Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix from Electronic Arts provides a bit of a welcome departure from the previous games based on J.K. Rowling's books and their respective films. Unlike the previous action-oriented Harry Potter games, Order of the Phoenix is more focused on exploration, adventuring and immersion. As a sandbox-type game, players can fully explore Hogwarts Castle and the surrounding areas, with many details pulled not just from the films, but the source books as well. The story itself is experienced by accessing missions that can be completed at-will by the player.
While players will mostly play as Harry, other characters can briefly be controlled as a part of the games many duels, including Sirius Black and the great wizard himself, Albus Dumbledore. In addition to dueling, the game allows characters to use many of the famous spells from the films and books including Reducto, Expelliarmus, Stupefy and Wingardium Leviosa. Fans of the film version of Order of the Phoenix will be pleased to find that many of the game's characters are voiced by their respective film counterparts, with nearly all of the characters bearing the likeness of their respective actors as well.
In many ways, Order of the Phoenix is one of the best of the Harry Potter video games but it is far from being perfect. For huge Harry Potter fans, this game is definitely worth a look simply for the detailed exploration. Adventure gamers may find the game enjoyable as well, though the gameplay may be too repetitive for some.