They grow up so fast. Once upon a time it was all magic beans and '10 points to Gryffindor!' Now it's lairy teens shooting bad wizards in the face. Scream it to the skies, muggle population: Harry Potter just went third-person shooter.
At first you laugh. But then you slowly realise it makes sense. The core Harry Potter audience, the ones who have been playing the movie tie-in games at least, have been with the boy magician since the earliest books and their tenderest years.
JK Rowling's cast have reached adulthood through a process of exams, teenage catfights, tentative snogging in gothic corridors and mixed success in the fight against dark wizards.
Meanwhile, in Muggleton, and at the other end of the Hogwarts Express, their fans have similarly come of age. Whereas the Potter games of yore had wands set on the stupefaction of kids between 7 and 11, now the range of 10 to 14 (and perhaps slightly above) is the target.
To sum it all up, in this game (and therefore film) Harry Potter has bypassed the perils of a bumfluff adolescence and entered the realms of sustained and noticeable stubble growth. We've come a long, long way together.
For the first time, then, Harry will be controlled in the familiar third-person action style - he'll take cover behind pillars, crouch behind scenery that's crumbling under the barrage of enemy spells and have a camera that can be pulled in closer when you're trying to make trickier shots.
While the spells you're firing off are somewhat more 'fizzy and sparkles' than your usual common-or-garden third-person weaponry, the thinking behind those Latin-bastardising spells is rather more conventional than you'd expect.
Petrificus Totalus? Well, there's your shotgun. Stupefy? Pistol. Peruvian Darkness Potion? Smoke grenade! The list goes on and on: familiar shooter weapon tropes transmogrified into the world of Potter, each with the benefits and drawbacks of their more bullet-based counter-parts.
Crucio, for example, is a stream of red spurts that acts as the game's machinegun - and will overheat in the manner that video game convention demands. Confringo, here representing the venerable rocket launcher, takes an age to reload.
It all sounds faintly silly, but it should be underlined that this approach entirely fits in with the plot and themes present with Deathly Hallows. For the heathen non-JK enthusiasts out there, by the time the final book rolls around (split into two films, and therefore two games, at the end of this year and beginning of next) Harry is on the run.
Its plot of assaults, attacks and stealth incursions into places like the Ministry of Magic, Gringotts bank and Hogwarts itself are perfect fodder for a level-by-level item-collection action game.
What's more, whereas in past times there was generally a bigger and more powerful wizard able to step into the breach and help Harry out (Sirius Black, Dumbledore et al) the sequence of unfortunate events that has heralded the return of Voldemort means that Harry, Ron and Hermione are very much on their lonesome.
If ever there were a time for Potter to be equipped with vials of Exploding Fluid (grenades), then this is probably it.
So, has Potter entirely joined the Order of the (Marcus) Fenix? Well, not quite. EA isn't showing it off yet (in fact at the time of writing it's holding back from showing anything that's directly from the movie at the demand of cruel Hollywood overlords), but stealth will also play a major part in Deathly Hallows.
An inquisitive mind would perhaps wonder whether the majority of Harry's Horcrux Hunt are 'sneak in, then fight out' affairs. In any case Harry's Invisibility Cloak is confirmed to be making a shimmery appearance, as is the doppelganger Polyjuice potion, which means that there may well be some fleshy Hitman-esque disguises to wander around in.
The trick that's been up the wizard's sleeve of more recent Potter movie tie-ins has been to use Hogwarts as a free-roaming arena of exploration, potion-mixing and portrait chit-chat. This time the Death Eater Hogwarts takeover means it's off the Marauder's Map. (Those who will miss Hogwarts, by the way, will be more than catered for by LEGO Harry Potter.)
Instead, Harry's base of operations is a TARDIS-esque tent in the woods, where you'll return between missions for bouts of adolescent sexual tension, plus of course the equipping of preferred combat spells into Harry's magical spell-wheel.
In the Deathly Hallows book even the most fervent Potterite will admit that the tent scenes go on for a bit (there's a lot of wandering around the place and whinging before you get to any Voldemort-bashing) but the game is set to capitalise on this to some extent - plugging in ambushes and attacks that weren't mentioned in the book and aren't covered in the movie.
Woodland battles against giant spiders, a markedly unhappy Hungarian Horntail and a host of shambling Inferi are subtly being nudged into affairs - all side-quest encounters that are feasible within the storyline, if not necessarily canon.
One such encounter, which I played, takes place where (in the movie) Harry, Ron and Hermione make camp. It's an abandoned network of factories and vast cooling tower chimneys, which to some extent borrows the visual stylings of the some of the closing scenes of Terry Gilliam's Brazil.
Here Harry faces down a series of Snatchers (nasty humans) and Death Eaters (nasty wizards) who apparate into the action at scripted moments in black clouds of smoke - and, seeing as this is a bloodless game, disapparate when they can't take any more spell-hits to the face.
There are clearly worries that Potter developer EA Bright Light is new to the realm of projectile-violence, and the game's workings certainly need a lot of balance, but the core of a decent action game is certainly in place.
The prime worry is that without the barrel of gun to wave around and stare down, the wand-action could seem light and floaty, but it doesn't seem an issue. Spells such as Confundus (which turns an enemy onto your side) and Wingardium Leviosa (inevitably finding a new form as a gravity gun) also add a bit of spice to the mix of firework projectiles.
When the black ghostly forms of Dementors appear at level's close, however, icing up the screen and robbing the colour from Harry's stubbly cheeks, clearly only a quick burst of Expecto Patronum will do.
From an older fan's perspective (many have said too old) it's genuinely a pleasure to see Potter developers finally able to make a different sort of game - for so many years somewhat hog-tied by their young audience and the familiar, if brilliant, Hogwarts blueprint.
Quite whether EA Bright Light can match the games from which they're cutting out pistols and pasting in 'Stupefy!' is something that will be told in time.
As for Part 2, they'll almost certainly be holding something special back for that too: full-on Dumbledore's Army vs. Death Eater multiplayer certainly wouldn't go amiss.
Beyond that? Do we dare to dream that this will be a vital stepping-stone towards the day when the books, movies and movie tie-ins finally run dry and someone might just be allowed to make a new and original game within the Potter-verse?
Someone pass the Felix Felicis...
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows - Part 1 is due out for DS, PC, PS3, Wii and Xbox 360 this autumn.