By Eli Green
June 30, 2009 - 14:10
Surprise! Electronic Arts' EA Play label and Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment announced today that the Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince video game will be releasing worldwide this week. When this week? Some time this week! If it makes things any easier for you though, we can say that it has already shipped. So you could see it on store shelves as early as tomorrow morning or early afternoon. It really depends on when shipments arrive at your local video game retailer. As things tend to go with most Electronic Arts games, the “release date” (which, in this case was supposed to be today) tends to be the ship date. Don't ask us why, we don't get it either.
|Chasing down the Golden Snitch in the Wii version.|
Yes, you can return to Hogwarts once more, to help Harry and friends survive another year at the constantly endangered wizardry school. Master gesture-based spell casting and explore the Hogwarts grounds (reproduced precisely from the blueprints designed for the film), from the heights of the Astronomy Tower to Professor Slughorn’s Potions classroom in the depths of the dungeons. You'll even be able to visit more “iconic” locations, including the Gryffindor common room and the Great Hall.
More importantly though, the gameplay mechanics have received some upgrades. You'll now be able to move while casting spells for the first time, which should make for some intense wizard duels. You can also take to the skies for the Gryffindor Quidditch team and, in addition to spell-casting and flying, you can put your potion-mixing skills to the test, learning how to mix and brew magical ingredients in Potions class.
|The grand staircase, from the high def version.|
It seems the team is most excited to see what players think about the Wii version of the game. EA Play Label's Vice President and General Manager Casual Studios, Harvey Elliot, said, “We are very excited by the fact that fans will be able to use Nintendo’s Wii Remote controller as their wands. Casting charms and jinxes – Stupefy, Wingardium Leviosa, Accio and Petrificus Totalis among others – has never been easier or more realistic. This is definitely the most authentic translation from the movies and fiction that we have ever produced; the fans are going to love it!”
|Nintendo DS version|