Alright, witches and wizards, it is officially here! Harry Potter: Wizards Unite is the latest Portkey Games and Niantic game which released this past weekend. I have spent the majority of the weekend trying it out and this post I will be sharing my first impressions of the game!
As a Harry Potter fan, I was definitely excited to play this game. There was a lot of speculation going into it, especially once we knew Niantic was involved. Niantic is most well known for developing Pokemon Go. So I was expecting a very Pokemon Go style game.
And it is very similar to Pokemon Go overall. It is location-based, and you will have the Foundables appear around you like how Pokemon appear. The Foundables fall into different categories, with examples being Care of Magical Creatures, Dark Arts, and the Ministry of Magic. Instead of having a team to be in, you have a profession which you access at level 6. Once you have a profession, you can take lessons in that profession to gain extra skills (I assume, I have not gotten to that point yet for this first look). You do get to pick your Hogwarts house, but I don’t believe that means much.
There are various places you can visit that are similar to Pokestops. These places are Inns and Greenhouses, and you can gain resources and restore your stamina in them. The equivalent to a gym in Pokemon Go is a fortress, and you enter fortresses to battle in dungeons and face creatures and dark wizards.
There are also tons of collectibles you need for various things, from brewing potions to runestones for fortresses to growing plants for potions. These remind me of berries in Pokemon Go. And lastly, portkeys are in the game and work like eggs do, where you have to walk certain distances to fully open the portmanteau they are held in.
Now for the differences from Pokemon Go. Wizards Unite has much more of a story involved. The overall plot of the game is that you are a volunteer working to retrieve Foundables to prevent muggles from being aware of magic. There is a lot of mystery behind why this is happening, and you will also be finding clues to solve this mystery in the long run. And honestly, this whole storyline aspect is very convoluted to me. It’s trying too hard in that area, and having the story pop up and interrupt gameplay got annoying quickly for me. And since the game already has a lot going on, from brewing potions to catching Foundables to dungeon battles to accessing portkeys, the story just makes the game unnecessarily complex.
In general, I have mixed feelings of the game right now. I enjoy hunting for Foundables and all of the creatures and characters you run into. I got so excited to see Hedwig, as an example. I am pretty indifferent to the portkeys and potions and all of those aspects, because I know I am going to be a very casual player of this. And as I already said, I’m not a fan of this very developed story and think it’s making the game heavy and less fun.
Also, I think Pokemon Go does this whole gameplay style better theme wise because Pokemon is literally built for capturing and exploring. The world of Pokemon fits the mechanics of this game so well. I think if they slowly released the story, to an extent, it would have helped with the overloading of information. And what I think would have been better, and I also would have loved, is if this was a Fantastic Beasts collection game ala Newt Scamander. Would that be very similar to Pokemon Go? Yes. But if it’s not broke, don’t fix it.
Will I keep play Wizards Unite? Yes, cause I love Harry Potter and do find enjoyment in the game. I think there is a lot of things I have yet to experience in the game as well. But I don’t love the story and find that it does hinder some of my enjoyment of the overall game. This did just release, so there may be patches in the future which is why I’m not throwing in the towel completely.
Have you been playing Wizards Unite? What do you think of it so far? Let me know with a comment below.