In Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, Voldemort is tightening his grip on both the Muggle and wizarding worlds and Hogwarts is no longer the safe haven it once was. Harry suspects that dangers may even lie within the castle, but Dumbledore is more intent upon preparing him for the final battle that he knows is fast approaching. Together they work to find the key to unlock Voldemort's defenses and, to this end, Dumbledore recruits his old friend and colleague, the well-connected and unsuspecting bon vivant Professor Horace Slughorn, whom he believes holds crucial information. Meanwhile, the students are under attack from a very different adversary as teenage hormones rage across the ramparts. Harry finds himself more and more drawn to Ginny, but so is Dean Thomas. And Lavender Brown has decided that Ron is the one for her, only she hadn't counted on Romilda Vane's chocolates! And then there's Hermione, simmering with jealously but determined not to show her feelings. As romance blossoms, one student remains aloof. He is determined to make his mark, albeit a dark one. Love is in the air, but tragedy lies ahead and Hogwarts may never be the same again.
In the game of Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, players will return to Hogwarts to help Harry survive a fraught sixth year. They will also have a chance to engage in exciting wizard duels, mix and brew magical ingredients in Potions class and take to the air to lead the Gryffindor Quidditch team to victory. Players may even get sidetracked by Ron's romantic entanglements as they journey towards a dramatic climax and discover the identity of the Half-Blood Prince.
Although you’ll be playing as Harry for nearly all of the Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince videogame - no spoilers about who else you’ll get to play, but if you remember the moment when Harry is out of action in the film you might manage to guess - everyone else in the game is just as detailed and full of character. Many of the actors from the film have provided their voices for the game, and the team have had access to photos and bodyscans of all the characters, so every raised eyebrow and fluttering cloak is accurately portrayed. For the first time in a Harry Potter game, it’s really possible to read the emotion in characters’ faces as they talk, thanks to the advanced facial animation system that’s been used. And it’s not just that the characters in the game look right and sound right - they moved right, too. EA has made every effort to perfect the animation for all the action in the film. To capture the moves that Harry can make on his broomstick it wasn’t enough to film a stuntman in a studio to get a decent approximation. Instead, one of the game team built a complete broomstick rig in his kitchen at home, bringing it in so the animators could experiment with every possible move by ‘flying’ one themselves.
Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, developed by EA Bright Light Studio for Wii PS3, X360, PS2, PSP, NDS and PC, is scheduled for worldwide release on June 30, 2009, to coincide with the Warner Bros. Pictures film based on J.K. Rowling’s sixth Harry Potter book.
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