Footage of a supposed “3rd person open-world action RPG” set in the Wizarding World of Harry Potter recently surfaced on Reddit, after a user claimed to have been part of an audience survey relating to the unannounced game. Promising the ability to create your own Hogwarts student and embark on an original adventure taking place before anything yet seen, it prompted equal measures of excitement and doubt from fans.
Order of the Phoenix was a good film tie-in.
I'm aware of the franchise's existence but know little of the subject matter. Having always been an avid reader and a fan of all things fantasy, Harry Potter should be right up my street, though I have no desire to watch the films and would sooner opt to read a pizza menu than any of the books. Of course, when it was first released there were only two wizards in my mind - Rincewind and Gandalf - and we didn't (and still don't) need any more.
That being said, I love open world RPGs and Rowling's tales seem like a perfect fit for the genre. I assume that there's a hefty amount of lore and plenty of stories to tell in that universe, especially given the alleged time frame it takes place in. The ability to create your own character is certainly a plus point and a much more attractive prospect than being stuck playing as the series' milquetoast protagonist.
This would be a great opportunity to win over a new audience with a more adult-oriented take, if they can achieve that without losing the child-friendly appeal.
Half Blood Prince wasn't bad, either.
I loved the Harry Potter books when I was younger, but towards the end of the series, as I hit my late teens, I had grown more cynical about all things magical. I still read every book to completion, but I couldn’t help but wonder why Witches and Wizards were so dismissive of Muggle technology – I’d like to see Voldemort stop a drone strike as easily as he counters a disarming spell. You’re welcome, Mr. Fudge.
It’s something that, however unlikely, I would like to see explored more in an RPG set in the Harry Potter extended universe. Along with Quidditch and Aurors, the secretive balancing act between the magical world and our more mundane one was one of my favourite concepts, more so than lessons in potion brewing and herbology.
If proceedings stay purely fantastical, however, then I’d like to see the developers double down on original stories (maybe even some starring Hogwarts’ ancient founders?) rather than revisiting well-trodden ground. Even though it’d pull an audience in, the world and his Hungarian Horntail already knows the tale of Harry, Voldemort, Dumbledore, et al.
I’m not instantly excited by the idea, but a proper game – not some movie tie-in cash grab – does have potential.
Deathly Hallows Parts 1 & 2 were dire.
As a child who had the pleasure of translating Harry Potter from Latin into English at school, it's fair to say I'm well acquainted with the universe now known as the Wizarding World. While the prospect of more films initially induced a slight eye-roll, in gaming the series as a whole has been criminally underused and under-represented.
The prospect of finally becoming a fledgling wizard and attending Hogwarts is an exciting one then, with childish excitement bubbling up like a fresh batch of Polyjuice Potion.
Whether the reality will do the potential justice is another matter however, with so much lore protected by frenzied fans, whatever era you fancy jumping into. On top of that, how much will you have to specialise to reach the coolest spells? As any casual Dungeons & Dragons player will tell you, it can take a fair few adventures to get to the really tasty stuff.
Hopefully though, this will at least be more accessible than DnD (despite its resurgence in the past few years) and provide a fun entry point. Plus, we'll get to make friends with an owl!
Harry Potter for Kinect was the worst, naturally.
Would you be up for playing a Wizarding World RPG? Let us know in the comments below.
For more Team Talk, check out last week's feature on Telltale Games' best told tales.