This time around, the Wii version is the lead platform.
After an unexpected delay, the video game version of Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince will finally be hitting stores this summer alongside the film. The game has basically been finished since last fall, when it was originally supposed to launch.
The most interesting thing about the upcoming title is that Wii is its lead platform. It also takes many of the better elements of the previous game, such as the open environment and spell-casting, and expands upon them.
Players control the titular hero with the Wii Remote and Nunchuk. The Wii Remote is primarily used as Harry's wand, while the Nunchuk controls his movement. Spells are casted with simple gestures and motions, with some of the more powerful combat spells requiring the use of both controllers.
There is a multiplayer mode that allows two players to choose from twelve different characters to engage in a wizard duel. Characters for this mode are unlocked throughout the game as Harry collects Hogwarts crests, which also unlock numerous other things.
Harry can spend his time in various clubs that are unlocked during gameplay, such as dueling clubs for each of the four houses, a flying club, and a potions club. The dueling clubs are similar in concept to the multiplayer mode, and feature Harry squaring off against notable characters from each house. The flying club is basically the Quidditch club, the popular broomstick-focused wizard sport. Players control Harry on his broomstick using pointer control, and must lead him through rings so that he can get closer to the precious Golden Snitch. Lastly, the potions club is merely a place where players follow instructions to mix potions.
A nice addition to the game is the use of the series' stalwart ghost Nearly Headless Nick as a guide, similar in function to Fable 2's breadcrumb trail. All players have to do to navigate an area is choose where they want to go, and Nick will lead them there.
That was all that was shown at an EA Play event in New York City this week. What wasn't shown was the story mode that follows the plot of the sixth book.
Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince is rated E10+ and is scheduled to come out alongside the film this July.