games. Unfortunately that’s just the nature of the beast, given that games and developers are always innovating and improving.
It’s too bad that the process of re-releasing these older games didn’t involve a few upgrades or tweaks. Naturally in these cases though game creators need to juggle the cost of improving an older game versus a more streamlined port. In the case of the LEGO Harry Potter Collection I’d say the latter is far from a disappointment regardless.
Interact with everything
In roaming around through Hogwarts, Diagon-Alley, and all the other memorable locations in Harry Potter’s world, I find much appeal in the interactivity. This is certainly the case in any LEGO game, but for me, it fits better than any in the LEGO Harry Potter Collection.
This is because the world of Harry Potter is already such a magical place. When you enter a Harry Potter book or film you’re already expecting people and objects to behave in odd ways or do things that are entirely unexpected. Watching objects come to life or do something silly in a Harry Potter game isn’t just amusing, it’s the best part of the experience.
Playing the LEGO Harry Potter Collection is in this respect kind of like walking around a giant diorama. Or better yet—a pop-up picture book. Anything and everything that catches your eye with interest can be tugged or prodded to some delightful result. It’s like wandering around the world of wizardry and discovering for yourself just how bizarre it really is.
Step inside the story
I’m going to bring back my point that the game really doesn’t tell the story so much as serve as a reminder of everything that happens along the way. If you’re familiar with Harry Potter, you don’t really need the story told for you again anyway.
What the LEGO Harry Potter Collection does do is let you live out the events, but play around a bit in the universe at the same time. The most fun I had with the game wasn’t reaching the climatic story beats of the series, it was wandering around in-between. Sometimes you just want to point your wand in every direction and see what kind of mischief you can get into.
The LEGO Harry Potter Collection is a fun way to revisit the epic franchise
The LEGO Harry Potter Collection really succeeds as a different way for fans to enjoy the stories they love. The games aren’t the shiniest in the stable of current LEGO titles, but they still hold up very well over time. There’s a lot of enjoyment in exploring all the iconic locations of the franchise.
The next time you have an itch to re-read the books or re-watch the films, consider playing through the games instead. It satisfies the lingering nostalgia and offers some new experiences to boot. Just don’t jump in too quickly if you haven’t done your homework on Harry Potter yet!
+ The entire Harry Potter epic in one collection
+ Magical, interactive set pieces
+ Gameplay holds up over time
– Narrative presumes you already know the story
– No updates or improvements for the re-release
OVERALL ASSESSMENT OF LEGO HARRY POTTER COLLECTION
Lasting Appeal/Replayability: 4/5