Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban - PC

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Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (PC)
Also for: PS2, Xbox, GameCube
Viewed: 3D Third-person, floating camera Genre:
Media: CD Arcade origin:No
Developer: KnowWonder Soft. Co.: Electronic Arts
Publishers: Electronic Arts (GB)
Released: 28 May 2004 (GB)
Ratings: PEGI 3+
Accessories: Control Pad


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With the Harry Potter phenomenon showing no signs of cooling off, and with the third film finished and ready for consumption, it comes as no surprise that Electronic Arts has created a video game equivalent to tie in with the big screen release.

As Harry Potter and his closest friends, Ron Weasley and Hermione Granger, return to Hogwarts for an unpredictable third year, the heat is turned up when escapee of the wizard prison Azkaban, Sirius Black, shows a vested interest in the young wizard Harry. Indeed, the setting for the film is much darker, and this is brilliantly reflected in EA's virtual offering.

Where the previous games saw players assuming control of Harry Potter alone, The Prisoner of Azkaban allows them to partake in the adventure as any one of the mischievous threesome. But whoever you control, your goal throughout remains clear: to put a stop to the evil doings of Sirius Black and defend yourself from the Dementors, a sinister breed of Azkaban guardians.

The single player adventure remains pretty much the same as before, in that Potter and friends must negotiate a variety of faithful fantasy locales, traversing platforms and defeating a familiar bestiary of enemies along the way. But, as expected, what is different is that players must now use the strengths of all three characters in order to complete certain tasks and puzzles. Harry's grappling spell serves as a means to reach those hidden ledges, whilst Hermione is a natural with magic. Then there's Ron Weasley; he's not an outstanding character, but he does pull his weight as best he can throughout the adventure. As so many would say, it wouldn't be the same without him, and his general 'wimpishness' adds to the humour no end.

Overall, you have a standard third-person adventure with multiple playing styles, a fine story and some gorgeous environments. It's a great game, and paves the way for 2005's fourth Harry Potter outing, The Goblet of Fire. We can hardly wait.


Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban - PC Artwork