One of those games I would like to give a middle recommendation. There are so many details and you never stop finding secrets and unlocking cosmetics. The fact that you can take your broom and fly all over Hogwarts (almost) is fantastic.
Hogwarts Castle, oh boy, that thing is a detailed beauty and probably why every room is its own zone that needs to be loaded in when you open a door. This results in stutter and light, objects, shadows and people popping in from nowhere. No detail in the world can take away the horrible optimization of every room change inside the castle.
In the open world the pop-in problem persists with lights, shadows and characters popping in from nowhere and the open world overall feels empty and boring with little to do other than the scripted puzzles, side-quests and enemies in scripted locations. The lack of random encounters of characters that could have given you any time consuming fun mini quest makes the (not so big) map feel empty, boring and just a shell. Where are the NPCs that need help in the dark forest? They seemingly walk there with no problem. Or the captured NPC’s from a base, anything. Literally anything to make the map feel more alive.
I should also mention the very(!) repetitive voice lines during questing and exploring. There is one quest where there are five voice lines that keep repeating every time you do an action like looting a chest. It is very frustrating. It’s the same while exploring, NPC’s don’t really “talk”, they throw out a set of voice lines in a repetitive order and you don’t get that feeling that they are having an actual conversation. Same with enemies, same few voice lines over and over.
And no, the map is not that big, it's big but I had hoped for more.
Is it a great game for Harry Potter fans? Yes, yes it is. There are so many easter eggs, discoverable hidden locations, characters etc. that every Harry Potter fan will spend most time in the castle exploring every nook and corner. Is it a great open world adventure game? No, this is where I would like to give a rating between thumb up and down. I choose the down thumb due to the lack of optimization, random encounters, and how fast the game becomes repetitive and you find yourself doing the same thing over and over except for the main story line.
I probably missed a ton of things I've thought about during my game-play but this is what is stuck in my head every time I play it.
It's a game I will finish but I won't bother doing more than that.
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