A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this game.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that the Lego Harry Potter Collection is an action game that's a collection of previously released titles and downloadable content. Players control characters from the books and movies and can engage in combat against humans, animals, and fantasy creatures, mostly using a magic wand to zap enemies into pieces. The violence is frequent but cartoon-like. One cut scene shows a dragon that gets a sword through its mouth. You can unlock and play as the "bad guys" from Harry Potter lore. There's some toilet humor.
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What's it about?
LEGO HARRY POTTER COLLECTION includes Lego Harry Potter: Years 1-4 and Lego Harry Potter: Years 5-7, both remastered to take advantage of the PS4's power and available on one disc for added convenience. Both games take Harry Potter fans through an interactive version of the seven books and eight movies, but they star Lego versions of the familiar heroes and villains. The gameplay fuses combat, puzzle-solving, exploration, and potion making, with gamers unraveling the story by themselves with a friend beside them in cooperative (co-op) mode. In addition to the original games, this collection offers enhanced graphics, lighting and visual effects, and all the downloadable content (DLC) that gamers once had to pay for separately.
Is it any good?
Between the two full games, extra downloadable content packs, and upgraded visuals for the PlayStation 4, there's a lot of bang for the buck here. Especially for fans of Harry Potter books and movies, this bundled collection will appeal to casual players and hard-core gamers alike, for its charming presentation, engaging gameplay with high replayability, and exhaustive lineup of familiar and not-so-familiar characters from all the books and movies. But if you've already played one or both games on an older console, you may not need to pick up this disc.
Along with the story mode, it's great to be able to free-play any level you complete, at any time. Plus, with purchases made in Diagon Alley, whatever you've acquired can be used in the main solo campaign, including disguises, studs collected by ghosts who dropped them, and more. These old games look great on the PS4, but it's too bad Warner Bros. couldn't offer voice acting over the years -- whether it was for the original cast from the movies or soundalikes. But overall, Lego Harry Potter Collection is great for kids and kids at heart -- especially if they haven't played the originals.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about the violence in this game. Does the fighting and death here have less of an impact because it's depicted with Lego toys?
Talk to kids about marketing and product placement. Does playing this game make you want to buy Lego or Harry Potter toys?
Does the humor help to alleviate some of the darker and more frightening aspects of the story?
- Platforms: Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, Xbox One
- Price: $49.99
- Pricing structure: Paid
- Available online? Available online
- Developer: Warner Home Video Games
- Release date: November 13, 2016
- Genre: Action/Adventure
- Topics: Magic and Fantasy, Adventures, Book Characters, Brothers and Sisters, Misfits and Underdogs, Monsters, Ghosts, and Vampires
- ESRB rating: T for Cartoon Violence, Crude Humor
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Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.