Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (EA)
By: Kurt Knudsen

It is time once again for the Harry Potter fans to be blessed with another great game from EA. This year we get to play as Harry Potter and the gang in their 4th year at Hogwarts. The graphics received an upgrade and the game mechanics have too. The E3 build that I played didn’t have much to offer, only 2 levels, but gave me enough to know just how good this game will be when it comes out.

While I was playing the game I spoke with the producer of the game and he told me some sad news, at least sad news for the fans of the books. This year the game will be veering off the story more so than the 3rd installment of the game. I have yet to see how much it goes off but from the First Task level it is a bit different. Instead of flying in a single area to get the dragon away from the egg you are thrown on your broom and must zoom through the forest to try to avoid the dragon. On your flight you can collect beans and hit special circles that speed you up. The cinematics look incredible and EA has done a wonderful job at creating such a fast paced flying level.

The other level that I played was supposedly the very first level. It is right after the World Cup and drops you into the heat of battle in the forest outside of the stadium. There are Death Eaters around along with screams and chaos. You traverse this level by working as a team. You often hit obstacles such as fallen trees or big rocks that need to be moved. All 3 of you work together to lift rock or tree and move it so you can continue. At the beginning you can choose the character you wish to play, and if you have another person available they can jump in as player 2 and be another character.

The controls are quite easy and familiar, though I much prefer a keyboard and mouse over a silly gamepad. The game gives you hints as you go along so you aren’t completely lost. At the very end of the level you meet up with a Death Eater and you make him apparate by moving the rocks he is standing on.

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire is due out this fall along with the movie. I expect it to do well and serve the books and movie well. I only hope that EA didn’t veer too far off the story because I am a dedicated fan and will be sad to something completely off tangent.