The boy who lived is another movie hero whose video game adventures never seem to have matched up to the quality of his films (or books). Rather than simply repeat the predictable third person action of previous games though, this is something a bit different. Its almost a sort of Grand Theft Auto: Hogwarts (or a variation on The Simpsons: Hit & Run for those that are too young to know about Rockstars naughty blockbusters).
What this means in practical terms is that youve got almost the whole of Hogwarts school to explore from the off, with different missions of varying degrees of importance available from different locations. You now control only Harry, with Hermione or Ron reduced to supporting roles, although there are some short sections where you can play as Fred and George Weasley instead. The re-focus on Harry is a result of the sheer number of magical spells available to him now, from standard offensive and defensive magic to summons and levitation spells that help you uncover and unlock the hidden secret of Hogwarts.
Casting spells isnt as simple as just pressing a button though, as youre made to actually trace out a magical symbol using the controller (something that works particularly well on the Wii), which adds greatly to the sense of immersion. Theres also a range of similarly controlled mini-games, including wizard chess and gobstones, which you can play either in or out of the game. Its all a vast improvement on the previous titles, with similarly superior graphics and a general air of effort not usually associated with film tie-ins.