EA has today announced a game based on the third Harry Potter novel, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, which will be released on PS2, Xbox, GameCube, PC and Game Boy Advance in May 2004 - just in time for the summer release of Alfonso Cuarón's movie adaptation of the same.
Unlike previous games, the Prisoner of Azkaban will work with a three-character dynamic that sees players take control of Harry Potter's Hogwarts chums Ron Weasley and Hermione Granger, as well as the famous lightning-scarred wizard himself, switching between the three to solve puzzles, master spells and defeat enemies including Dementors (soul-sucking guards from Azkaban) and the titular prisoner Sirius Black - played by Gary Oldman in next summer's movie.
Players can expect to encounter all manner of characters and creatures from the third book, taking a ride on a Hippogriff, using the Marauder's map and of course uncovering the truth behind the enigmatic Sirius Black. In addition to the one-player game, various two-player challenges should make it in - and we do wonder whether with three characters some sort of Secret of Mana-style three-player co-operative mode wouldn't go amiss. Gwan!
Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban is currently in development at EA UK and should be out on all formats next May. EA has of course already released a number of games based on the lucrative Potter franchise; most recently a next-gen console version of Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone to fill a gap in the series and spin-off title Harry Potter: Quidditch World Cup, based on the broomstick-based sport that appears in the books.