Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire

UK Charts: Need for Speed races into first

Publishers brace themselves for the final stretch in the race for a Christmas No.1

Industry powerhouse Electronic Arts plays the field once again, with a number of titles in the top ten. Multi-format street racer, Need for Speed: Most Wanted, races into first place; knocking Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire down two places to third.

Harry Potter demo released

Now available for download.

Electronic Arts has released a new one-level demo for chart-topping movie tie-in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire - and it's now available for down-load.

Perhaps predictably, the cinematic release of Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire has given EA's videogame tie-in the boost in sales it needed to knock THQ's wrestling title from the top spot of the all formats chart this week.

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire

Oliver downs it in one.

Prepare to be astounded. This reviewer is one of the fabled 'UK Dozen' - the remaining twelve British citizens that still haven't read a Harry Potter book. This either makes me a fantastic choice for this review or an atrocious one (make your views known through the usual channels). On the positive side I'll be able to give you an assessment completely free from Potter-love or Potter-loathing. On the negative side, diehard Potterites will have to put up with me using ignorant terminology like 'Potterites' now and again. Swings and roundabouts...

Pottering about

If I was outlining this game to another member of the Dozen I would describe it something like this: Goblet of Fire is a presentable child-oriented third-person action-adventure featuring lots of spectacular wizard-vs-monster combat and plenty of simple but entertaining puzzles. Play is not quite linear and not quite freeform. To make progress and unlock new locations you must (for reasons never fully explained) collect magic shields. Sometimes this means returning to previously visited levels to explore new areas and utilise new spells. Sometimes it means replaying story challenges (the Triwizard tasks from the movie) in the hope of achieving better scores and bigger rewards. Thankfully this dynamic isn't quite as repetitive as it sounds. There's an RPG-style character development system which means all activity is ultimately rewarded, the levels are large and fun to explore and there are lots of optional mini-tasks to help keep things interesting.

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